Transitioning Students with Disabilities from High School to College: Understanding the Related Laws and Developing the Transition Plan

Event ID:18643

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On-Demand (OD)     $299.00
Duration: 90 minutes including question and answer session.
Presenter(s): Tess O’Brien-Heinzen, attorney at law, Boardman and Clark LLP
Price: $299.00 On-Demand includes full audio presentation, question and answer session, and presentation slides.
Who Should Attend? Special educators, advisors, administrators, HR
Best For: Higher education

Every year a growing number of students with disabilities graduate from high school. Many move on to some form of post-secondary education such as a two or four-year college or university or a trade or vocational school. The transition from high school to higher education can present issues for these students and their parents, as disabled students must independently seek out needed accommodations from the school. To successfully do so, they often need to begin planning far earlier than they do and they need to be aware of the school’s obligations as the level of available services may not be the same. For example, the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) does not apply once in higher education which means that a student’s IEP will not be continued in college. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, however, both provide a pathway for reasonable accommodations and related aids and services. And, the IEP can provide information as to what has been successful in the past. Understanding the federal laws is crucial to a successful post-secondary experience. To this end, students and parents should use high school and college administrators and special education educators to help them navigate the transition process and develop effective self-advocacy and life skills. Please join Tess O’Brien-Heinzen, attorney at law, when she explains the key federal laws affecting special education and describes a program for helping prospective and current students develop the key skills they require for a successful transition from high school to post-secondary education.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • The requirements of IDEA, Section 504, and the ADA. Don’t assume that because a service was available in high school it will be there in college.
  • How to seek out accommodations at the college level.
  • The types of accommodations that are typically provided at the college level.
  • The new trend in college education for providing levels of support which go beyond Section 504 requirements and are available at an additional charge.
  • Privacy restrictions which prohibit post-secondary institutions from discussing student information and how this impacts transition planning.
  • The elements of a successful high school to college transition plan including: self-advocacy, study skills, computer literacy, becoming familiar with assistive aids, etc.


Your conference leader for “Transitioning Students with Disabilities from High School to College: Understanding the Related Laws and Developing the Transition Plan” is Tess O'Brien-Heinzen, attorney at law, Boardman and Clark LLP. Tess's practice focuses on school law and general litigation. She provides legal consultation to the School Law Group with respect to issues under the ADA, ADAAA, Section 504, and the IDEA. She is also a frequent speaker and writer on this area of the law. She published “Accommodating Parents and Visitors with Disabilities in Schools" in the September 2013 School News and “The ADAAA: Key Changes to Disability Law" in the May 2012 Wisconsin Lawyer. Tess is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, and is admitted to practice before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and clerked for the late Justice William Bablitch of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. QUALITY COMMITMENT

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