Post-secondary education in America is the next level of education following completion of high school. It can include vocational training, community college, certificate programs, or enrollment at a traditional, four-year college or university. As post-secondary education has become increasingly critical to securing employment, institutions of higher education have become more flexible about transferring credits from other programs and allowing students to access on-line or other technology-based learning opportunities. These trends mean that there are more options than ever for what are sometimes called "non-traditional students."
By the time a student is ready to consider post-secondary education, most parents are well acquainted with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). However, they often find they are less familiar with the protections provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. However, these are the legal foundation on which equal opportunity will rest for the remainder of your son or daughter's life.
It is crucial that students become knowledgeable about their rights and responsibilities in post-secondary education. Although protections exist, the student has considerably more responsibility for requesting and designing their own accommodations. Parents can no longer take the lead in advocating for appropriate accommondations. This responsibility is ongoing and applies to job situations as much as it does to post-secondary education. For many students with disabilities, good self-advocacy skills will be the key to success, and knowing your rights is one essential element of effective self-advocacy.
Adulthood, Post-Secondary Education
Many people with ASD go on to acquire additional education. In fact, many thrive in a learning environment where they are free to pursue a focused area of interest rather than the broad, general education introduced in high school. Training programs, colleges, and universities have become more attuned to the wide array of learning styles present in their student population. With proper planning, clear communication, and support, it is possible to make post-secondary education a success.
New Hampshire Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders
Putting the Pieces Together in the Granite State
The NH Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders
21 S. Fruit Street
Concord, NH 03301
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