|Education is a right under IDEA and must be provided in an appropriate environment to all individuals. School district is responsible for identifying a student's disability.
||Education is not a right. Students must meet admission criteria defined under ADA as "otherwise qualified." Students must self identify and provide current and appropriate documentation and pay for all necessary testing.
|Planning, timelines, programming choices or options are created. IEPs are developed for each student. IEP Teams determine IEP supports and services that will be provided. Personal services are required and provided.
||Students make all coursework selections and select their own courses of study provided they are qualified to enter a program. No IEP exist at the college level. Students are responsible for contacting office that provides support, ask for services and contact the faculty involved. No personal services are provided.
|The parent or guardian is the primary advocate. They work with the school to ensure that the students have appropriate plans, and the correct services are provided.
||Usually the student is own advocate, communicating what the disability is, strengths, weaknesses, as well as learning to talk with faculty. The student must learn about a complex institution and how to take advantage of the numerous opportunities available.
|Classes generally meet once a day; classes are 35 to 45 minutes long; attendance is always taken; classes generally all in one building; guidance counselors or other staff ensure services are provided. Services come from one central office.
||Classes meet from 1 to 5 times a week; classes vary in length from 50 minutes to 3 hours (or even more in summer sessions); classes are held in different buildings with only a fifteen minute break between them. Those services provided may come from different offices, though generally there is one devoted to services for students with disabilities.
|Someone is available to help plan study time and provide encouragement. The staff monitors a student's progress frequently and class tests are often which allow the student/parents/staff to determine whether progress is being made.
||Students are responsible for setting and following through with all scheduling and study time. Some classes have only a final so it is difficult to measure a student’s progress. (Other classes have more frequent tests and papers.) Contact with faculty is less frequent and often students have no assigned counselor, rather meet with whoever is available.
|Parental permission is required until 18 and students generally live at home. Secondary schools tell parents about students' progress.
||Students are considered adults and the school is bound by privacy laws so that parents cannot always be informed about students' work. Students may live on or off campus and responsible for transportation.