We hope that the information on this page - and others on our website - will give you the information you need to familiarize yourself with disability services at the University level so that you understand how to navigate this environment.
The Office of Civil Rights publishes a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) designed to inform parents and students about the changes that they will experience in college. This page and OCR's website should give you a sense of the differences between the K-12 service model and the college model.
As a student with a disability leaving high school and entering postsecondary education, will I see differences in my rights and how they are addressed?
Yes. Section 504 and Title II protect elementary, secondary and postsecondary students from discrimination. Nevertheless, several of the requirements that apply through high school are different from the requirements that apply beyond high school. For instance, Section 504 requires a school district to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to each child with a disability in the district's jurisdiction. Whatever the disability, a school district must identify an individual's education needs and provide any regular or special education and related aids and services necessary to meet those needs as well as it is meeting the needs of students without disabilities.
Unlike your high school, Seton Hall is not required to provide FAPE. Rather, we are required to provide appropriate academic adjustments as necessary to ensure that the University does not discriminate on the basis of disability.
Do I have to inform a postsecondary school that I have a disability?
No. However, if you want Seton Hall to provide an academic adjustment, you must identify yourself as having a disability. Likewise, you should let the University know about your disability if you want to ensure that you are assigned to accessible facilities. In any event, your disclosure of a disability is always voluntary.
What documentation should I provide?
Seton Hall requires you to provide documentation prepared by an appropriate professional, such as a medical doctor, psychologist or other qualified diagnostician. The required documentation may include one or more of the following: a diagnosis of your current disability; the date of the diagnosis; how the diagnosis was reached; the credentials of the professional; how your disability affects a major life activity; and how the disability affects your academic performance. The documentation should provide enough information for you and Disability Support Services' (DSS) staff to decide what is an appropriate academic adjustment.
Although an individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan, if you have one, may help identify services that have been effective for you, it is not sufficient documentation. This is because postsecondary education presents different demands than high school education, and what you need to meet these new demands may be different. Also in some cases, the nature of a disability may change. If the documentation that you have does not meet Seton Hall's requirements, a DSS official will tell you in a timely manner what additional documentation you need to provide. You may need a new evaluation in order to provide the required documentation.
Who has to pay for a new evaluation?
Neither your high school nor Seton Hall is required to conduct or pay for a new evaluation to document your disability and need for an academic adjustment. This may mean that you have to pay or find funding to pay an appropriate professional for an evaluation.
How do institutions determine what academic adjustments are appropriate for me?
Once you have identified yourself as a student with a disability, requested an academic adjustment and provided appropriate documentation upon request, DSS staff will discuss with you what academic adjustments are appropriate in light of your individual needs and the nature of the institution's program. Students with disabilities possess unique knowledge of their individual disabilities and should be prepared to discuss the functional challenges they face and, if applicable, what has or has not worked for them in the past. DSS staff are prepared to describe the barriers you may face in individual classes that may affect your full participation, as well as discuss academic adjustments that might enable you to overcome those barriers.
More resources that can assist with transition to post-secondary education:
- DO-IT University of Washington presents Preparing for College: An Online Tutorial
- Office of Civil Rights (OCR) presents Transition of Students to Postsecondary Education
- PEPNet presents iTransition
- LD Online presents Transition: School to Work
- Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) presents resources for Students, Parents and Families
- West Bergen Mental Health Clinic
- ASPEN (Asperger Syndrome Education Network)