Why is there a difference between the services I was offered in high school and those I am eligible to receive at Berkeley?

The laws that address students' access to K-12 education and to postsecondary education offer different protections to students and result in different accommodations.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act covers public school students with disabilities in the United States from elementary school through high school and focuses on student success. Students with disabilities are provided with the curriculum and accomodations they require to be successful in meeting their individualized goals. In some cases, this means that students with disabilities are meeting different goals than their peers without disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act covers students with disabilities in postescondary settings and focuses on student access. Students with disabilities are provided with accommodations that remove barriers in the academic environment to help ensure that they can participate equally. However, the goals and standards that students with disabilities are required to meet must remain the same as the goals and standards that students without disabilities are required to meet.

Certain accommodations that some students received in high school would typically be considered modifications of course standards in college and would be unlikely to be approved. (i.e. completing only the odd-numbered problems on math homework, having multiple attempts to pass written exams, or having open-book or untimed exams).

You may also find that Berkeley has the ability to offer you accommodations that your high school could not. For instance, you may have had a peer note taker provide you with class notes in high school. At Berkeley, you may find that you are instead approved to utilize technology that will allow you to take notes independently.

In your intake appointment, your Disability Specialist will want to know about your past accommodations as you work together to determine your current appropriate accommodations. If you have questions about why a specific accommodation from high school is not recommended as one of your accommodations in college, be sure to ask your Disability Specialist.