Schools cannot discriminate based on disability. If you have a child with a disability and have concerns about educational programs that your child may be entitled to or eligible for, contact your local public school system.
Higher education in Kentucky consists of a variety of colleges and universities, along with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Students seek higher education for many different reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because students who take part in higher education can earn more money than those with a high school education.
What is IDEA?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that provides services for children whose disability negatively affects their educational performance and/or ability to benefit from the general education. For school-aged children and youth (age 3 to 21), supplemental education and related services are provided through the public school system. A written Individualized Education Program (IEP) is required with specific content about services to be provided.
If the child is in school, IDEA specifies that assistive technology is any “item, piece of equipment of product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” Assistive technology devices and services are to be made “available to a child with a disability if required as part of the child’s special education, related services, or supplemental aids and services.”
What is Supported Higher Education?
Supported Higher Education in Kentucky is provided at several colleges and universities around the state. Supported higher education provides a way for students with intellectual disabilities to continue their education past high school, like their peers without disabilities. The Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008 provides guidelines that gives students with intellectual disabilities access to Federal financial aid, including Pell grants and work-study, when they enroll in a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP). The Kentucky legislature unanimously passed legislation enabling students in CTPs to access Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) funds. Currently, students can access up to $250 KEES funds a semester.
In Kentucky, there are currently three CTPs at Murray State University, Spalding University, and Bluegrass Community and Technical College. The Supported Higher Education Project (SHEP) at the University of Kentucky provides assistance to potential students and schools.
Transition is the “exit” out of a child’s secondary school to the adult world. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that children with disabilities have access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that prepares them for further education, employment, and independent living. One strategy for ensuring a successful transition, is planning. As part of IDEA, schools are required to provide transition planning to help the student identify interests, strengths, preferences and needs. Transition planning also means identifying possible post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, and/or community participation. Transition is also developing a coordinated set of activities for a student that will help him or her to achieve those goals.