|Vocational or Trade School
||A vocational school offers training programs that focus on developing a specific set of skills required in a skilled job or trade such as plumbing, culinary arts, or
car repair. Most trade school programs include an apprenticeship component that gives students hands-on experience and a more complete understanding of the field.
||A well-executed transition plan takes students with disabilities from a high school or special education environment into a postsecondary setting, such as vocational
training or independent living. Transition planning usually involves the family and student working with various trained professionals such as teachers, social workers, or
|Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
||A civil rights law enacted in 1990, ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all aspects of public life, such as education and jobs. ADA requires
all places open to the general population to conform to safety and accessibility standards for people with disabilities.
|Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)
||Funded by the ED, the VR program provides a variety of services for people with disabilities that seriously limit their employability. Program participants access
different types of services, such as career counseling and guidance, job placement, and additional training to support job retention. VR services vary among states.
|Ticket to Work Program
||The Ticket to Work program welcomes people with disabilities who wish to reduce or eliminate their dependence on Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental
Security Income. Participants work with service providers such as the State VR Agency or an Employment Network that provide supportive services, such as job placement and financial counseling.
||ADA requires workplaces to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities to ensure that they enjoy the same opportunities as non-disabled individuals
during both the hiring process and the workday. Sometimes called "productivity enhancers," reasonable accommodations involve things like installing a ramp or creating
ergonomic workstations and accessible restrooms.
||Adaptive technology refers to an application or product specifically designed for people with disabilities. Common examples of adaptive technology include modified
steering systems for vehicles, technologies for the hearing impaired (hearing aids or teletype phones), and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems.
Individuals who cannot speak or have difficulty speaking without assistance use AAC systems.
|Individualized Education Program (IEP)
||Most schools offering special educational programs for people with disabilities begin with an IEP. Teachers, school administrators, or guidance counselors assess
students' capabilities and review their educational background to determine proper placement. An IEP typically includes the type of learning environment best suited for
the student, recommended services, academic objectives, and extracurricular activities.
|Summary of Performance (SOP)
||When a student with a disability completes an educational segment (usually high school), the institution compiles all the data and information on the student into a
document called an SOP. It summarizes the student's academic performance and functional capabilities to enable parents, guardians, and invested professionals to help the
student plan the next step in their educational journey or entry into the workforce.
|The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
||This law prohibits the discrimination against qualified people with disabilities in programs specifically administered by federal agencies. The act covers nonprofits
receiving federal financial aid and companies or suppliers under contract with the federal government. It contains an affirmative action provision for contracted companies
with 50 or more employees with a federal contract worth $50,000 or higher.
|Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
||IDEA guarantees free public education to eligible people with disabilities across the country. The law governs the administration of various services such as early
intervention, special education, and vocational training for students with disabilities. IDEA channels discretionary grants through higher education institutions,
nonprofits, and educational agencies to fund special education programs, develop assistive technology, and provide other support services for students with disabilities.
||Assistive technologies comprise a broader classification of items and applications that improve and enhance the ability of persons with disabilities to perform certain
tasks. Stores carry many assistive technologies. Examples include talking calculators, screen readers, and voice recognition programs.
||Educators draw up a 504 Plan for students who may not need special education services, but still exhibit a disability identified by the law. The student may require
additional time to complete certain tasks or the school may need to provide note-taking aids or audiobooks. Educators craft a 504 Plan to give students with disabilities
access to general education material.
|Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
||FERPA ensures the rights of parents to access, amend, and disclose educational information about their child with disabilities. When the child turns 18 or begins a
postsecondary educational or training program at any age, these rights transfer directly to them.
|Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
||FAPE guarantees students with disabilities access to reasonably calculated services designed to help them succeed in an educational setting. For example, a school must
give students with disabilities equal opportunity to participate in a sport without showing preferential treatment.
|Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
||The OCR enforces laws that protect civil rights such as religious freedom, patient safety confidentiality, and health information privacy. OCR maintains programs that
educate communities about these rights, works with nonprofit and other federal agencies to ensure compliance, and investigates and resolves reported violations within a
reasonable time frame.