Feed on

The RISE Act Introduced in the Senate

On December 9, the Respond, Innovate, Support, and Empower Students with Disabilities (RISE) Act was introduced in the Senate by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Orin Hatch (R-UT), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA).  The RISE Act amends the Higher Education Act to clarify the documentation an institution of higher education must accept when considering whether an enrolled student has a disability.  Specifically, the RISE Act clarifies that prior documentation used in K-12 education to receive special education or accommodations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, among other types of documentation, would be sufficient to demonstrate that an individual has a disability in the context of higher education.  Typically, students attempting to receive accommodations for a disability must go through a two-step process.  The initial step requires verification of a disability, which then leads to an agreement about what reasonable accommodations the school may be able to provide.  The bill explicitly outlines acceptable forms of documentation that students may provide to institutions as evidence of a disability.  However, reasonable accommodation decisions are still to be made on a case-by-case basis, as is currently done by schools.  The bill authorizes $10 million for the National Center for Information and Technical Support for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities, an existing program within HEOA.  This Center provides young adults with disabilities and their families with the relevant information about disability services needed to know how to access available resources and supports.  This Center is also charged with supporting disability training for college faculty in addition to providing information to students and families.  For more information, visit:  https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/3521/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22RISE+Act%22%5D%7D&r=1.

Leave a Reply

MDTAP | 2301 Argonne Drive, Room T17 Baltimore, Maryland 21218| Voice: 410-554-9230 Toll Free ⁄ Voice 1-800-832-4827|Email: mdtap@mdtap.org