CEC Endorses Bill to Support Students with Disabilities in Higher Education
Last week, the Respond, Innovate, Succeed, and Empower (RISE) Act was introduced in Congress. This bipartisan, bicameral initiative was introduced in the House by Reps Bonamici (D-OR), Buschon (R-IN), Schrier (D-WA), and McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and in the Senate by Sens Casey (D-PA), Cassidy (R-LA), Hassan (D-NH), and Young (R-IN).
Endorsed by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) along with other prominent special education and disabilities rights organizations, the RISE Act aims to amend the Higher Education Act to support students with disabilities in college in three major ways:
- First, it requires colleges to accept a student’s IEP, 504 plan, or prior evaluation as proof of their disability when seeking accommodations, removing a financial burden from students and families who would otherwise be required to obtain new evaluations.
- The also bill authorizes increased funding for a technical assistance center that has a dual purpose: First, it will inform students and families on disability services, and second, it will offer faculty training and resources on best practices to support students with disabilities.
- Finally, the RISE Act would make vital information more transparent to students and their families by requiring colleges to report statistics such as the number of students with disabilities served, accommodations provided, and outcomes for these students.