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The Top Ethical Issues Relating To Disabilities

1198 words - 5 pages

An issue of growing concern facing rehabilitation professionals today relates to transition services. Specifically, young adults experience a transition from secondary education into either the workforce or post-secondary education and potentially another transition from post-secondary education into the workforce. For people with disabilities, these transitions may become more arduous and complex depending on the breadth and depth of accommodations a given individual requires to function at a high level in their environment. To make that transition as smooth as possible, any number of services may need to coordinate their efforts including the secondary school system, vocational ...view middle of the document...

As such, pertinent literature will be discussed and implications for the collaboration between post-secondary institutions and other rehabilitation service systems will be drawn.

Post-Secondary Students with Disabilities: The “Who”
For high school students with disabilities, the opportunity to further their learning is increasing and enrollment numbers are growing at post-secondary institutions (Hadley, 2011; Wagner, Newman, Cameto, & Levine, 2005). Students with disabilities in the secondary educational system are protected by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004, which requires secondary school districts to develop special education programs and services, including a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment (i.e., with a minimum of segregation from nondisabled students) (AHEAD, 2002). Stated another way, IDEIA mandates entitlement programs to make certain that accommodations are made for secondary students. When secondary students with disabilities matriculate into post-secondary institutions, a subtle transition of accountability also occurs as the student’s accommodations are met through eligibility programs. In other words, the student is deemed eligible for accommodations through some form of assessment or confirmation of disability when they were entitled to the same services previously. In legislative terms, secondary students are entitled to accommodations through IDEIA while post-secondary students must be determined eligible for services. Then, if it is determined that a student is eligible for accommodations, those accommodations are governed through the Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (AHEAD, 2002).
At the post-secondary level, students are expected to manage increased levels of personal freedom, deal with the unique challenges presented by their disabilities, and to matriculate successfully into a new collegiate environment. As such, challenges can include the development of skills such as stating one’s disability or discussing disability-related accommodations with professors—all strategies related to a successful transition from high school to college (Heiman and Precel 2003). Further, these adaptations may be more challenging for students with disabilities who often have difficulty knowing how their disability will affect them in college. For example, students may face new types of testing situations and classroom instruction, novel social interactions, and the need to organize thoughts, information, and tasks (Brinckerhoff, McGuire, and Shaw 2002; Janiga and Costenbader 2002; Milsom and Hartley 2005).
For post-secondary students with disabilities, some factors are “critical” for success and translating to higher graduation rates including self-determination, self-advocacy, and agency (Hadley, 2011; Chiba & Low, 2007; Torkelson-Lynch & Gussel, 1996). In addition, building awareness around...

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