Advocacy Alert: 3/24/23


March 24, 2023 | by Amber Smock

Support Illinois College Students with Disabilities

Access Living friends and allies,

We need your help to support students with disabilities who are entering a college or university in Illinois.

Currently there is no standard for what is accepted as proof of disability to receive accommodations at the college level. There is an Illinois bill in our State Senate that can help.

Quick link to email action here.

Why is this an issue?

Despite having lifelong disabilities, many students are required by their colleges to obtain evaluations before entering college. This process can be very time consuming and costly. It is especially frustrating for students who have had their disabilities documented with their K-12 schools through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan. 

Proposed Solution:

The Removing Barriers to Higher Education Success Act (SB 99) can be a solution to this issue. SB 99 clarifies that prior documentation used in high school to receive special education or accommodations, such as an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan, would be sufficient to demonstrate that an individual has a disability to a public college or university.

SB 99 is modeled after a bill that recently became law in Arizona. Hopefully, Illinois can be the second state to remove the burdensome red tape for college students with disabilities and ensure that they have access to the accommodations they deserve.

What doesn’t the bill do?

This bill does nothing to change the types of accommodations that are offered at the college level. Those specifics will remain a conversation between the individual and the school.

How can you help?

Please contact your State Senator and encourage them to support SB 99. You can contact your Senator at this link to send them an email.