Inclusive Higher Education Committee Releases Publication on Youth with I/DD and Academics

The Inclusive Higher Education Committee has been working since 2006 to provide technical assistance to Congress, the Administration, and the field regarding postsecondary education of students with intellectual disability, and to promote improved opportunities and funding.  The Committee is comprised of disability and education policy experts. 

The report examines issues regarding needed alignment of services and collaboration among agencies and institutions of higher education (IHEs) to achieve the goal of supporting youth with intellectual disability (ID) to obtain increased academic learning, independent living, and competitive integrated employment through participation in postsecondary education. The report identifies and recommends addressing barriers to student participation in higher education programs for students with intellectual disability that are the result of a lack of alignment in the implementation of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Recommendations identified in the report include:

  • Issue new guidance to reflect the intent of Congress in HEOA, IDEA, and WIOA, and align with the original Department interpretation of IDEA and WIOA as clearly stated in the regulations preamble language for both statutes. This will ensure that students with intellectual disability receive the support they need to enroll and succeed in postsecondary education and subsequently obtain successful employment outcomes.


  • Clearly state in new guidance that IDEA Part B funds may be used to support students still eligible for IDEA in postsecondary and community-based settings.


  • Clearly state in new guidance that VR funds can be used to support students with intellectual disability in postsecondary education programs.


  • Clearly state in the guidance that students with intellectual disability in postsecondary programs meet the WIOA definition of “student with a disability” if the student meets the age requirements.


  • Follow-up with states which are denying services to students with ID based on a mistaken interpretation of the RSA TAC to inform these states about the new guidance.


  • Require WINTAC to correct inaccurate or incomplete documents, including those related to students “exiting” high school and the document regarding counseling on CTPs.


  • Share information about the new guidance widely.