New Policy Brief by Alan Kurtz and Maine CITE Analyzes Disability-Related Provisions in 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)

Alan Kurtz

Alan Kurtz, Ph.D. candidate and CCIDS’ Coordinator of Education and Autism recently collaborated with Maine CITE Coordinating Center on the development of a policy brief, An Analysis of Disability-Related Provisions in the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA): What Universities and Policy Makers Should Know (PDF). One of the intended goals of the HEOA is to increase access to higher education for a diverse population of individuals, including those with disabilities. This legislation contains a number of new provisions designed specifically to facilitate the participation of students with disabilities in postsecondary education, including those with intellectual and print disabilities.

The purpose of the brief is to provide state agencies, postsecondary institutions, and policy makers with an overview of changes in the HEOA affecting the access to education of postsecondary students with disabilities and the way teacher education programs at Institutions of Higher Learning (IHEs) prepare general and special educators to teach students with disabilities. Specifically, this analysis reviews disability-related terminology new to this revision of the HEOA, access to instructional materials for students with print disabilities, changes in access to financial aid for students with intellectual disabilities, model demonstration projects both for students with print and intellectual disabilities, and new requirements for teacher preparation programs. Implications of HEOA for Maine’s postsecondary institutions, Maine policy makers, and Maine students with disabilities are discussed.

This policy brief was developed with Administrative Core Funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities (Grant No. 90DD0641), and through a collaboration with Maine CITE Coordinating Center.