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Expert Q&A

My university will not provide accomodations without a recent IEP, which I do not have. Is there anything I can do?

I am a 34-year-old grad school student. I am learning disabled. The only IEP I could find was from 1990 when I was in seventh grade. The university told me my IEP has to be recent to grant me accommodations. I was in special ed. through high school. I have severe learning disabilities. Is this legal to deny me?

Schools should not require special education eligibility as an absolute prerequisite to present accommodations, though the presence of recent and historical accommodations, whether through an IEP or a 504 plan, is important evidence of the ongoing need for the accommodation. In the absence of actual physical evidence of the IEPs you had at the end of high school, you should try to find other ways to document that you received special education.

If you haven’t already, you should certainly contact your high school to see what records they have of your special education status. Even if there is no official record, you should try to locate special education teachers that can provide written documentation of your special education involvement. Letters from your parents and others that will document this would also be helpful in providing supplementary information in place of the official school IEP records. If you had private evaluations along the way, those may also contain references to your special education history, as may notations in your report cards or other progress reports.

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