Bi-Partisan RISE Act Introduced in Congress to Increase College Access for Students with Disabilities

Now, as Congress turns its attention to rewriting the Higher Education Act, NCLD will be working to push the RISE Act forward.

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Too often, parents and students share with us the challenges they confront when trying to get services and support in college.

That’s why NCLD has been leading an advocacy effort to ease the transition to college for students with learning and attention issues.

Today, the Respond, Innovate, Support, and Empower Students with Disabilities (RISE) Act was introduced by a bi-partisan group of legislators in the House and Senate: Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Senator Orrin Hatch (R–UT), Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Congresswoman Bonamici (D-OR) and Congressman Bucshon (R-IN) – and with NCLD’s full endorsement.

RISE eliminates two obstacles facing students with disabilities pursuing higher education.

First, this legislation would allow students with disabilities to submit their IEP, 504 plan, or prior evaluation as documentation of their disability when seeking accommodations in college.  This would prevent students from having to acquire a new evaluation to show they still have their disability, a, costly and burdensome requirement that currently exists in many colleges.

In addition, the bill authorizes increased funding for a technical assistance center that: (1) provides students and families information on disability services available in college and how to access them; and (2) offers college faculty training and resources on best practices to support students with disabilities.

NCLD is proud to have worked with the House and Senate – and many organizations in the higher education and disability communities – to introduce these bills and increase opportunities for students with disabilities in college.  Now, as Congress turns its attention to rewriting the Higher Education Act, NCLD will be working to push the RISE Act forward.

Before it can become law, the RISE Act needs greater support in the Senate and the House. Take action now to let your Members of Congress know that you support the RISE Act, and they should, too.  Because students with disabilities deserve the opportunity to succeed in college!

For more information on the bill and the specific ways it addresses the problems confronting college students with disabilities, see NCLD’s summary of the bill



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