Excerpt from Disability Blog: (click for entire article)
I have spent more than 30 years in college! Most of them have been working with students who have disabilities. For nearly as long, I have been a member of the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD), which was founded in 1977 to help colleges implement the freshly minted regulations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. For the first time colleges, at least those receiving federal funds, were forbidden from discriminating on the basis of disability and were required to provide equal access to students with disabilities. 1990 brought the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), true civil rights legislation that expanded disability rights beyond the classroom and federal funds recipients to employment and public places.
According to a report from the American Council on Education, the ADA increased participation in higher education by students with disabilities from an estimated seven percent in 1988 to nine percent in 1994. Today, the Government Accountability Office reports that 11 percent of college students report having a disability. Our understanding of disability has also grown. AHEAD now provides guidance on best practices through national conferences and 33 regional affiliates, representing a diverse network of more than 2,500 members who actively address disability issues on their campuses every day, while working on public policy at the state and national levels.