Accommodations for High School Students in Advanced Placement (AP) Classes

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Can my high school student with a learning disability take an AP class? The school told us AP classes were not for kids with LD.

This is discrimination that is actionable under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Read for yourself what “The Commentary” says in the Federal Register of August 14, 2006, at page 46668.

Beginning not later than
the first IEP to be in effect when the
child turns 16 years of age, section
614(d)(1)(A)(i)(VIII)(aa) of the Act
requires a child’s IEP to include
measurable postsecondary goals in the
areas of training, education, and
employment, and, where appropriate,
independent living skills.

Section 300.320(b)(2)
includes a reference to ‘‘courses of
study’’ [ (such as participation in
advanced-placement course or a
vocational education program) ] as part of transition services,
consistent with section
614(d)(1)(A)(i)(VIII)(bb) of the Act. ……

The US Department of Education assumed that a child planning to go to college may well be taking AP classes.

If the school allows my child to take an AP class, is he also allowed to have accommodations?

Of course. Failure to do so, again, is a violation of Section 504.

More Resources

College: Continuing and Higher Education

Prohibition Against Disability-Based Discrimination

School Says, “No Advanced Classes for Kids with IEPs”

Why College is Daunting for Kids with LD

Transition, Transition Services, and Transition Planning


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02/16/2021 4:10 pm

I am a bit confused. why would a kid who is smart enough to take an AP class require accommodations. Shouldn’t accommodations be provided for those who struggle with education?

02/17/2021 11:53 am
Reply to  Tom

Yes, but “struggle with education” comes in different forms for different people.(deaf, visually impaired, dyslexic) The ADA law says that all people are to have equal access to what “normal” people have access to. So if I can perform in an accelerated class with text to voice, braille, or more time, then I am to get that.

10/17/2019 4:28 pm

It is my understanding, if your child’s performance is NOT hindered by their disability, they may not qualify for services, even if they have one of the thirteen disabilities. So, my question is, if a student can successfully complete the rigor required in AP classes, as a student with a LD, I’m assuming their is no educational need for services. Is this correct or incorrect?
Thank you.

07/31/2018 6:15 pm

Whoever told you that is demonstrating that they do not understand what a learning disability is. If it is in a meeting, and the attitude persists, perhaps turning things around on them, and asking them to define what your student’s issues are, what they represent, your student’s strengths and weaknesses. The school personnel are definitely showing a lack of understanding of learning disabilities as technical difficulties in acquiring, processing, or output of information. There are many LD students that are also gifted. It is now referred to frequently as twice exceptional. It is disheartening to see this kind of attitude remaining decades after it should have been gone. Best of luck to you, and hold to it, get your student in the level his academic abilities indicate.