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Capitol Correspondence - 07.31.17

Higher Education Improvement Act Introduced in the House

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On July 12, Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) introduced the Improving Access to Higher Education Act (H.R. 3199). The bill would amend the Higher Education Act to improve access for students with disabilities after completing high school. The bill seeks to address many needs for students with disabilities including training faculty members to deliver accessible instruction. The bill would provide grants to institutions of higher education to train their faculty members on methods, accommodations, career pathway guidance and more to assist students with disabilities. The bill also includes a requirement that all higher education institutions have an office of accessibility that will create and implement policies that support students with disabilities. Other needs that the bill addresses include increasing accessibility to instructional materials and technologies; expanding higher education options for students with disabilities; improving data collection and closed captioning training; and developing a university-wide universal design for learning.
 
The bill currently has 13 cosponsors (all Democrats) and has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.