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  Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Rehabilitation Services
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 High School Students
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     Message to Families & Guardians
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     Eligibility & Entitlement
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  2009 MD Transition Institute Findings

High School Students

Eligibility & Entitlement

A teenage girl smiles for the camera.

Students with a wide variety of significant physical, emotional, cognitive and learning disabilities may qualify for services.

It is important for parents to understand the difference between "eligibility" and "entitlement" programs.  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA) assures that all children with a disability are entitled to a free, appropriate public education, designed to meet their unique needs.  Toward the end of high school, students with disabilities may choose to seek services from a public rehabilitation program, such as DORS.  These programs operate under another law—the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. This law requires applicants to meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for services.

It is also important to know that funding for rehabilitation services is limited. This means that individuals with the most significant disabilities are served first. Even if eligible, students with less significant disabilities may not receive services.

Note that students who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are presumed eligible and to have a significant disability.

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Transitioning High School Students: What's Next?
 DORS in the News
DORS Helps Young People with Training and Employment
Residential Program Teaches Community Living Skills
Pilot Program Brings Transition Counselor In-house
Division of Rehabilitation Services • 2301 Argonne Drive • Baltimore, MD 21218 • 410-554-9442 • 888-554-0334
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