Sen. Laura Fine


SPRINGFIELD – Higher education institutions in Illinois will soon be required to provide accommodations for individuals with disabilities if they meet transparent eligibility requirements thanks to an initiative from State Senator Laura Fine that was signed by the governor on Friday.

“Students should not have to face roadblocks or jump through hoops to receive accommodations for their disabilities,” said Fine (D-Glenview). “This law will ensure students will not face unnecessary hurdles to access the support they need.”

Currently, federal law only protects students with disabilities seeking public higher education from being discriminated against based on their disability and does not outline the need for reasonable academic accommodations past high school. Senate Bill 99 establishes a process for students with disabilities to receive reasonable accommodations from public universities and colleges.

This legislation defines the types of documents that universities must accept as proof of a disability in order for a student to receive necessary accommodations. From this information, colleges and universities are required to provide reasonable accommodations that they deem to be appropriate for the student requesting the services. This ensures that students will receive the support they need to thrive in higher education.

Additionally, public universities are also required to adopt transparent policies regarding disability services and to share the information with students and families so that prospective students with disabilities can make informed decisions about the quality of services a university can provide them. All of these statutes will provide students with disabilities necessary supports when pursuing higher education.

“Families and students want to choose a college that fits them best. People with disabilities should have access to information that will greatly impact their college experience — including the current accessibility services of schools — so they can make informed decisions about their future,” said Fine. “This initiative will grant them more transparency to make these decisions.”

Senate Bill 99 was signed into law on Friday.