Preparing Students with Disabilities for Higher Education
“What Parents Can Do”
With your student, learn about a student’s disability rights and responsibilities in higher education. (IEP no longer valid; 504 plan does not continue into college)
Assist your student in:
- examining if higher education is a suitable option
- Developing personal responsibility by increasing opportunities for decision making, self-management and advocating for self
- Developing independence in learning, study and living skills essential to success in higher education
- Accessing services of various agencies, i.e., Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, etc.
- Identifying assistive technologies that will help compensate for the impact of the disability. For example, text to speech software, voice recognition software, organizational tools
- Identifying external supports provided by family and school that will become the student’s responsibility in higher education such as editing papers, establishing curfews, monitoring completion of homework. Ask student to suggest ways he/she will manage these tasks.
Encourage your student to practice describing to you his/her academic strengths, limitations and kinds of supports provided by the high school to be prepared to discuss these issues with others specifically the higher ed disability service provider.
Assist your student in identifying colleges that best suit his/her curricular interests and aptitude as well as level of disability support needed.
Discuss appropriate on or off campus housing, if your student is planning to live away from home.
Strongly encourage your student to register with the disability services office prior to the beginning of the first semester.
Provide as much support as needed during the adjustment phase. However, remember the positive self-management skills your student learns in college will be important for future endeavors.