Disability Services Parents’ Corner

Disability Services Parents’ Corner

As parents, you have helped your young adult get to this educational milestone! Disability Services recognizes the supportive role families play for students. We strive to help students ease the transition from high school to college. It is your student’s responsibility to develop the self-knowledge and self-advocacy skills that are essential to the success of any individual with a disability.

Throughout your student’s high school years, you may have worked closely with a team of administrators, counselors and teachers to ensure that your student received appropriate accommodations. In college, the responsibility of handling this process becomes the student’s; an important life skill called self-advocacy. The expectations are that they will assume responsibilities for meeting their class requirements.

What can parents do to help students transition from high school to college?

  • Encourage your student to get services set up early.
  • Review the school’s Disability Services website together to understand policy and procedures.
  • Assist your student in getting appropriate documentation, but allow the student to provide Disability Services the information by making an intake appointment.
  • Review the documentation; help the student understand the diagnosis and recommendations so he or she is comfortable talking with the instructor.
  • Allow them to be in control of their education. This is part of the transitional process, and it’s important to know when to step in and help and when to allow the student to have consequences for their own choices.
  • Help them figure out the next steps to take, but allow them to take action on their own. They should send their own email messages and or make their own appointments with the appropriate people who can assist them. Solve problems with them, not for them.
  • Encourage them to make connections with Disability Services staff, their academic advisor, instructors, peers and others who can assist them during their college years.

What can new college students do to transition from high school to college?

Students must make the first contact with Disability Services and understand what accommodations can be provided by the college, as they may differ from high school IEP or 504 plans.

Students should provide appropriate and current documentation (not just a high school IEP or 504 plan) that verifies the student’s disability and supports requested accommodations. Students should have a good understanding of their disability and any support services they need to be successful. They will be responsible for speaking with disability staff and faculty regarding their accommodation plans and any support services they might require.

It is important that students understand policies, procedures and timelines of Disability Services, which are outlined on our website and in our student handbook.

Students registered with Disability Services agree to have accommodation plans sent to their instructors each term. Their use of accommodations will depend on the classes, college and state standards, and instructors’ teaching styles. Students have the right to refuse accommodations and have all disability services terminated at any time with official written notification to Disability Services.

It is also the students’ responsibility to advocate for themselves and discuss their specific needs with their instructors at the beginning of each course which may or may not include disclosure of their specific disability.

What is the College’s responsibility to students who are disabled?

  • Provide equal access to programs and services in accordance with federal and state laws.
  • Determine if the student is eligible for services. Guidelines for eligibility can be found on our website. Maintain confidentiality of disability-related information.
  • Allow for reasonable accommodations, adjustments and modifications that cannot alter the core requirements of the classes.
  • Develop policies and procedures related to students with disabilities and offer support towards the goal of equitable access for all parties.

 What the College is NOT required to do:

  • Reduce or waive the essential requirements of a course or program.
  • Provide evaluations or testing to diagnose a disability.
  • Prepare IEP’s reflective of past accommodations in a secondary program.
  • Ensure a student is academically successful.
  • Keep parents informed of the student’s progress.
  • Provide personal assistants.
  • Monitor the academic progress of students on a weekly basis.
  • Provide small classroom or one-on-one academic support.