All students applying to traditional degree programs are held to the same academic standards and procedures. While more and more colleges are accommodating students with disabilities, they are not covered by IDEA, therefore, students with disabilities need to advocate for accommodations they need because of their disability. They are not "entitled" to the services and support they get in high school. Instead, they must demonstrate that they are eligible for certain services and support. While a student with disabilities still has certain rights, as outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, there are limits to what colleges are required to provide and adjust. However, programs do exist to help students with disabilities get accommodations and services to assist them to succeed in higher education.
Some services such as transportation from home to school and assistance with using the restroom or eating lunch are not required to be provided by colleges and universities under the ADA or Section 504. These services may be essential for your child to attend college. You many need to talk with Disabled Student Services and other students who have the same needs about creative solutions to meet these needs.
Visit www.heath.gwu.edu for information on finding the right post-secondary institute.
Encourage your child to develop the soft skills they need for success in every environment. These skills include communication skills, interpersonal skills, decision-making skills, lifelong learning skills. Parents can help youth develop these skills through modeling them, setting expectations, and through family activities.
Regardless of your child’s transition goal – continuing education or focusing on work, it is critical that they have identified a career interest. Even a tentative career focus provides the reason to pursue postsecondary goals. It is important to make connections between the vision of life after high school and postsecondary opportunities. Making informed choices happens when the time is taken to explore all adult learning opportunities in your community (recreational programs, community education and on the job training options and volunteering, as well as formal learning opportunities through apprenticeships/internships; career-technical institutes, the community college and four year college systems). It is critical for youth to understand their disability, explore the pros and cons of disability disclosure and their need for accommodations.
There are many steps parents can take to actively participate in their child's transition planning. For example:
For more tips and ideas visit: www.thinkcollege.net