You will need your team in place when you go for your first semester in college!
Ensuring Your Disability Accommodations
How do I ensure my accommodations and supports for learning are given to me in college? Most schools, right after you decide to accept the admission—take a moment and feel joy —have a process to follow. Many have an Intake Form; some have this form accessible on their web pages under the Accessibility Services or Students with Disabilities Services. You must also call the school’s ADA Coordinator. Need help doing this? Contact me to help. This person often has a variety of titles: Director of Student Accessibility Services, Access Coordinator, Associate Dean of Student Services, etc. You can check later this summer on my Supportive College Database for the exact titles and links for specific schools by region. I hope to have it all up in time for the beginning of college entrance in August. Keep Checking!
Once you have contacted the ADA Coordinator, you will be required to submit a full, current Psychological Evaluation, which encompasses a series of tests. Most coordinators will tell you the complete list of testing required, or you can contact a psychologist who specializes in testing. The testing, under the law, must be within 3 years to be considered current. I urge all students to have this testing done in senior year of secondary school, and then again in senior year of college.
After this, each school has a process to ensure you are given what you need to learn effectively and successfully in college, within the requirements of the law. You will not be given what you do not need. Often upon receipt of the forms and testing documentation, the ADA Coordinators will want to have a meeting with you to discuss how you learn, what you have found to be helpful, and to get to know you. Make friends! This is your central support office while in College. This is not the time to be brave or shy…this is the time to be honest, talk openly about what your disability is, and to get as much support and assistance as possible. College is great; truly great! However, if you find yourself quickly treading water, you need to have a life preserver to cling to….these office and people are professionally trained to support YOU! Don’t for one second hesitate in asking for help.
How you get the tools to help will come from a many offices or centers, depending on the school. Some are centralized and coordinated through one office, others are made available through several, but in all cases, you must go to for yourself. Need some assistance putting your map together and getting your own personal coordination checklist together? Not sure what to ask for? Need someone to read your evaluation and let you know what tools and services you are entitled to under the law. Contact me. Almost every college provides psychological counseling support through a Counseling center, social support in Residence Life, and there are drug and alcohol abuse support programs either directly at the school or within the community. Self-Advocate!
Yes, you can still get your extended time testing, if you need. You can get your reduced course load or priority registration, note taking, lecture recordings, peer tutoring, etc. There are so many services and technological tools available, such as Lifescribe™ Pens.
Now that you have chosen your college, now is the time to get in touch with the services and ADA Coordinator to make your transition go smoothly. Some schools offer a summer program for a weekend to facilitate getting to know the campus, the services and introduce yourself to the various support people in different areas of the school. Take advantage of this…Congratulations…the hard part is over, now the adventure can truly start!