We get this question a lot from parents who have concerns about their children going to college, whether the campus is close or far from home. Students receiving special education services in high school receive a great deal of support in terms of educational instruction/content and accommodations. When students enroll in college and move away from this amount of support, it can be scary for both parents and students. However, there is good news that a lot of parents, students, and even some teachers are not aware of.
The majority of public and private colleges have disability support services that students can be approved for and receive support from. The amount of support and services available will vary, and this is something you and your child should ask about when touring college campuses. In order to be considered for these services, your child needs a current evaluation, documenting the nature of the disability and how school performance is affected. Typically colleges will want an evaluation completed within the last 1-2 years. In addition, you need to provide them with the current accommodations and modifications your child receives so the college can review them.
If your child has a current evaluation but you are missing paperwork, simply contact the special education department at your child’s school to obtain a copy. If a new evaluation or reevaluation needs to be completed, contact us today at www.jcbdiagnostics.com to conduct one for your child. Most schools will not conduct a new evaluation when a student is nearing graduation, just so they can have a new report to take with them to college. In addition, if they have no previous evaluation, schools will typically refuse testing based on their determination of a lack of academic need. It is very possible that an older student may require specialized services and for whatever reason was never identified. JCB Diagnostics can conduct these evaluations for you so you can avoid a refusal of testing or having to wait a long period of time.
Something else that many parents, students, and even educators are not aware of is that a student who meets criteria for a disability category can request support from the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities committee. If approved, students with disabilities can receive testing accommodations, such as extended time or small group testing, for college entrance exams like the ACT or SAT. The College Board information to apply is located here. The application process can take up to 2 months, so it is best to get started early. Contact us with any questions about applying.
We hope this post answered your questions about disability services in college. Keep in mind, a good special education program should prepare students for this transition by teaching good self-advocacy skills and independent study strategies. Contact your special education department and tell them your concerns if you feel these skills aren’t as strong as they could be. As always, contact us with any questions or comments and let us know how we can help you! Also, comment below any colleges you have found with strong disability support programs so that we can share that knowledge with our followers.
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