Transitioning to college can be a challenge for any student, but for students with disabilities, there may be particular challenges. For one thing, the laws that govern accommodations are different for post-secondary students.
College students need to be aware of their own rights and responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of the college they choose to attend. For example, in K-12, you might have had a 504 plan or an IEP. Your college may not be able to match your previous 504 plan or IEP. However, Sweet Briar will do our best to provide adequate accommodations.
You’re under no obligation to notify your college that you have a disability, but you should know that if you choose not to disclose, you may lose out on some accommodations that you might find helpful, like auxiliary aids and services, priority registration, recording devices, substituting one course for another and much more.
As a post-secondary student, you will need to advocate for yourself to ensure that you’re getting the necessary services and accommodations that will help you be successful in College.
You’ve taken the first step already, by visiting this website, which will tell you what Sweet Briar’s process is for setting up reasonable accommodations. Make sure you bring documentation to college to establish what kind of disability and related accommodations you may need. In fact, providing your IEP or 504 plan document will be a great help in determining what accommodations would help you. You should also be sure to follow up with accessibility services should there be a change in your circumstances or if you find that the accommodations you’ve worked out are not sufficient.
Of course, there will be a change for families too. While at the K-12 level, parents and families take an active role in getting their students reasonable accommodations, at the post-secondary level, students will themselves be responsible to seeking out and getting accommodations.
For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Education website.