Mobile – Student Disability
Plan for College Early
It is essential to begin planning for college as early as possible. There is much to do and learn before the first day of college classes begin.
Learn the Skills Necessary for College Success
The academic, personal, and social skills that are needed to succeed in college are very different from those required in high school.
Stay On Track for College with Our Checklist
- Contact a guidance counselor and design a college preparatory class schedule.
- Develop a clear understanding of the nature of your disability and how it affects learning.
- Take courses or participate in groups that promote skills in time management, studying, assertiveness training, stress management, and exam preparation.
- Prepare for all classes.
- Explore career options (interest inventories, career fairs, discussion with school personnel and parents).
- Develop skills for academic independence (time management, study skills, notetaking, and so forth).
- Participate in extracurricular activities (athletic and nonathletic).
- Continue to remediate and/or compensate for basic-skill deficits.
- Determine what types of courses are necessary for admission to college (keep in mind, modified courses may not be acceptable for admission to some postsecondary institutions).
- Investigate assistive technology tools (communicative devices, unique computer needs, TTY, etc.).
- Continue academic preparation and remediation/compensation strategies, and identify any assistive technology needs.
- Identify interests, aptitudes, and accommodation needs.
- Continue to develop self-advocacy skills (asking for help, communicating needs to instructors, and so forth).
- Meet with guidance counselor to discuss college and college requirements.
- Find out if the schools you are interested in require or recommend that candidates take the ACT or SAT exams. If they do, make preparations to take the appropriate exam.
- Find out about documentation required by ACT/SAT in order to receive testing accommodations.
- Attend college fairs.
- Visit colleges and other postsecondary education training options.
- Gather information about college programs and about services offered for students with disabilities and make certain you understand their requirements for documentation of disability.
- Identify application deadlines for postsecondary support programs.
- Investigate eligibility requirements and services available through the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services.
- Participate in volunteer and paid work experiences.
- Determine need for technology training and assessment.
- Continue academic preparation and remediation/compensation strategies, assistive technology needs, and self-advocacy skills.
- Focus on matching interests/abilities and career goals to appropriate postsecondary education choice.
- Identify appropriate postsecondary choice.
- Take ACT or SAT with or without accommodations.
- Establish tentative career goal.
- Identify people to write recommendations for you.
- Invite Department of Rehabilitation Services counselor and other appropriate adult agency representatives to IEP meeting for discussion and planning of post-high school options.
- Tour postsecondary campuses and be sure to include the disability services office.
- Investigate services offered by postsecondary setting and determine which settings match individual needs and goals.
- Learn to use public transportation options.
- Obtain picture identification or driver’s license.
- Obtain documentation of disability from current assessment (within two years of graduation date) because colleges require current assessments.
- Check with the learning institution(s) of your choice regarding requirements for disability documentation.
- Strengthen self-advocacy skills (your legal responsibilities change after the age of 18).
- Prepare transition packet for disability documentation including: current and past evaluation reports, transcripts, test scores, current IEP, medical records, writing samples, and letters of recommendation.
- Role-play interviews.
- Talk with students who are receiving services at colleges and other postsecondary training setting about their experiences.
- Schedule an interview and tour with your schools of interest. Be sure to include the disability services office on each tour.
- Prepare applications.
- Determine need for assistive technology and assessment.
- Once you have chosen your top schools, begin the process of applying for accommodations through the school’s disability services office.
Complete the Required Documentation
The law allows postsecondary institutions to require documentation from a student before determining a student’s eligibility for accommodations based on a disability.
Take The Necessary Tests
If you are a student with a learning disorder or attention deficit disorder and you find that your college of choice is going to require that you be retested, there are several options you have in terms of locating someone to administer the new testing.
Apply for College
If you have a disability, follow the same steps for choosing and applying to a school as any other student, but you should also evaluate schools based on their ability to accommodate your needs.
Students should be prepared for a difference in the type of accommodations provided at the post-secondary level. Colleges are required by law to provide accommodations and modifications that are REASONABLE and that do not fundamentally alter the essential elements of a course, a program or the evaluation standards of a course or program. In addition, accommodations are provided based directly on the impact of a student’s diagnosed disorder.