Information for Parents, College Counselors, Transition Counselors

If you are a parent, college counselor, high school transition counselor, or someone similar to these roles, please review the following information before scheduling the student appointment.

1.  We invite you to read An Open Letter to Parents of Students with Disabilities About to Enter College, which was written by a parent of a student with a disability, who also works in the disability services field.  Read her advice in this short, quick read on how to best transition your student from being a child with a disability, to being an adult with a disability.

2.  Try to work with your student on placing the call to our office themselves in order to schedule their appointment.  We review a lot of information to help them prep for the appointment, so it is best if this information goes directly to them rather than to you to then pass on to the student.  Your student will become the primary communicator, advocate, etc. for themselves in college so it is best they practice as much as possible in communicating directly with college staff and faculty.  We will walk them through all the information needed and answer their questions, so this is a great time for the student to practice how to have these conversations in college.  The student should review the 'be your own advocate' section which is in the 'guide for students with disabilities' tab under 'tips and information.'

3.  If you your student is unable to communicate via phone, we also can communicate via email.  Even if your student has some difficulty with communication, it is still best that they practice being in the primary role of communicating for themselves.  Under our 'guide for students with disabilities' tab, you can click on the 'get started' section, which will give your student example questions to practice ahead of time.  There are questions that the student can ask their provider if they don't have a good understanding of their disability, and example questions of what our department will be asking them.

4. The National Parent Center on Transition and Employment is a great resource for parents in guiding you how to help your student take over the primary role in self-advocating for their needs.  This article on how to Help Your Young Adult Learn About Accessing Accommodations After High School specifically has some great tips.  

5. Your student will want to learn that Secondary schools follow the IDEA law, which is designed to provide 'success' for students with the end goal of graduating high school, while Post-Secondary schools follow the American's with Disabilities Act, which is designed to provide 'access' for students.  The ADA is similar to employment, meaning that a student needs to be 'otherwise qualified' with or without accommodations.  The accommodations do not make the student qualified.  The success of the student is not guaranteed and is up to the student to meet each course competencies.  The accommodations/services a student is approved for, may be different from what they received in high school.  High school accommodations don't automatically transfer over to the post secondary setting.  Here are two links that help explain the difference in services between high school and college.

UMass Dartmouth High School versus College

University of Washington High School versus College