Students with Disabilities



A disability is an impairment (physical, mental, psychological) that limits one or more of a person's major life activities.  Any student with a documented* disability can be provided with accommodations to help ensure academic success beyond high school. Accommodations are different than modifications:  

 ACCOMMODATIONS         MODIFICATIONS
Are allowed in college    Are NOT allowed in college
Help students work with their disability    Help students succeed to the degree that they can
The course and learning goals are not changedThe course requirements and learning goals are changed
Examples: providing more time, 1:1 instruction, audio book optionExamples: reducing homework, changing grading criteria, simplifying lessons


In college, degree programs and course requirements will not be modified for a student for a student with disabilities; however, a student has a legal right to accommodations to help them be successful within the program. A student must contact the disability department at their prospective school in order to receive the accomodations.  Any accommodations must be set up in writing at the beginning of the term.  For instance, if a student wants to try college without accommodations, and then after the midterm realizes having more time would of been beneficial, it will be too late to apply the accommodations retroactively.  It is better for a student to set up accommodation needs ahead of time and have the accommodations accessible for use if needed.

*Documentation of a Disability   
Documentation must describe how the disability affects a student in a learning environment and may include any of the following:  
  • Copies of medical records, diagnostic reports, or evaluations from a medical provider
  • Individual Education Plan (IEP) from a student’s high school (specialized instruction plan)  
  • 504 Plan from a student’s high school (accommodations for a disability)
Highlights
  • Apply for accommodations when taking GED, ACT, or SAT
  • Make sure disability documentation is up-to-date 
  • Contact the disability resource department of a prospective school as soon as possible to set up accommodations
Success Tips
  • Work through the Disability Services Checklist with students
  • Make sure students understand their disability and how setting up accommodations is in their best interest