Special Circumstances Students with Disabilities

Students with Disabilities

Please use the list of links and downloads on the right under “Students with Disabilities” to help you and your student prepare for this option for life after high school.

Students with disabilities can, and should, set a goal for postsecondary education; with the right resources and academic plan, students with physical, mental, and learning disabilities can absolutely succeed in college! The key is to match a student’s needs and interests with a school or program that will provide appropriate support while that student works toward his/her goal. This process involves a lot of research and planning, so this mini-section is meant to give you and your family the resources you’ll need.

Understand the differences between high school accommodations and those in college.

Secondary (high school) Post-secondary (college)
Students’ rights covered under IDEA Students’ rights covered under ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
District responsible for providing evaluation Student responsible for submitting documentation
Evaluation – children scale (i.e., WISC) Evaluation – adult scale (i.e., WAIS-III)
District responsible for implementation of Individualized Education Plan Student responsible to self-disclose disability and request accommodations
Individualized Education Plan (IEP) created by team approach No individual plan. Educational plan created by student and Disability Services staff
District must prove plan is appropriate Student responsible to notify Disability Services if there are problems
Curriculum can be fundamentally altered Curriculum content cannot be altered
Parents actively involved Parents have access to information only with student’s consent

Source: Pennsylvania College of Technology, Disability Services

Research your college options

Plan for your transition to college

A national public radio article with tips for students with ADD or LD as they move ahead with college planning. Check out the links at the bottom of the articles for additional information.

Making the Transition from High School to College for Students with Disabilities: Transition Checklist

Living College Life with a Disability

This web site contains information about living college life with a disability. It is designed for high school students and provides video clips, activities and additional resources that can help them get a head start in planning for college. Through several interviews, college students with disabilities from across Virginia provided key information for the site. These video clips offer a way for students to hear firsthand from students with disabilities who have been successful.

Each module (“My Place,” “Campus Life,” and “Planning for College”) includes several activities that will help students explore more about themselves (both their needs and their strengths), learn what to expect from college, and equip them with important considerations and tasks to complete when planning for college.

Special Circumstances

Online Resources:

Downloads: