It is a good idea to identify schools with support programs for students with disabilities. All schools are required to provide necessary accommodations for students with disabilities, but there are schools throughout the country that offer additional programs to help with the transition to college.
The Counseling Center has a print book called The K & W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorder. This is a state-by-state breakdown of schools along with a checklist of the additional supports and accommodations offered.
The SAT and ACT are seen as equivalent tests in the post-secondary school world. Tests have two degrees of difficulty: Power and Speed. SAT is more a test of Power. If you had all the time in the world, there are still some questions that you would be unable to answer. The ACT is more a test of Speed. The test questions are not difficult, but most students report that they just could not get to all of the questions.
A general rule of thumb: If you get extra time on one test but not the other, take the test you can get extra time for. If you get extra time on both, take the ACT.
No. The ACT and SAT scores CANNOT be flagged if they were taken under special circumstances.
Yes. You have the right to request additional time on a college placement test.
Maybe. A counselor might want to include information about a student’s disability in the college recommendation letter for various reasons. Perhaps the student has shown growth and has started an awareness club or has helped another student come to terms with having ADHD. However, a school counselor can only disclose this information with permission from the parent.
You should apply. Schools may provide a waiver if your disability interferes with learning the language.
No. IDEA does not apply to colleges and universities. Colleges and universities are governed by other laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act (Act) and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act.
The student (not the parent) is responsible for requesting services and providing appropriate documentation for a disability.
In college, the student must be in the driver’s seat. When a parent calls to inquire about student progress, the college must get permission from the student.
Not necessarily. It is up to the college to determine what accommodations you will received after your documentation has been reviewed and they have met with you to gather information. Some accommodations may be inappropriate for college such as shorter assignments/exams.
Each college/university has a specific individual who assists students with disabilities. Often, this is part of the Disabilities Support Services (DSS) office. Students must request their own services.
You should make an appointment no later than one month before your first semester begins. You want to ensure that you have time for the college to review your documentation and setup necessary accommodations.
Accommodations cannot be made retroactively. Do not wait to register with the DSS office and “see how everything works out.” The same policies apply for students in poor academic standing with or without disabilities.
The most common test that is asked for is the WASC—IQ test.
All schools will require documentation by an appropriate qualified professional. This should include:
A past IEP or 504 may be helpful but is not sufficient documentation.
Colleges provide modifications to academic requirements such as extended time on tests, books in alternate format, sign language interpreters, and assistive technology.
Yes. Colleges and universities are not obligated to change requirements that are essential to their programs. They will also not waive required work.
Tutoring is considered something of a “personal nature” and, therefore, outside the scope of accommodations. Equal access to tutoring for all students is required. Often families seek out graduate students for tutoring and “coaching” through college.