Before you begin your college search, it's important to have a very clear, honest idea of who you are as a learner. Work with your family, your teachers, and your resource support to clearly identify your needs and how you learn best. When you begin to explore colleges, do so with the goal of finding those that best meet your unique needs for educational support.
Remember that your rights to accommodations will no longer be protected under IDEA (special education law) as they were during high school; from here on, you will receive accommodations under Section 504. Section 504 is very different from IDEA. You will still be able to receive the accommodations to which your testing and documentation entitle you, but this doesn't mean you'll receive an organized support program. Colleges are allowed to determine the levels of support they offer; again, some offer a great deal, while some offer very little.
Depending on the types of support you'll need to be successful in college, you might ask:
- What levels of support does the college disability support services offer?
- What documentation will the college need to support my request for accommodations and/or learning support? How do I request services?
- What resources are available? Does the campus learning center have the personnel, technology, and programs that I need?
- How are students selected for services?
- Are the additional fees to use DSS services?
- Are the tutors available professionals in the field or students?
- Is there a summer orientation or transition program I can take advantage of? Is there one that is required?
It's important to find a college that has the programs and personnel to support you in achieving success. Know your needs and look for the schools that can fill them.