Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

Obviously that will depend in part on the nature of the exact support you received in high school. However, given the nature of the Americans With Disabilities Act there are certain things that every school, regardless of the level, must provide, and so anything that was a part of your high school’s response to that edict should still carry over. In general if you have a documented disability and you were given accommodation in response to the diagnosis in high school, it should carry over so long as the testing and the documentation are up to date. A student will have to contact the appropriate office at their college upon enrolling so that the process can be put in place, but it should not be an issue so long as appropriate communication is undertaken.

Mary Mariani

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

No they are not. Some of the services are better and some not so. But each college has to have services for students with disabilities. Students have to seek out the services. It is not like high school where students are identified, and then the system makes sure that the services are provided. In the college setting, the student has to be his/her own advocate. Most students should have an active IEP or 504 Plan that started way before entrance into a college/university program. I did find that the Missouri State University in Springfield was excellent. My own son has learning disabilities and had an IED (Individual Education Plan) since he was in elementary school. The school administration was very helpful in assisting him in getting what was needed. BUT, I worked very closely with the learning disability lab and staff (of course with my son's permission). It is not difficult to get longer time and testing in a quieter environment or modifications made for students who have visual or hearing disabilities. But again, the student has to either be his/her own advocate or have someone who will advocate for him/her.

Renee Boone
The College Advisor

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

Not all services offered at the colleges are the same. For a decent comprehensive guide, check out the K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities. You might want to familiarize yourself with the excellent programs offered by Landmark College in Putney, VT, including their 2-year undergraduate program, their transitional program for high school students and their visiting college students semester program. Other colleges, including U Arizona, U Denver, Curry MA and Muskingam OH offer specialized programs to support learning differences. It is imperative that you are proactive and self-advocating in seeking help both in admissions and while a student on the campus.

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

In terms of learning differences, accommodations provided are largely the same. Students with documentation are able to gain needed accommodations for both classroom and test settings. But, the overall philosophy and emphasis is different. High schools support students by helping them to gain understanding about their learning style. Colleges presume that students know themselves and are prepared to self advocate.

Karen Ekman-Baur
Director of College Counseling Leysin American School

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

The level of disability support will vary from one college to another and usually from high school to college. Students with disabilities will no longer be living at home with their parents and, depending upon their specific disabilities and the extent of their impairment, will usually require more support than was available in their high schools. The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, guarantees that all U.S. colleges/universities provide some level of services/accommodations for students with disabilities. Some institutions, taking this requirement further, offer comprehensive programs supporting learning and/or physically disabled students. Students should seek schools which offer the best support for their specific disabilities. Try the following websites: http://www.college-scholarships.com/learning_disabilities.htm http://concordspedpac.org/Colleges-LD.html http://www.dmoz.org/Society/Disabled/Education/Colleges_and_Universities The U.S. Department of Education details the Rights and Responsibilities of Disabled Students at: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transition.html.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

Minors are treated differently than adults, and college is an around the clock experience. There are differences too numerous to mention.

Kathleen Harrington
Owner New Jersey College Consulting

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

The disability services provided in college are not the same as those you may have received in high school. Students in grades k-12 are covered by IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; this law requires that special education and related services be designed to meet the needs of the eligible students. It is the schools responsibility to seek out the students in need of special educations services. In college, institutions are only required to provide "reasonable accommodations". A student attending a college/university must disclose their disability and request services that will allow him/her to be successful in the collegiate level.

Zahir Robb
College Counselor The Right Fit College

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

It depends on the school. You can find a variety of services both in high school and at the college level. There some great programs for students with disabilities, but you will have to do some hunting. The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities is a good start.