It’s important to know what accommodations your student might need in college. Meet with the disabled student services office before enrolling (or perhaps even before applying) to see if your chosen university can provide those accommodations. For instance, if your child requires a single dorm room and the university you’ve chosen only has doubles and quads, that may cause undue stress. Suppose your student requires an attendant or a personal care assistant. In that case, very few colleges provide attendants, and some schools won’t allow extra adults in classes. Here’s a handy chart you can use to document which different schools offer accommodations and services: College Disability Services Research Form.
Some common accommodations may include: priority registration (allowing the student to schedule at an optimal time of day for their fatigue level or therapy appointments, for example), permission to record lectures, extended time for test-taking, screen-readers, or voice-recognition software. Many colleges have tutoring centers that are available free of charge, but your student must take the initiative to go to the tutoring center and know what help they need. Volunteer college students often provide this tutoring, so this is not special education support. Here is some advice from Elizabeth Hamblet, an expert on college accommodations for students with Learning Disabilities. According to Hamblet, “There may be a reason why the disability services office says no to a requested accommodation. And sometimes even when they approve it, a professor may object.” To learn more about this see this article: When College Disability Services Offices or Professors Say No to an Accommodation.
While the accommodations on your student’s IEP will not necessarily be provided in college, the disabled student services office may use that list to determine what accommodations might be made available in the college setting. It’s essential to know your rights, especially under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which protects individuals with disabilities at any institution that receives public funds.