College life poses different challenges for students with disabilities. When students enroll in a college or university, they are considered to be responsible adults by faculty and staff. The expectations are that they will assume responsibilities for meeting their class requirements.
This added responsibility is coupled with a change in environment. High school is a teaching environment in which students acquire knowledge and skills. A college or university has a learning environment in which students take responsibility for thinking through and applying what they have learned.
Another additional responsibility is that of self-advocacy. Students must become adept at realistically assessing and understanding their strengths, weaknesses, needs, and preferences. They must become experts at communicating this information to other adults, including instructors and service providers. Although services will be available to students through an office specializing in services to students with disabilities, students will be responsible for seeking these services and supports. Good communication skills and knowledge about oneself become crucial to success at any college or university.
Parents can help their son or daughter achieve a smooth transition to college life. The following questions and their answers are designed to help you do that.