Practical Tips


Provide documentation.
Help students find out what the documentation requirements are for the postsecondary setting to which they are applying. Prepare packets of this documentation for students as they graduate.

Help students request accommodations for the SAT and ACT.
This is a lengthy process that must be started months in advance of the test.

Help students and parents understand the differences between high school and postsecondary education.
Share information regarding these differences early in high school so the family can begin planning for the changes.

Assist students in developing a portfolio.
Share the portfolio with the person in charge of accommodations at the college or training program.


Help your child to become his or her own self-advocate and become self-directed.
This means understanding your changing role as a parent. Once your child reaches age of majority, the rights once afforded to you are transferred to your child.

Help your child to choose a postsecondary experience that will increase their options and promote their career choice.
This includes helping your child to learn about their career goals and matching their career goals to their choice of educational or training institution.

Help your child choose a postsecondary experience that will meet their disability needs.
Institutions vary greatly regarding their services for students with disabilities. Learn specific information regarding the college or training program and use this information to make a final selection.


Use your interests and career choices to make decisions about which postsecondary setting is best for you.
If your career interest is in nursing, look at schools with a range of nursing and nursing related degrees or training programs. Choose a college or training program that matches your interests and career goals.

While in middle school and high school, be involved in the IEP process and understand what is included in your IEP.
Although you will not have an IEP in postsecondary settings, you will need to understand your disability as well as the types of services and accommodations you received in high school.

Figure out how you learn best.
Understand your learning style and how you learn best before going to college. Then, you can easily apply this information when you need it to meet the high academic demands of college.

Give yourself ample time to request accommodations for standardized testing.
This process may take six to eight weeks. In your IEP meeting, voice your opinions regarding the testing accommodations that you need.

Learn about the disability services offerings in postsecondary settings and obtain specific information regarding both the documentation you will need and the process of self-disclosure.
Take a tour of the campus and meet with a representative from the disability services office. Take a copy of your IEP and school eligibility and ask specific questions about what you need to do before you begin classes.

Talk to college students with disabilities to find out about their experiences and the services they received.
Learn from the successes and mistakes of friends and other trusted sources who have similar backgrounds and experiences as yours.

When you enroll in college, take advantage of the College Career Center
A College Career Center offers many services and resources to help students build employment skills, gain valuable work experiences and connect with employers. Check them out early to confirm your career choice and to see how you can get involved on your campus.

Explore technology that can help.
Technology can help students take advantage of their strengths and compensate for their disabilities.