WHAT PARENTS CAN DO TO HELP STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES PREPARE FOR POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION
Help student realistically examine whether
postsecondary education is a suitable option.
Begin the process of exploring and choosing
postsecondary options with a comprehensive educational and vocational assessment of student's
abilities and limitations.
Assist student in completing the activities
listed in "What Students Can Do to Prepare for Postsecondary Education." (See
Promote development of student responsibility
and control by increasing opportunities for students to advocate for self.
Teach decision-making skills.
Foster student independence through increased
responsibility and opportunity for self-management.
Determine financial requirements and ensure
that financial aid deadlines are met.
Collect packet of materials to document
student's secondary school program and to facilitate service delivery in the postsecondary
setting. This packet should include a copy of most recent IEP and evaluation, that is no
more than 3 years old, and all other testing evaluations.
Help student select and apply to postsecondary
institutions that will offer both the curriculum and the necessary level of disability related
Assist student in selecting appropriate
on or off-campus housing, if planning to live away from home. A small residence hall may
be more conducive to studying and developing friendships than a large residence hall or
Encourage student to ask questions, register
with the Disability Support Services (DSS) Office and meet with the advisor early to plan
class schedule and to arrange for accommodations.
Provide as much support as needed for
student during the adjustment phase.
Communicate confidence in student's ability
to be successful in postsecondary setting.
Encourage student to develop maximum independence
in learning, study, and living skills critical to success in postsecondary settings.
Assist student in linking up with support
services such as Department of Rehabilitation, Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, etc.
Help student be proactive in developing
a support network and seeking help and guidance when needed. Caution student to resist becoming
overly dependent on support systems.
Prepare student to meet the variety of
challenges at the postsecondary level such as: less teacher contact and time in class; more
time studying independently; few tests covering a broader base of knowledge, making it more
difficult for student and teacher to monitor progress; increased freedom, requiring self-discipline
and self-management (e.g., going to class, completing assignments, scheduling time); adjustment
to new social expectations and a different personal support network (Shaw, Brinckerhoff,
Kistler, 7 McGuire, 1991).
Secondary to Postsecondary Education Transition Planning for Students with Learning
Disabilities. A technical report prepared by the national Joint committee on Learning
Disabilities, Jan. 1994, published in LDA Newsbriefs, March/April 1994.
Gregory, M., Graham, J., Hughes, C., (Spring 1995). Preparing Students with Learning
Disabilities for Success in Postsecondary Education, TransitionLinc.
Virginia Department of Education. (June 1993). A College Selection Guidebook for Students
with Disabilities, Their Parents, and High School Staff.
Western Caroline University. (1989). The Postsecondary Learning Disabilities Primer,
Learning Disabilities training Project.
Wren, C., Adelman, P., Pike, M.B., and Wilson, J.L. (1987). College and the High School
Student with Learning Disabilities: The Student's Perspective. Chicago, DePaul University.
Adapted from Missouri AHEAD