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Accessing disability services as a college freshman
by TeenHelp May 1st 2023, 01:02 PM

Accessing disability services as a college freshman
By Christina (Philomath)

Entering college/university is a huge transition for most young adults. Having a disability increases those challenges in most cases. Below are a few tips on how to get started off right as a freshman with appropriate supports.
  • Know what services your college or university offer that will meet your specific needs. Inquire about the school’s services when deciding on colleges to choose from. Do you require extra time on tests, do you need a quiet room for exams, alternative format materials? Schools vary in their preparedness to support certain students' needs.
  • Prepare necessary documentation. What documentation does your college require as verification of your disability or disabilities (medical reports, psychiatric evaluations or other specialist reports) and when is the deadline to submit the documentation? If you do not provide necessary documentation within the time required, you may not receive access to services in time to start the semester, which could make things more challenging than they might otherwise be.
  • Be aware of scheduling. How far in advance will you need to request extended time for tests, alternative format texts or other accommodations? Some schools may prefer students reach out for such services by certain times — in some cases, during the semester before.
  • Communicate as often and openly as necessary. Coordinate with the staff in the disability office as often as you need to ensure you’re given answers to any questions or concerns that come up. Building those connections early on will be key to having appropriate academic support and other assistance from the office throughout your time in undergrad or graduate school.
  • Be your own advocate. Keep in mind in order to receive services in college, it is on you as the student to reach out for what you need. The college does not have dedicated staff who ensure you’re connected. If you do not make them aware, they’re unable to support you as you may require and you might get overwhelmed. When things pile up, everything from grades to mental-wellbeing are impacted.
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Re: Accessing disability services as a college freshman - June 8th 2023, 05:25 AM

I think this "Communicate as often and openly as necessary" point is most forget by people.
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Re: Accessing disability services as a college freshman - December 13th 2023, 08:31 AM

Thanks for the information!
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