The transition to college can be challenging for students with disabilities. The laws governing disability services for individuals with disabilities in post-secondary institutions are significantly different than those mandated for K-12 education. It is important for students and families to understand the major differences between these two learning environments (PDF).
New Student Responsibilities
Self-advocacy is a skill students must learn and practice inside and outside of the classroom. It is our belief that students benefit when they understand the limitations imposed by their disabilities and can effectively communicate these to their instructors. Self-advocacy in college helps to prepare for careers, internships and life in general after college.
Students must also know what kind of classroom assistance will help them maximize their academic abilities. Students are encouraged to work with the Accessibility and Disability Resources Coordinator and their instructors early in the semester to explain their disabilities and provide notification of their accommodations. The coordinator provides individualized accommodation letters for students each semester they attend University of Lynchburg.
Changes for Families
Parents or guardians may have difficulty with the transition to college as well. Their past experience of taking an active part in the Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) process changes at the postsecondary level. Because of the differences in the law, once students enroll and attend a post-secondary institution, they are considered adults and parents must take a secondary role. Sometimes parents are not aware of the changes at the postsecondary level and need to become familiar with legal limitations. The Lynchburg Experience (PDF) is helpful in explaining the University’s expectation and handling of communication with parents.
We encourage students and their guests to attend the support services session offered during Summer Orientation and Registration (SOAR).