A Product of Disability Access: Empowering Tribal Members with Disabilities & Their Families
by Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
Some students with disabilities go through their entire college career as Mary did her first three semesters. Maybe they make straight A's and maybe they don't, but the situation suits them. If so, good for you. We are not going to tell you that you need to go to the first college staff member you find and tell them all about yourself. That's up to you. However, if it is not working out for you, if you find yourself failing courses, or, if you know yourself well enough to know you are going to need assistance, here is what you need to know first.
When you are in elementary school and high school, they are REQUIRED to provide services to all children with disabilities. There is even a program called Child Find that is designed to make sure that all the kids with disabilities are found and get services.
Guess what? College is not like that. Not only is the school not required to find every student with a disability, but they are not even allowed to ask you if you have one. If you need special assistance you are going to need to take some action to get it.
If you tried college before and did not succeed, or decided when you were younger that college was not for you - think again. There are many more older students attending college now, students who did not enroll straight out of high school. There are also more services for students with disabilities than there were twenty years ago.
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