If you’ll be seeking accommodations or support services for a disability or learning differences in college, it pays to research in advance what will be available at each school on your list. Here are some key questions to ask disability staff if you are considering attending their institution:
- What documentation do you accept for accommodation requests?
- How recent must the documentation be?
- How do students apply for academic accommodations? How long does it take for them to be approved?
- What are some of the most common accommodations for testing, classrooms, assignments or elsewhere?
- Will I be able to receive the same accommodations and services I received in high school?
- How often do students need to reapply or meet with your staff to maintain their accommodations?
- What is the process for communicating accommodations to professors? What happens if a professor won’t grant an accommodation?
- How many staff do you have? What is their background/training?
- How many students (or what percentage of the student body) do you serve?
- What are the most common disabilities you serve?
- Who has the most expertise in my disability?
- What additional specialized services or supports are available for students with disabilities (e.g., mentoring, coaching)? What fees are involved?
- What workshops do you offer?
- Are waivers available for certain academic requirements (e.g., foreign language courses, minimum course load)?
- What resources do you have in the area of assistive technology?
- Do you track outcomes (e.g., retention, graduation, employment) for students with disabilities? Can you provide this information to me?
- Who provides tutoring? How are they trained?
- Are there special scholarships for students with disabilities?
- Is priority registration available?
- Is special housing available (e.g., single rooms)?
- Are there any support groups or clubs for students with disabilities?
- How is disability incorporated into the institution’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts?
- Are you considering establishing a disability cultural center or taking other steps to promote positive disability identity?
- In what ways are the principles of universal design for learning (UDL) employed at the institution?
- What has the institution done to become more accessible to students with disabilities?
A version of this article was originally published in CollegeXpress.
Want more tips? See our post, 7 Secrets to Seeking Learning Disability Services in College.