the student's day-to-day academic life, you steer the course
through the maze of courses and services needed for middle
and high school students to graduate and go on to postsecondary
education and employment. Taking the following steps will
ease the process for you - and for them. First, understand
the disability laws and how they affect your interaction with
students with disabilities. Then, familiarize yourself with
the range and use of appropriate academic adjustments and
auxiliary aids and services available to students with disabilities
in both the secondary and postsecondary settings.
ways you can help
Of primary importance is to begin early and lay the foundation
of coursework required for college admission.
Help these students understand their abilities, interests,
talents, and personality characteristics so they can develop
realistic academic and career options.
Assist them in documenting information about their special
Review the financial aid opportunities available for students
Advise students with disabilities of their rights to accommodations
during standardized testing (Virginia SOLs, ACT, PSAT, SAT,
etc). Provide facilities for non-standard administration
of comprehensive/qualifying examinations.
Advise students of college majors, admission requirements,
entrance exams, financial aid, and training opportunities.
Provide this information early so that students can get
a head start.
Help students to access the services provided through the
Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) as soon as they
are old enough. Do this before their senior year!
Introduce yourself to the local college service providers
and discuss the services available on their campuses.
Attend the student's IEP meetings. Discuss transition beginning
at age 14 or younger, usually at the end of the seventh
grade or during the eighth grade.
Encourage college, university, and technical school representatives
to speak to groups of students with disabilities and their
Include students with disabilities in ALL college-related
activities, such as College Night, college tours, Future
Work with postsecondary student support personnel to promote
awareness at the high school level about the demands of
from Virginia's College Guide for Students with Disabilities
Available at http://www.pen.k12.va.us