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Meet With the DSS Counselor

 
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When visiting a college, arrange a meeting with the disabilities service coordinator on campus. Come prepared to have a successful interview with this individual.

Before you arrive on campus:

  • Prepare to talk about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, your disability, your dreams

  • Develop a list of questions usually not covered in the college catalog

  • Practice interviewing

  • Prepare to answer the disability support counselor's questions clearly and comfortably

  • Prepare to use this visit as an opportunity to help determine the appropriateness of the college as a possible final choice

  • Prepare to take notes for future reference

Prepare your questions for the disability support counselor.

  • What are the requirements for admission? Are they flexible?

  • How many students with disabilities are on campus?

  • What services does the college typically provide to students with disabilities? Who provides them?

  • How long are services provided?

  • Are remedial courses available on campus?

  • Does the college provide remediation or support one-on-one or in a group setting?

  • What kinds of academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services does the college have available to students with disabilities?

  • Will I be able to check out equipment and use it in my classes?

  • Is free tutoring available on campus?

  • What technology have students at the college used in the classroom?

  • What strategies are provided for students who use adaptive technology? Were they successful?

  • What modifications have faculty and administrators been willing to make for students with disabilities on campus?

  • Are there extra fees for special programs?

Prepare to answer the disability services counselor's questions. Practice your response to these questions with your parents, school counselor, or teacher.

  • Can you describe your educational background?

  • Can you describe your disability?

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses, in and outside the classroom?

  • What adaptive equipment are you currently using?

  • What training did you receive in using this adaptive equipment?

  • Who provided your technical support?

  • How did you communicate with your instructors about using your adaptive equipment in the classroom? How did they respond?

  • What appropriate academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services do you have to assist you for class,

  • Explain how your accommodations have made you successful.

Excerpted from Virginia's College Guide for Students with Disabilities (2003 Edition). Available at http://www.pen.k12.va.us.