How to Research College Accessibility Office Websites
Updated: Apr 7
Whether you are an educator or parent, I encourage you to involve your college-bound student(s) in researching and exploring the website of their potential future college. Even more important, if your students have a 504 or IEP, it is important that they research their college’s Accessibility Office website. This website will be their first introduction to important pieces of information they will need to know during their first semester if they plan to request accommodations.
Here are 3 important items to look for on a college Accessibility Office website:
How Do I Register with My College’s Accessibility Office? Although most college and university Accessibility Offices have similar policies and procedures, it’s important to know the exact registration process for your student(s) future college. For example, Loyola University requires students to follow 3 steps: Schedule a meeting with the Director, then fill out and submit a registration form, and finally submit disability documentation.
What Documentation Do I Need to Submit? In order to register for accommodations on a college / university campus, students will need to verify their disability. Each college has different requirements for documentation. Most colleges prefer documentation to be dated less than 3 years old. The college Accessibility Office website should identify specific documents that students are required to submit. If this information isn’t listed on the office’s website, don’t be shy about calling the Accessibility Office Director and asking for specifics. ** Here are a few examples of documentation required by Loyola Maryland, University of Rhode Island and UCONN. **
Does the Accessibility Office Offer Other Academic Supports? The good news is that with the increase in virtual learning over the last few years, many colleges and universities have enhanced their academic support services. Spend time looking through a college’s website to find out the type of academic supports offered. These are usually free services available to ALL students (with and without disabilities) but some may have
an additional cost. Academic Supports can include:
1:1 Academic Coaching
Support Groups (academic or disability related)
Supports for Students with Autism
Take a look at Adelphi University’s Bridges Program (they are the first higher ed institution to have a sensory room on campus!)
Academic Skill Workshops
Peer Mentoring Program
Skill Worksheets and Resources
The College of New Jersey has many academic skill worksheets on their website.
For even more worksheets check out The Learning Center website at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Can we say…a little light reading, anyone?
Do you have a college list that is long and feels overwhelming? Not sure where to start with a college’s website or how to sift through the terminology on the Accessibility Office website?
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will help explain the Accessibility Office policies, procedures and documentation required at your student’s college in simple, easy-to-understand language.