Posted on 02/23/2018 at 01:42 PM by Blog Experts

“The first few years after high school are a huge period of change and growth, when many students fumble through the process of learning to be independent.”

For students with disabilities, who are graduating and entering higher education, the transition can be even more difficult.  The need for the student to develop self-reliance is more critical.

“Many student with disabilities… experience educational programs which stress compliance and teach them to second-guess their instincts and defer to others, “ said Julia Bascom, the director of programs for the Washington-based nonprofit Autistic Self Advocacy Network.  “When you couple that with the bullying our students face, we tend to find a significant need for explicit, supportive instruction in self-advocacy skills.”

Changing Supports

Students with disabilities must do the same college and career-planning that any high school student does.  But there are more things to consider for our students with disabilities.  Students with disabilities are no longer provided an Individual Educational Plan through the Individuals with Disabilities Act.  In college, they may be provided supports through the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.   The Section 504 does not require the same level of supports as an IEP.

“We send them off to college where everything they are used to in high school - repetition, structure, assignments broken down-is gone, and we fail to provide them with an understanding of themselves as learners and how to work using their strengths and around their areas of weakness,” said Elizabeth C. Hamblet, a learning specialist at Columbia University and the author of the 2011 book Seven Steps for Success:  High School to College Transition Strategies for Students with Disabilities.


Information taken from Sarah D. Sparks’ May 29, 2015 article.
Education Week American Education News Site of Record

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