Helping Your Student with Disabilities
Dealing with disabilities in college can be difficult. Students can miss a lot of classes, not be able to get to class on time, have to leave class early, and even not be able to finish a test because they have to leave in the middle of it. Ask a student, find out if the school has a disabilities center (which most likely it does) and contact them and set up an appointment. They can make things much easier for you to deal with classes with whatever your disability might be.
Here are some things you should encourage your student to do if he/he has a disability.
1. If your student has a learning disability, contact your disability services office. Your student will probably need to be tested. Once the disability is validated, your student will then be given an accommodation letter to present to each teacher. The accommodation will spell out ways that each teacher will be asked to help you student (e.g. extra time on tests, note taking assistance)
2. If your student has a physical disability (e.g. hearing difficulties, limited eye sight, mobility issues), the disability services office should be able to help in both learning assistance and in navigating the campus. Students will get help in note taking, text taking accommodations, and in other areas.
3. If your student has a temporary disability (e.g. broken leg, broken writing hand), the disability service office will provide a letter to teachers asking that they assist your student during the time of their disability.
4. Ask your student to seek out disability assistance as soon as possible. Many students are reluctant to ask for help so you may need to be insistent he/she seeks help.
5. Ask your student to meet privately with his/her teachers to discuss the disability. The best way to approach this is not to ask for special favors but just to be given the support they need to succeed like all students. You should caution your student that the accommodations are not an excuse for not doing the needed work.
Universities have different ways of supporting students with disabilities. Larger schools may have more support services, but all campuses should have some support services..