College applicants with disabilities should investigate disability offices during the college search process. While the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities, it does not mandate that colleges provide services that will make students successful. Some colleges provide only the very minimum legally required, whereas other colleges have extensive services and supports available.
If your homeschooler’s special needs may be a factor in his or her college success it makes sense to investigate the available options before they enroll in college. Here are questions you may want to ask:
- What types of services and supports does your college offer for students with disabilities?
- What is the process for receiving disability accommodations and services?
- How many staff members work with students with disabilities and what is their training?
- What types of tutoring are available?
- What is the attitude of your faculty toward students with disabilities?
- Does faculty receive any training on working with students with disabilities?
- What are the typical challenges you’ve seen students with my disability face in college? What types of supports do you offer for my disability?
- Can a graduation requirement be waived or can another course be substituted if needed for a disability (for example, could a student with dyslexia waive a foreign language requirement?)
- Do students with learning disabilities typically take fewer credits?
- At your college, how do graduation rates for students with disabilities compare to the overall graduation rate?
- Is there a cost for any of the services provided by the disability office?