Accommodations for Disabilities: College Edition

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September 25, 2014

college help learning psychiatric disability

Here at OPI, one of the main goals of the education department is to help our college students create a relationship with their respective school’s disabilities office to ensure they are receiving proper accommodations for their diagnosed learning and psychiatric disabilities. Our students come to OPI with a variety of psychiatric diagnoses, such as depression, borderline personality disorder, and anxiety disorders. These disorders can lead to a number of functional limitations that include severe test anxiety, difficulty sustaining concentration and maintaining stamina, and most commonly, difficulty handling time pressures and multiple tasks. While we help our students individually with these limitations, there a plenty of accommodations students can receive from their schools to further assist them.

Though schools have their own criteria for applying, procedures and documents for requesting accommodations are very similar. At OPI, we help each student find the disability link on their school’s website and work with their treatment team (therapist and psychiatrist) to fill out the proper paperwork, which typically includes a letter documenting the student’s disability followed by accommodations we recommend. The most common recommendations include priority registration, extended time on tests and assignments, use of assistive computer software, a note taker, and exams in a separate, quite, non-distracting room. Once the documentation is processed, the individual student is likely required to meet with an adviser to determine which accommodations they will receive.

The transition from high school IEPs and 504 Plans to colleges that do not offer such plans can seem scary and daunting to both parents and students. It is important for students and their families to know their rights prior to registering for classes to ensure they are receiving support throughout their college experience. The accommodations a student receives is completely confidential, with the exception of the professor, allowing students to feel safer and supported.

The following link from BestColleges.com, provides great information for families and students: http://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/disabled-students/

For more information on the services we offer to OPI participants who are in college, please Click Here to contact us.

Categories: Academic Coaching