College Resources for Students With Disabilities

With technology growth and advancement, tools and resources previously challenging to access are now available for college students with disabilities. Disabilities can no longer hinder pursuing the career of your dreams since the transition to postsecondary education has now been made easy and less stressful.

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Information and resources about how you can make this transition and your legal rights on campus have been made readily available in this guide.

Common Disabilities

Here is a list of the disabilities frequently encountered among students who desire to transition to postsecondary education and pursue their dream careers.

Attention Deficit Disorder

College is a different ball game for students with attention deficit disorder. The new level of stress, heavier workload, meeting new people, and other unfamiliar experiences may be overwhelming. Regardless, there are ways to navigate through college successfully.

Assistive Technology
Available recourse for students having attention deficit disorder to focus during lectures or while studying include:

1. Audible makes millions of digital magazines, newspapers, audiobooks, and other similar materials available for students that prefer listening to reading.
2. ClassMate Reader is also a listening option that is portable for students. With this reader, students can listen to their study materials and mark out important points as they do so.
3. .OnlineOCR is a handy tool for students that make notes on the materials they read while studying. It converts PDFs that were scanned into formats that can be edited, making writing easier for students.
4. Focus Gps is an application that assists students with boosting their academic performance in concentration, memorization, and organization.
5. Talking calculators help students concentrate better by reading both the numbers and answers out loud.

Support for Students With ADD
Examples of organizations advocating for and supporting students with ADD are:

– ADD Association
– ADDitude
– National Resource Center on ADHD
– ADHDAware
– TotallyADD
– Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Autism

Children that are highly functioning but have Autism Spectrum Disorder now attend college more than they used to. As a result, there are resources better suited to them, making education much easier for them.

Assistive Technology
Technology has made creating assistive resources for students that have autism much easier. Some of these products are:

1. AutiPlan is a scheduler best suited for students who learn visually. It puts information in pictorial format instead of words.
2. Dragon Dictation is a tool that allows students to dictate notes or thoughts instead of typing.
3. Audio Notetaker is also a software that lets students record their lectures and export them to various devices.
4. Google Calendar is a straightforward resource that allows students to plan and track their responsibilities.
5. Time Timer is an optical clock and timer that helps autistic people literally see time pass while avoiding clock hands.

Support for Students With Autism
Here are some organizations advocating for autism awareness and education:

– Autism Research Institute
– National Autism Association
– Autism NOW
– Autism Speaks
– Autism Society

Cognitive Disabilities

The most common form of cognitive disability is difficulty in learning at the same pace as other students. With the present medical, technological, and educational advancements, students furthering their college education is a lot easier.

Assistive Technology
The assistive technology for people that have cognitive disabilities is vast and continually expanding. They help students achieve success while in college or the university.

1. Touchscreen Monitor is great for students who would rather use their finger or a pen while navigating pages and websites instead of using a mouse or a trackpad.
2. First Then Visual Scheduler is a calendar tool that helps students efficiently manage their schedules with pictorial representations instead of words.
3. Visual Impact Pro helps students who have just started living on their own learn useful skills. It does this by providing exact steps for daily tasks.
4. Endeavor Desktop Environment allows students to customize and individualize their desktop using a simplified picture and audio system.

Support for Students With Cognitive Disability
Local and national support and advocacy, as well as resources for people with a cognitive disability, can be found in these organizations:

– The Arc
– .Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities
– American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
– .Learning Disabilities Association of America

Speech Disorders

Speech disorders are common among millions of people, and it often starts within the first six months of their lives. There are efforts devoted to ensuring students are taken proper care of in ways necessary for success in their studies.

Assistive Technology
Students with speech disorders can excel in their studies regardless of their condition with assistive technology.

1. Proloquo2Go is one of the most highly acclaimed assistive communication applications for portable devices.
2. TextSpeak provides a talking keyboard that immediately converts typed text into speech.
3. My Talk Tools is a tool that enables students to communicate through different means like images, symbols, and audio files.
4. Talking Dictionary helps students look up words to easily understand their pronunciation, meanings, and uses.
5. Speech Trainer 3D is an app that helps students improve their speech delivery by practicing sounds via consonants and vowels.

Support for Students With Speech Disorders
Organizations advocating for people with speech disorders include:

– Center for Speech and Language Disorders
– American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
– The Aphasia Hope Foundation
– Center for Hearing and Communication
– Dysphagia Research Society

Transitioning: High School to College

Transitioning from high school to college shouldn’t be difficult due to the available resources the colleges make available for students with disabilities. Their needs and additional requirements have been put into consideration and set in place for their comfort. Some of these resources are:

– Modified examinations
– Priority registration
– Accessible dorm rooms
– Course substitutes
– Sign language interpretation
– Assistive technology

As the session comes to an end, high school students will need to prepare for college or university. In preparing, there are things the students and their families can do to make transitioning easier. Some best tips are:

– Simulate independent living
– Read up about your rights
– Speak up for yourself
– Understand your study style
– Think about logistics.
– Some other resources to aid with the transition for all educational level include:
– PhDisabledSpecially
– Understood
– Going to College
– We Connect Now
– Office for Civil Rights

Transitioning: Graduation to Career

Students with disabilities transitioning from school to work should do some research on their intended field and career. They should assess their skillset and venture towards jobs well suited to their strength and those that will be useful for their professional goals.

Students should have an idea of the type of employment they want to pursue, learn about the company, identify job duties, and identify educational requirements. They should also consider factors that might affect or be directly or indirectly related to their disabilities.

The following sites and resources provide transitional information to make the process easier for students moving into the workforce.

– Career Transition Support
– Career Development & Transition for Exceptional Individuals
– American Youth Policy Forum
– Learning Disabilities Online (LDOnline)
– Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
– The Viscardi Center (VC)
– Council for Exceptional Children

Conclusion

As adaptive technologies progress and improve, there are now numerous resources available that make education relatively stress-free to students who wish to go beyond secondary education.

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