Assistive Technology and Post-Secondary Education
AT and Transition
This information is targeted towards students who are transitioning to post-secondary education. For more information on AT within Hinsdale District 86, Click Here.
Types of Services at Post-Secondary Education Insitutions:
Structured Programs: Some universities have an extra fee for these services, however, they are the most comprehensive services; director and staff are educated and certified in disabiity services.
Coordinated Services: The school may provide many services, the staff is knowledgeable but offers fewer certified disability specialists.
Services: All school must comply with the federal mandate to provide reasonable accommodations to all students.
When considering a university ask about the following departments:
- The Access Center
- Disability Services
- Learning Assistance Services
- Center for Academic Success
- Academic Resource Center
- Dean of Students Office
- Office of Learning Services
- Student Support Services
- Accommodative Services
- College Assistance Program
Colleges and universities may use different names for their departments and services. The counseling department, deans and specific programs leaders are some of the people who can help guide you.
Once you find the right contact, ask about which accommodations or services can be provided for students with learning or communication differences. It can be helpful to reference your student’s IEP when looking at this list.
Examples of services include: use of tools during exams, such as a dictionary or calculator, extended test time, scribes, proctors, oral exams, note takers, class recordings, distraction-reduced environments, audiobooks, electronic text, other assistive technology such as voice to text, text to speech, note taking technologies, priority registration, peer tutors, writing centers and coaching.
When visiting the campus make sure you and your student find where the services are located. Most schools have a main office where their services are based. Visiting the physical location helps to build connections with staff.
Begin discussing transition services with your team as your student prepares for high school. In your transition plan consider your student’s goals. While touring and researching options, usually sophomore and junior year, make sure to start the investigative process.
It is important to advocate for your student to use the supports and services in high school that he or she may want to continue to use in college. Gaining experience with those tools will help ease the transition later. In addition, teaching your student self-advocacy skills will help the student obtain the individualized tools needed for post-secondary achievement and success.
Ask the right questions!
Examples of accommodations that colleges and universities may provide:
· Text to speech
· Voice to text
· Changes in testing
· Assistance with navigating the campus
· Assistance with registering for classes
Each college or university provides different services and levels of services. Be prepared to ask the right questions.
The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences
(available in the counseling office)