I’ve walked five different clients to five different college disability offices just this past year! It is one of the most important things I can do for college aged clients, especially for those with already documented disabilities. Bring your diagnosis, find the disability office, and get registered. What you get then is the accommodations you need.
College students – including my clients aged 18 – 49 – don’t like going to disability offices. And usually colleges don’t help by hiding those offices off in dark corners in basements. I have worked with student after student who could not even find the disability office on campus. And for the rare student who knows where to go, thinking about embarrassing things like accommodations is too scary. No college student – whatever their age – wants to stand out.
So I walk my clients to the offices. Since I have funky hair and pierced eyebrow, I look like a college art teacher. So I don’t stand out too much on campus and that minimizes embarrassment somewhat! I’m also an unknown entity. Unlike mom or dad who may suggest visiting the disability office, I actually will insist on going – gently. All of my clients argued with me about visiting, insisting they don’t need to register; I just say, “come on, let’s go.” And we go.
Yup. That is why I’m a coach!
Disability offices make accommodations happen. You can get permission to tape lectures instead of write notes; you can get testing accommodations; you can get note takers or study help. You can get ebooks, electric syllabuses, study and quiz app suggestions. You can get dorm accommodations, help with cafeteria meals, and also just support.
Disability offices aren’t going to just give you things that will help you be successful in college. You or your teen has to go there and ask. That is why college is where students have to start using their self advocacy skills, and for those too shy or scared to do so in the beginning, it’s up to us as parents or partners or as coaches to help.
This could be my number one rule for college students – no matter your age. Get thee to the disability office. Getting registered there can set the stage for college success. It is an easy step, and if you find it a struggle, just let me know.
I am happy to tell you, “Let’s go!”