Exploring College and University Options for Students with Disabilities
Many parents of students with disabilities seek assurance that their children can do college work. Given a nurturing, supportive environment, abilities can be tapped and students can experience a meaningful education after high school.
A common characteristic of the following individuals is that they all had a disability that impacted them in some way. Their disability did not stop them from continuing their education or pursuing their dreams.
- Olympic runner, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, asthma;
- TV writer, producer and actor, Stephen Cannell, dyslexia;
- Former Vice-President of the United States, Nelson Rockefeller, dyslexia;
- Journalist, Mike Wallace, mood disorder;
- Miss America 1995, Heather Whitestone, hearing impairment;
- Major league pitcher, Jim Abbott, orthopedic impairment;
- Former Assistant Secretary of Education, Judith Heumann, polio survivor;
- Professional baseball player, Jim Eisenreich, Tourette Syndrome; and
- Academy Award winner, Marlee Matlin, hearing impairment.
Adapted College Entrance Exam
Students with disabilities may request accommodations in testing format or equipment to compensate for their disability. Documentation must be current and must address functional limitations or impairments in learning. Some of the adaptations that may be requested in the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and the American College Testing (ACT) are: extended time, audio cassette edition with regular-type copy, a reader and/or a person to record answers. Tests are administered several times during the school year. The accommodations or adaptations in the testing procedures or environment must be requested well in advance of the anticipated test date. The following testing organizations can provide more information:
American College Testing (ACT) 500 ACT Drive P.O. Box 168 Iowa City, IA 52243-4028 319-337-1332; 319-337-1701 TDD www.act.org
Extended-Time Testing American College Testing (ACT) P.O. Box 4068 Iowa City, IA 52243-4068 319-337-1851; 319-337-1701 TDD www.act.org
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) Services for Students with Disabilities P.O. Box 6226 Princeton, NJ 08541-6226 609-771-7137; 609-882-4118 TTY www.collegeboard.com
Accommodations For Students With Disabilities Who Attend College
According to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, universities and colleges that accept federal funds must provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. The key factor in determining whether a person is considered as having a disability is whether the physical or mental impairment results in a substantial limitation of one or more major life activities: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act defines a qualified individual with disabilities, for post-secondary programs, as “...a person with a disability who meets the academic and technical standards requisite for admission to, or participation in, the college’s education program or activity.” With accommodations, many individuals with disabilities are able to meet the challenges of higher education.
Washington Virtual Academies
Tuition-free online school for Washington students.
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