Most people dream about going to college and having the opportunity to grow, both personally and professionally, through their higher education. College is all about pushing yourself to be better and exceed your potential. For those students with disabilities, whether they be physical or cognitive, everyday life already provides a unique set of challenges. Higher education does not have to contribute to those challenges, and in fact, because of disability laws, school-sponsored resources and new adaptive technologies, those students with disabilities can achieve their goals of higher education.
Where do families go to find the colleges resources for students with disabilities? I would invite you to check out the Guide for Online Colleges & Disabilities published by Accredited Online Schools and Colleges – http://www.accreditedonlinecolleges.org/resources/accredited-online-colleges-and-disability-education/. The guide does a good job of explaining the various federal laws that help protect those with disabilities and breaks down exactly how these laws protect their rights.
Additionally, the guide provides direction on how to choose the right program for an individual. For example, one suggestion when researching which schools to apply to is to look for schools that have a disability office, resource officer or ADA coordinator who can help the individual figure out whether adjustments can be made to accommodate their disability. The guide lists a directory of which online colleges have school disability offices.
The guide also provides a list of scholarship opportunities available to disabled individuals. This is important because scholarships can be used to offset the cost of tuition, fees and supplies. The scholarships range from scholarships for those who are legally blind to scholarships for those with behavioral or intellectual disabilities.
Finally, the guide provides additional resources for groups and agencies who regularly provide information, advice and assistance to disabled individuals. These include information through government organizations such as ADA.gov, Disability.gov, the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences – College Navigator to information from Non-profit organizations such as Disability Rights Advocates, the American Association of People with Disabilities and advocacy groups for those with specific disabilities such as Down Syndrome, Autism, learning disabilities and the like.
To schedule a complimentary phone consultation with Attorney Laurie Ohall, please contact her office at 813.438.8503.