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Prospective Students and Parents

Resources for Students

While there are many similarities regarding accommodations in high school and college, there are also a number of differences. The following information may assist in preparing for the transition from high school to college for students who require reasonable accommodations due to a disability.

Student Responsibilities: While in high school, it is a school’s responsibility to ensure a student with a disability has an established plan for accommodations arranged, often called and IEP or a 504 Plan. In college, having some accommodations arranged is the student’s choice and responsibility. The student must request accommodations each semester.

The Role of Parents: In high school, parents are typically invited for multiple meetings per year regarding their child’s accommodations. In college, parents are certainly welcome to join in on the initial intake meeting upon the student’s request, but after this initial registration period, it is the expectation that the student will participate independently with Accessibility Services.

Laws: Students should be aware of the differences in laws that provide them with eligibility for accommodations, or academic adjustments. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that protects children in schools, mandating the right to a Free Appropriate Public Education. Once a student enters in college, IDEA and guaranteed special education are no longer relevant to their rights to accommodations. The Americans with Disabilities Act and Amendments Act (ADAAA), in addition to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act are the relevant laws to college students with disabilities. These are civil rights laws which prevent discrimination on the basis of disability. The differences in these laws compared to IDEA shape the differences in services and supports available to college students.

Fundamental alteration: While in high school, an Individualized Education Plan may alter graduation requirements, or course requirements for a given student. In college, however, any such fundamental alteration made for an individual on the basis of disability or otherwise is prohibited.

Learning Disabilities Consultant, Elizabeth Cohen Hamblet shares insight: Why You Should Register for College Disability Accommodations 

To get started registering for (requesting) accommodations, this site will walk you through the process, step by step: Request Accommodations

For disability accommodations in the residence life setting, please visit this site for a step-by-step process: Request Residence Life Accommodations 

You can expect the following:

  • You will be asked to describe your disability. Accessibility Services is for students with documented disabilities. This office must be able to understand what barriers are imposed, or what challenges exist as a result of your learning disability, mental health or medical condition, physical disability, autism spectrum disorder, or other disability.  Accessibility Services gathers information from students on the Accommodations Request Form, and/or during an intake meeting. 
  • You will be asked to provide a rationale for your requested accommodations.  The Accommodations Request Form and documentation affirming a student's disability and need for accommodations will likely be requested. As a guide, please see our documentation guidelines
  • You can expect to be listened to, heard, and treated with respect and dignity. 
  • You can expect as a student to play an active role in receiving your accommodations.  Your engagement is necessary and parents and faculty cannot coordinate your accommodations without student involvement. 
  • After accommodations are determined, students receive their accommodations letters in their Husson student email accounts. Academic accommodations must be renewed each semester, and residence life accommodations must be renewed each academic year. 

Resources for Parents

An Open Letter to Parents

A practical letter of guidance from Jane Jarrow written to parents of new college students with disabilities. Jarrow provides helpful to-do's (and don'ts) for parents of college students with disabilities. 

Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education

An informative resource written by the US Department of Education addressing changes in students' rights and responsibilities as they transition from high school to college.



For more information

Phone and Email Address
Elizabeth Atkinson Elizabeth Atkinson
Director of Accessibility Services
203 Peabody Hall
Husson University
1 College Circle
Bangor, Maine 04401