A. Study Skills: Ask your high school teachers for help with developing study skills. Higher education is more demanding and will require more work and better organizational skills than high school.
B. Time Management Skills: Practice taking care of your own needs while still in high school. Do not rely on your parents to wake you in the morning or remind you of your schedule for the day. Be responsible for gathering all the papers and materials you will need for the day.
C. Financial Skills: Practice managing your money and planning a budget while you are still at home so that you can take care of your finances later.
D. Medical Provisions: If you have special medical needs and plan to live away from home, find the resources in your new community and establish yourself with them before you need them.
E. Personal Assistant: If you need an assistant and plan to live away from home, be aware that institutions do not provide people to assist with your personal needs. Program and physical access are mandated and may include such things as elevators, curb cuts, automatic doors, scribes, note takers, and sign language interpreters, but access does not include personal assistance such as getting around the campus on your own or scribing your homework.
A. Be able to describe your disability clearly. This is especially important if you have a hidden disability such as a learning disability, ADHD, or a psychological disability. You will need to be able to discuss your abilities as well as your disabilities with your service provider. It is often helpful to address these issues with your individual instructors at the beginning of the semester, although it is certainly not required.
B. Be able to clearly communicate what accommodations you will need. Ask your current school or rehabilitation counselor to help you with this task. Technology is rapidly progressing, and you may want to become familiar with the newest equipment and software available.
C. Work out your accommodations with your college professors/instructors at the beginning of the term to avoid problems and conflict later. Remember that professors and instructors are trained in their content area, but they are not disability experts. Helping them to understand how you learn and what accommodations you need will allow the best possible relationship and enable your college teachers to work with you most effectively.
D. Know your rights under the law. Become familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 (often just called “504”). This is an important part of self-advocacy.