College Students with Disabilities
In 2006, it was estimated that 11 percent of American college students have disabilities- mental, physical, or psychiatric. This has increased from 2.3 percent in the 1970's. This increase is mainly due to better diagnoses, higher expectations of individuals with disabilities, and law supporting services for college students with disabilities. Furthermore, many college students do not realize that they have a disability until they reach college.
What to expect as a student with a disability at Alfred University
Accepted students to Alfred University receive a packet of materials from the Admissions Office. This packet contains information about the college, including a Special Academic Services registration form. This form provides students with disabilities the opportunity to self-identify and provide documentation about their disability to the office of Special Academic Services. It is a personal decision to self-identify in order to receive accommodations.
Once a student has self-identified to the office of Special Academic Services by submitting their registration form and current documentation the student will be invited to attend Early Orientation. Early Orientation allows students to become acclimated to the Alfred University campus and the office of Special Academic Services. This is a great opportunity for both students and parents and/or guardians to meet with the Special Academic Services' staff and become acquainted with the campus, but it is not required.
All students who self-identify and provide documentation of their disability are assigned an Academic Consultant, who will be there to help ensure that they receive appropriate accommodations and provide them with academic support. The student's Academic Consultant will contact them by the first week of classes to set up a time to meet. Some students will then schedule weekly meetings, bi-weekly meetings, monthly meetings, or meetings as needed, all depending on the amount of support the student feels is appropriate and necessary.
Students will create a student plan with their Academic Consultant and identify which accommodations and services will be necessary for academic success. Students will be given a letter to deliver to their professors that will explain that they receive accommodations through the office of Special Academic Services.
As a college student with a disability, self-advocacy plays a key role in receiving the accommodations that are necessary for success. It is encouraged that students discuss their needs with their professors at the beginning of each semester. Students may choose to disclose their disability, but are not required to. Academic Consultants provide students with skills to become more comfortable self-advocating and discussing their individual strengths and needs with their professors.
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