Terra State Community College

Site Search

Transition Tips for Disabled Students

At Terra State, we try and make the transition from high school to college as smooth as possible.  There are many differences between high school and college life, including how students with disabilities establish academic accommodations.

In high school, special education services and academic accommodations are usually coordinated by your teachers, parents and school administrators. However, in college, students take on the responsibility of establishing appropriate academic accommodations for themselves.

Academic Accommodation How-to

It is important to know that if you wish to receive academic accommodations and/or disability support services, you must initiate the process by disclosing your disability to our Disability Services, located in the General Technologies Building, B104. Office hours are Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

  • Before accommodations and services can be established, you will need to provide appropriate documentation of your disability. After doing so, you will progress though an intake process (see below).
  • We will then create a reasonable and appropriate accommodation and service plan based on both your individual needs and the impact/demands of the courses you are taking.

In order to make this process as stress-free as possible, we have prepared the following tips and explanations of our intake and review processes to clarify what you can expect. Please take your time to read them over carefully.

Preparing for the Intake Process

(Adapted from Lissner, S. 2005, Spring. College Accommodation Planning, TACCLD.)

The intake process consists of a personal interview and help developing your own personalized Verified Individual Service and Accommodation (VISA) plan. We ask that you please be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • How would you describe your disability?
  • How does your disability impact you in the academic setting? Take into consideration the following contexts:
    • Classroom (lectures, labs, physical activity, distance learning, group work)
    • Assignments (reading, writing, calculating, keyboarding)
    • Assessments (tests, papers, oral presentations)
    • Time constraints (timed exams/quizzes, deadlines, assignment due dates)
    • Attendance (in-class, required outside-of-class activities)
    • Campus (mobility, navigation, transportation)
  • What have you tried in the past? For instance:
    • Accommodations
    • Adaptive equipment
  • Which ones worked well for you? Which ones did not?
  • What do you anticipate needing in college?

Facts About the Review Process

After you have fully completed your intake interview with our Coordinator of Disability Services, Dori Dalton 419.559.2342, your request for specific accommodations, services and adaptive equipment will be evaluated.

It is important to note that the impact of your disability, rather than the actual diagnosis, is the key consideration. For an accommodation to be reasonable and appropriate, the impact of the disability must substantially interfere with your ability to receive information, participate in an academic setting, communicate and/or display your knowledge.

The diagnosis of a disability does not necessarily guarantee a specific accommodation. Also, accommodations must never alter the fundamental goals of a course. Each accommodation is approved on a case-by-case basis after taking into consideration the goals of each course as well as the context in which the accommodation will be applied.

Learn More Transition Tips

If you have any further questions or would like to learn more about our transition tips, please call Disability Services at 419.559.2342 or toll free 866.288.3772, or contact Dori Dalton at ddalton01@terra.edu.