Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Transition to College by Kerry Bonney

College?  Have you thought about your child with special healthcare needs going away to college?  It is a scary thought for any parent, but particularly for the parent whose child has additional challenges!    According to the Institute for Higher Education Policy, one in eleven freshman college students report some sort of disability.  However, despite the disability many complete their education at the post-secondary level, whether at a trade school or through a two or four-year college program.  
College is the perfect time for your child to learn to manage his/her healthcare needs independently.  By taking proper control of his health needs during this time, the child sets himself up for a lifetime of managing his own healthcare needs.

The safety net that has been built to support your child – family, school, physicians, and friends – will probably not be effective once he enters college life.  So, a support network must be created within the student’s new environment.  This can be accomplished with the assistance of the Office of Disability Services (or similar office) located on the college campus.  While students in post-secondary education are not covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and do not have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), there are Federal laws which include the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which provide safeguards.

There are numerous resources for assistance with transition to post-secondary education.  Here are few to browse:
If we at Family Voices Indiana can assist you with post-secondary resources, please feel free to contact us.

Resources for You

Since 2000, the HEATH Resource Center has served as a national clearinghouse on post-secondary education for individuals with disabilities. It is a web-based clearinghouse that serves as an information exchange of educational resources, support services and opportunities. The HEATH Resource Center gathers, develops and disseminates information in the form of resource papers, fact sheets, website directories, newsletters, and resource materials.
You can read more here: http://www.heath.gwu.edu/

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