Time to prepare for post-secondary!

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By now, many grade twelve students have applied to college and/or university and are eagerly awaiting to hear where they got accepted. If you are one of these students (or the parent of one of these students) and you have learning issues that you know you will need to get accommodations for at post secondary this fall, it is important to remember these things:

  • Students with disabilities will only receive accommodations at colleges/universities if they disclose their disability to the Accessibility Services Office (AS) and provide appropriate documentation. This means that unless a student discloses and registers with AS, accommodations such as note-takers, extra time for tests and exams, a quiet place to write exams, and accommodated exam schedules cannot not be provided.
  • In order to arrange for accommodations, incoming students with disabilities must arrange and attend an intake appointment with the AS office. Students will be required to complete forms and submit documentation, often in advance of the meeting.  During the intake meeting students will meet with their advisor and determine which accommodations and resources they will use.  Often, students will be given a letter of accommodation to share with professors in order to receive their in class and exam accommodations.
  • To access permanent accommodations in post-secondary education an IEP (Individual Education Plan) from high school is not sufficient documentation. Most institutions require an assessment of functional limitations completed by qualified practitioners.  If you know which school you will be
    attending, contact Accessibility Services at your chosen college or university to determine what you require.
  • If your school determines your documentation is outdated, you will be required to obtain updated documentation from a qualified practitioner, such as a Registered Psychologist or Psychological Associate. At some schools, students may be provided with initial or interim accommodations while awaiting updated documentation from a qualified practitioner.  Check with Accessibility Services at your chosen school to determine what documentation is required and how recent
    it must be.  For most disorders, documentation can be no more than three years old.
  • Psychoeducational assessments completed by Registered Psychologists or Psychological Associates are usually required for students with learning disabilities, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), mental health conditions such as an Anxiety Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Your college or university Accessibility Services can tell you if you are required to have a psychoeducational assessment in order to be eligible for accommodations.
  • Accommodations are determined based on the provided documentation and are unique to each individual’s needs. They are directly related to functional impairments as evidenced in documentation from a qualified professional. Extra time allowances will be determined when you meet with an advisor at Accessibility Services at your chosen college or university at the beginning of the year. It is most common that students in post-secondary receive no more than 50% additional time.

We at Insight Psychology on Norfolk (IPN) are committed to supporting our clients during the transition
from high school to university. We offer full psychological assessments of learning issues, as well as mental health concerns, to prepare students for post secondary. Please contact us for more information or to receive a copy of The IPN Transition Planning Guide for Students with Learning Issues that we have just recently developed.

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