As a parent, you have prepared for this moment for the past 18 years and now your child is going to college. As a parent of a child with a disability, perhaps you have feared this moment for the past 18 years. You worry if they will be OK–they will. You worry if they will have support–they will. You worry that they may struggle–at times, they will. But know that you have prepared your child for this journey and they must reach for goals in order to become who they are meant to be in the world. Wilson College provides support to help them along the way.

Also know that on this journey, your child will have the opportunity to seek support from on-campus resources, including accessibility services. We invite you to explore the links and information below to learn more about how to coach your student on navigating the transition from high school to college successfully.  

Reasons for Accommodations:

  • Temporary–may include broken bones or acute impairments due to surgery or injuries.
  • Invisible disabilities–may include autism or mental health diagnoses.  
  • Learning disabilities–may include dyslexia or reading comprehension, math and written expression disabilities.
  • Physical and other disabilities–may include mobility impairments, hearing or visual impairments, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and chronic health impairments.

Accommodation Process
Whether a student requires extra time for testing or has a temporary accommodation need, they should contact the Office of Accessibility Services. Wilson College has established the following process:
1.    The student chooses to disclose a disability.
2.    The student requests accommodations through the online registration.
3.    Documentation is provided by the student.
4.    The accessibility services coordinator will schedule an intake meeting with the student to discuss requests.
5.    Any accommodations that are approved will be outlined in a letter and sent to designated faculty.
6.    The student self-advocates and communicates needs with faculty and staff, as needed.

Note: It does not benefit the student if a parent attempts to complete the accommodation request process. Remember, this journey is about independence and growth.  

Tips for Parents
Remind your student that you are there to support them, but encourage them to navigate college independently and identify needed resources on campus.  

Provide your student with education about accessibility services in the college setting and let them know that information about their diagnoses will remain confidential.  

If you feel the need to speak with an accessibility services staff member, please include your student in the conversation. Due to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), your student’s educational information cannot be shared unless they provide permission by signing a release. 

Help your student determine their strengths and weaknesses and how to best use them in the college setting.  

Prepare your student for the transition to college, which is exhilarating but also occasionally challenging. Having proactive discussions about coping skills, effective communication and conflict resolution before your student departs for their first semester can help him or her adapt to change and grow during difficult times.   


High School



IDEA law protects the student


ADA and 504 laws protect the student

Primary focus is on success

Primary focus is equal access to help the student earn success

K-12 schools are responsible for identifying children with disabilities


Student is responsible for self-identifying regarding a disability

Documentation updates are the responsibility of the school district


Documentation updates are the responsibility of the individual (student)

Modifications provided

Only reasonable accommodations can be provided in college (*These do not always match what was provided in high school.)

IEP/504 plans are typically used for support throughout K-12

IEP/504 plans are not ‘transferred’ from high school; additional documentation may be requested in order to provide accommodations *(The documentation must have diagnosis listed.)