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Considering the Possibility of Continuing Education in Special Needs Planning

Published October 5, 2009

Children with special needs face a variety of challenges when pursuing a post-secondary education. Regardless of disability, all children have certain rights guaranteed to them to help optimize their educational experience.

Some children with special needs may wish to continue their education beyond high school. It is important for these students and their parents to understand what rights they have at a post-secondary institution, and to know how those rights differ from the rights they had in high school. Post-secondary institutions may not discriminate against students with disabilities, but they are not required to identify the special needs of their students as public schools are.

Students who believe they may need a college to make special arrangements for their needs, should request an academic adjustment. Academic adjustments might include priority registration, a reduced course load, providing note takers or sign language interpreters, extended time for testing, and equipping school computers with screen-reading. It is the responsibility of the student to request such an adjustment. As parents, it is important to know what your child is entitled to and when the right time to make a request may be. A special needs planning attorney can serve as an advocate for students pursuing continuing education.

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