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Going to College: Expanding Opportunities for People with Disabilities


A college education can open the door to greater participation in the workplace and community. With this urgently needed, research-based book, readers will learn what they can do to make this crucial opportunity available to young people with a wide range of disabilities. Professionals who work in high schools and colleges&mash;including disability service coordinators, guidance counselors, administrators, and general and special educators—will use this important resource to...

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A college education can open the door to greater participation in the workplace and community. With this urgently needed, research-based book, readers will learn what they can do to make this crucial opportunity available to young people with a wide range of disabilities. Professionals who work in high schools and colleges&mash;including disability service coordinators, guidance counselors, administrators, and general and special educators—will use this important resource to

  • help students make all of the necessary preparations, including selecting a college, applying, determining eligibility for services, and securing financial aid
  • create welcoming college classrooms through the use of universally designed instructional strategies, assessment methods, and accommodations and supports
  • address the specific needs of students who have psychiatric disabilities, learning disabilities and ADHD, and developmental disabilities
  • promote the important concept of self-determination to aid students in their transition to college life and professional life
  • learn students' rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • help students practice for and make the transition to the working world, using resources such as internships, career centers, and business partnerships

Filled with case studies, best practices, program guidelines, and strategies, this is a required resource for anyone who educates or coordinates services for individuals with disabilities. Readers will discover their part in helping young people gain access to a meaningful college education%mdash;one that promotes independence and responsibility, sharpens social skills, and builds a strong foundation for a successful career.

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Editorial Reviews

Director and Professor, Center on Disability Studies, National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Support - Robert A. Stodden
"A rare resource in an emerging area of great need."
National Down Syndrome Society; former Assistant Secretary, US Department of Education - Madeleine Will
"A comprehensive, readable, and much-needed guidebook for the growing numbers who have set their sights on going to college."
Lead Vocational Coordinator, Career Connection - Richard L. Rosenberg
"A great book for teachers, families, and staff at all levels of our educational system."
Assistant Dean, Emory College, Director of Faculty Resources for Inclusive Instruction - Wendy L. Newby
"Truly a treasure trove of information . . . I learned something new on every page. Anyone working in this field should have this volume at their side to guide them through the complexities of transition, adjustment, and survival in college for students with disabilities."
Professor and Director, Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota - David R. Johnson
"At last, a book that has captured the multifaceted and complex world of postsecondary education and its critical role in preparing young adults with disabilities for future careers and community life."
Disability Support Services Professional, Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Todd Van Wieren
"An exceptional book that speaks to all of those involved in the matter of college and disability . . . an introductory resource [that] also presents stimulating ideas and concepts for even the most seasoned disability support services professional."
Professor, Department of Administration, Rehabilitation, & Postsecondary Education, San Diego State University Interwork - Caren Sax
"Gives stories, strategies, and practical advice on keeping the [college] dream alive by informing students, families, and teachers who prepare students at the K-12 level as well as faculty who meet them at college."
President, AHEAD - Jim Kessler
"An excellent reference about the process of ensuring equal access for students with disabilities in higher education, noting both individual and institutional responsibilities."
Journal of College Student Development
"Serves as an excellent primer for college and university administrators and faculty and staff members interested in learning more about how to enhance access and success for students with disabilities. . . .its comprehensive coverage of many topics makes it an excellent text or reference book."
Harvard Educational Review
"This book is an excellent resource, especially for deans or vice presidents supervising college disability services offices. I recommend Going to College as a unique contribution to education...[this book] is an important reference for anyone concerned with disability services and access."
From the Publisher
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557667427
  • Publisher: Brookes, Paul H. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/1/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 314
  • Sales rank: 1,468,603
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Evans Getzel, Ph.D., is Director of Postsecondary Education Initiatives with the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has extensive experience conducting research, evaluation, and training in the areas of transition planning for secondary students with disabilities, postsecondary education for students with disabilities, and career planning/employment for individuals with disabilities. She currently directs approximately $3 million of grant-funded projects focusing on supported education in postsecondary education, career development for college students with disabilities, faculty professional development focusing on universal design principles, and secondary education transition services. Her research interests include secondary education transition planning, self-determination skills of college students with disabilites, and effective services and supports for college students with disabilities. Ms. Getzel serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disabilityand is on the editorial boards for the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation and The Journal for Vocational Special Needs Education She has authored or co-authored journal articles and book chapters on transition, career development, postsecondary education, and employment. In addition, Ms. Getzel has presented extensively at state, national, and international conferences and at meetings on her projects and research areas.

Debra Hart is the Director of the Education and Transition Team for the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She serves as the Principal Investigator for the NIDRR funded Center on Postsecondary Education for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, the ADD funded Consortium on Postsecondary Education for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities and Office of Postsecondary Education funded National Coordinating Center. Debra has over 25 years of experience working with youth and adults with disabilities, their families, faculty, and professionals that support youth in becoming contributing valued members of their community via participation in inclusive secondary and postsecondary education, and competitive employment. Since 1997, Ms. Hart has directed five federal grants designed to create access to postsecondary education for youth with intellectual disabilities.

Colleen A. Thoma, Ph.D., earned her doctoral degree from Indiana University, where she began her research on self-determination in transition planning. She is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education and Disability Policy and Director of Doctoral Studies in the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond. She teaches courses on disability policy, transition and secondary education, curriculum and instruction, and characteristics of students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Her research interests include preparation of teachers to support selfdetermined transition planning, student-directed individualized education program development, and the impact of student self-determination on transition and academic outcomes. She has mentored doctoral candidates at VCU (including her co-author, Dr. Christina Bartholomew) in their own research on self-determination, teacher preparation, and transition services. Dr. Thoma’s scholarship, teaching, and service have focused primarily in the areas of self-determination, transition planning and services, and teacher preparation. She co-authored a book on transition assessment with Dr. Caren Sax, Transition Assessment: Wise Practices for Quality Lives (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 2002), and has authored or co-authored more than 40 peerreviewed journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports. She is a frequent presenter at major national conferences, wi

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Read an Excerpt

As a high school senior, Greg, like most seniors, was busy preparing to attend college away from home. Greg's preparations were more extensive, however, because he uses computer-based technology to help him meet his academic and daily living needs. Greg has many technology support needs due to his physical and learning disabilities; therefore, his preparations were not typical. In fact, it turned out that these needs presented major challenges to his professors and the university's support staff. Computer software programs did not perform as promised, dorm rooms were not wheelchair accessible (except for one room in an all-female dorm), and delays in providing accommodations caused much worry. While many on his high school transition planning team wondered if they would ever be able to facilitate a smooth transition to college, Greg learned a valuable lesson: "You have to be knowledgeable, and you have to be pushy, because you have to be able to articulate what your goals are and what you need to get there."

There is a large body of literature available related to best practices in facilitating the transition from secondary school to adult life for students with disabilities (e.g., Benz & Halpern, 1987; Halpern, 1994; Wehman, 2001; Will, 1984). Much of this literature emphasizes the importance of supporting students to be active participants in the process—that is, to be self-determined (e.g., VanReusen & Bos, 1994; Wehmeyer & Ward, 1995). However, the existing literature does not specifically address the need for students to be self-determined in the process of making the transition to postsecondary education, although there is a literature base addressing the need for students to be self-determined in the general transition planning process (e.g., Wehmeyer & Sands, 1998). As shown in the introductory case study, Greg learned quickly that he needed to be his own advocate and that the support provided to him by teachers and his parents would no longer be so readily available to him. In college, he was expected to know what he needed, to have appropriate documentation to demonstrate his need, and then to advocate for those supports with professionals.

Greg's elementary and secondary schools had the obligation to provide all support necessary for his education; after graduation, however, this was no longer guaranteed to him. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (PL 108-446), as well as previous versions of IDEA, mandate that students with disabilities be provided a free and appropriate public education. This education must be based on an individual's strengths and needs as determined by an educational planning team. Central to this premise is a zero reject principle, which means that a public elementary or secondary school cannot decide that a student's support needs are too severe to provide him or her with an appropriate education. In addition, the educational planning team must consider whether an individual student needs assistive technology, and if so, the school must provide that technology.

That is not the expectation at the postsecondary education level, at which the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (PL 101-336) and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (PL 93-112) and Section 508 of its amendments (per the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [PL 105-220]) apply. These laws do not guarantee that all of an individual's postsecondary educational needs will be met. These laws ensure equal access, and obtaining services becomes an eligibility issue. (See Chapter 2 for more details about the legal implications of providing supports at the postsecondary level for students with disabilities.) For this reason, more preparation needs to go into the transition planning process to ensure that necessary supports are in place—that the student understands his or her disability and what technology or other supports are necessary

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Table of Contents

1 The need and the challenges associated with going to college 3
2 Understanding the regulatory environment 25
3 Self-determination and the transition to postsecondary education 49
4 Preparing for college 69
5 The role of disability support services 89
6 Implementing universal design for instruction to promote inclusive college teaching 119
7 Expanding support services on campus 139
8 Strategies for students with hidden disabilities in professional school 163
9 The role of technology in preparing for college and careers 179
10 Training university faculty and staff 199
11 Students with psychiatric disabilities 217
12 Students with learning disabilities or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder 233
13 Dual enrollment as a postsecondary education option for students with intellectual disabilities 253
14 Internships and field experiences 271
15 Career planning and placement 291
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