Universities’ Support Services
Many high school students today are worried about getting the same or similar accommodations in college that they received in high school. While these are very legitimate concerns, students can relax thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2006, which states that all universities must provide accommodations to their students. However, they may not be exactly the kind you are used to.
All public universities have some sort of disability support. At my school, East Carolina University, we have an office called Disability Support Services (DSS). DSS is a branch of the university that provides students with learning differences or other disability accommodations to help them in their classes. DSS aims to even the playing field for students that may otherwise have a disadvantage. To do this, specific accommodations will be given to suit a student’s needs.
These services have the means and resources to help students. But rather than providing a set list of accommodations for all their students, they simply ask each person what is needed in order to be successful in the classroom. The support services would then do everything they can, within reason, to meet those needs.
Some examples of common accommodations for students with learning differences might be extended time on tests, testing in a low distraction environment, note takers, and textbooks in audio or electronic form. Before you get involved with these kinds of programs, it would be a good idea to become familiar with your needs and to know what kind of accommodations would be helpful. However, the program’s staff will be familiar with most types of learning differences and will be able to help determine what could be beneficial for you in college classes.