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Colleges For Special Needs Students

Naomi Said:

Colleges that have programs for students with special needs?

We Answered:

All public universities must comply with the laws requiring equal access to education for all Americans.

Each should have an office or department dedicated to insuring that students with special needs are not penalized in their efforts to achieve a college education. Some will have additional tutors and programs. The more the better!

You should also see what is available at your community college. Local colleges are more likely to have additional resources and be more experienced working with special needs students. Ask for the Office of Student disAbilities.

Mathew Said:

What do you take in college/university to become a special needs teacher?

We Answered:

Some schools offer an undergrad major in special ed and/or and elementary ed degree with certification in special ed. It is also widely available as a Master's degree program. Look at the websites of schools that interest you and see how their program works. This may vary from state to state as to specific requirements.

See the website below for one example.

Rosemary Said:

I am taking a survey regarding students with special needs who will be attending college?

We Answered:

As someone with hearing difficulties, I have chosen to go to an inclusive school. I get zero support, despite having asked for some, but I still think it's better for me in the long run even if I'll have to take some classes more than once and not get the grades I otherwise could.

I fear that going to a special school will pigeonhole me in the eyes of future employers and give them the impression that I am unable to cope in an inclusive environment. I also need to learn as best I can to adapt to an inclusive environment, so hopefully this can help me develop lip-reading or any other adaptive skills I need.

Herbert Said:

I am a special needs student. What can I do about a teacher discriminating against me?

We Answered:

Short of actually discussing this with the professor herself, you can try to speak with a department head. You may also speak to your dean or an undergraduate advisor. Most colleges try to accomodate one's needs, especially if they fear an impending lawsuit. What you want to do is:

1. Talk to as many people as you can about this.
2. Get anything they say in writing. Anything that is writing is proof that can be used against their claims.
3. Look at the school's policies. As a special needs student, you should not face discimination, by law. But the college may have special ways it goes about handling those needs. You also have some degree of responsibility in meetimng the requirements (for example, you may be required to bring a doctor's note in a timely fahsion prior to an exam).

Having said this, I think your professor was at the very least tactless, and at worst discriminatory. I can't say which was the case. Frankly, many professors are overgrown children, who have never done a hard day's work in their lives, and their PhD's make them feel entitled and even superior. They feel they can do no wrong, even though they err many times but their errors are never corrected.

Pursue this as much as you can. Speak to Deans. They will want to accomodate you and they can force the professor to comply even if she does not want to.

Just a comment to "All Hat" below:

You stated "the city was just so fed up with her whining all the time that they figured out other things to fire her for and the firing stuck.". Would you be so bold as to go on record with this? If so, I think we have a great case for disability discrimination. You truly call yourself an "expert"?

FIRST: Any legitimate discrimination case should be investigated. SECOND: the laws against disability discrimination exist for a reason. They protect people who cannot protect themselves otherwise. They do NOT give special treatment for the sake of providing extra privileges. They remedy problems in the workforce, in school, or in other contexts.

What you are saying is that you had NO case to deny this disabled individual, but fired her for cause that was completely superfluous (the "you got tired" of her "whining" for her equal rights argument would not hold up in court). If anything, it is YOUR duty to uphold her rights.

You are, frankly, a sad disgrace, a person who represents what is worst in America. What is worst of all, you call yourself an "expert". I'd love to send you over to Fallujah and face some harsh disability, and come back and "whine" and then have someone else laugh in your face as they deny your claims for "other" reasons. Just deplorable.

Mike Said:

Are there College's For Special Needs Students?

We Answered:

All public colleges and universities provide accommodations to students with disabilities. This law is called the Americans with Disabilties Act. The ADA provides reasonable accommodations to an otherwise qualified student with disabilities.

We have to be intellectually capable of following allong with the course content, but we can get the format (larger font size, extra time, quiet testing room) changed. And we can get front row seating in a class lecture hall and/or permission to tape a lecture.

I could not drive because of my own disability. So, I used a plane to fly to/from my college. I chose a college campus which was small enough for me to travel around on foot. I also helped create public transit in my college town, so anybody lacking a car (disability or not) could independently get around the larger community without always having to depend on others to drive us.

Colleges can require freshman/people with a certain number of credit hours to live on campus. This is so it is 'easier' for them to adjust to college life and theoretically get a good start on making good grades in college.

The big transition from high school was obtaining campus accommodations. You must register with the campus accommodations office after being accepted to the general college. The registration office cannot proactively forward materials to the accommodations office on your behalf. And you must contact the professors for each class you are registered in every semester you are registered--and show them the letter of accommodations which lists the accommodations that the campus accommodations office says you will have. The accommodations office cannot forward this letter for you.

You have to become (if not already) comfortable publically talking about your own disabilities and your own needs for these disabilities.

Think about stuff like what you'd like to get a degree in and look at what colleges have the most interesting academic programs in those degrees.

Are there interesting programs? If possible, visit the campus and talk with a couple of the professors in those departments.

College is different from high school because a professor who teaches (for example) government then has a narrow specialization of research interest within that broader area--which will vary widely among colleges. So different colleges have different government professors who will be interested in researching different things within the same larger field. You should see if you have their same interests, and develop some mentors.

Look at the size of the campuses too. And location--is it near/in a city or a town? Would you like the college campus and community lives? Finally look at the campus and read a copy of the student paper. Could you imagine yourself doing campus activities there?

Students aren't formally required to have a job in college, but the extra money certainly helps. Jobs provide reasonable accommodations to an otherwise qualified person, also covered under the ADA. We have to be able to successfully do the requirements of a job with or without an accommodation in order to be hired and kept on at a job.

And also relevant to after college jobs my vocational counselor told me that a job is not an entitlement for a person with a disability--nobody HAS to hire us when we do not properly perform the job for which we applied.

A vocational counselor is a disability accommodations office for the real world. Your college campus legally will not and cannot refer you to these people because it's not within their office duties, but you could register with one on your own.

They are very helpful in locating additional resources around a larger community and for after college graduation. In college, you definently are not 'entitled' to a transition plan when getting ready to graduate. The college accommodations office only provides accommodations for you on their campus facilities and then that's it after you get the diploma.

I would not limit myself to those 'special colleges' it is like trying to narrow down if you should attend a college by if it will have sanitary drinking water throughout the campus---It's a basic requirement for human rights survival.

Private religious colleges are exempt from 'having' to follow the ADA, but most do (again under the human rights principle)

Discuss It!

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