How “LD-Friendly” is a College?

During the college search process, one of the questions you may have is -How “LD-friendly” is this particular college? It is difficult to find the answer to that question from a catalog or the internet. For one, services can change rapidly, depending on funding, and the college catalog may not reflect recent changes. Secondly, promises are easy to make. What you want to know is – do they follow through?

Colleges with programs geared specifically to LD students are likely to be the most “friendly”. After all, if a college has gone to the trouble and expense of setting up a program, they probably “get it”. This is also a college to which you can disclose on your application (assuming you want to be part of that program). That is not to say that other college can’t be LD-friendly as well.

After screening colleges either through the internet or books like K & W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or Peterson’s Colleges with Programs for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorders, it’s time to do your own research. Make a list of colleges that interest you the most. When you plan your itinerary for college visits, be sure to make appointments for both an information session, which includes a college tour, and a visit to meet with someone in the disability jobs brisbane services office, preferably the coordinator. Many schools give you vouchers for the cafeteria, so you can get a feel for the student body.

When, you visit disability services, be sure to ask the following questions:* How many professionals are employed there (including part- timers and full-timers)?* How many students are served?* Do LD students get priority registration?* Do students register in the Disability Services office where their courses can be hand-selected by an advisor who knows them well?* Do they allow a reduced course load, if necessary?* Is there tutoring specifically for LD/ADD students? If so, is it peer or professional tutoring?* Is there a distraction-free environment within the office to take tests?

Also, ask to be introduced to a student who uses their services. The manner inwhich they handle this question may indicate their “LD-friendliness”. After all,college is too large a financial investment to make a decision based on theoffice’s say-so. Ask the student:

* How receptive is the disability office to your needs?* How comfortable do you feel walking into this office?* How easy is it to get an appointment when you need one? What is the typical wait?* Is the staff welcoming and helpful?* Is the tutoring adequate (if there is tutoring)?* How accepting is the faculty of disabilities?* Are your needs being met?

Answers to these questions should clarify the “LD-friendliness” factor.

In summary, do your due-diligence up front to determine which colleges seem best-suited for you in terms of location, major, size, etc. After that, there is no substitute for a personal visit. If you speak well and feel that an interview would enhance your application, that is the perfect time to schedule that as well.

Once you get your acceptances, you may want to re-visit your final choices. Then, ask if you can spend an overnight with an LD student and attend classes the following day. This should be final confirmation that the college is indeed the right choice.