For more than a decade, Jane E. Jarrow, Ph.D., has offered her Open Letter to Parents of Students With Disabilities About to Enter College. In this age of the Pandemic, she has updated that advice to support parents whose sons and daughters are heading off for college in this age of uncertainty.
You can download Dr. Jarrow's letter below.
My work as a Disabilities in Higher Education Consultant is focused on helping to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of disability services offices.
In order to assist disability services offices in providing seamless and timely support to the students they serve, in a proactive, rather than reactive manner, and to allow Disability Services staff the downtime they deserve, my consulting services include the following:
Review student documentation
Follow up with students and/or clinicians if additional and/or different information is needed
Provide remote intake interviews to further clarify students’ accommodation needs, to ensure that students understand the expectations of all key players, and to provide information regarding other available campus resources
Share recommendations regarding student accommodations with DSS staff
Research questions related to disabilities and accommodations, as requested
Assist with policy/procedure development, as needed
Provide short-term/temporary remote assistance during emergency situations, such as pregnancy leaves, unexpected illnesses and/or surgeries
Whatever else you can think of that I haven’t!
My work with students and their families always begins with getting to know them. I conduct a thorough review of each student’s disability-related documentation and also implement a personal awareness inventory and college-readiness assessment in order to fully understand the student’s strengths and challenges.
Psycho-educational and neuro-psych reports often contain language that is difficult for most of us to understand. What we really want to know is what does this mean for me (or my child), and what are our next steps? Therefore, I will review student records and provide a plain-language interpretation of psycho-educational assessments, psychological reports, and other documentation. I will also provide a written summary, including recommendations for further review and/or recommended accommodations for the post-secondary environment.
During this part of our work together, I will conduct an interview, complete any necessary records review, and administer appropriate inventory and/or assessment tools, to assess which of the student’s strengths and skills need to be further developed in order to succeed in a traditional higher education setting. Understanding these specific core areas can help students with disabilities recognize the challenges that they may face in college and identify areas in which additional support and development may be needed. A written summary with recommendations will be included in the write-up with the documentation review.
We will meet for six one-hour sessions, in person or via Skype. I will also be available via phone or email for support between sessions, and I will conduct authorized consultation with parents or other support persons, attend meetings if requested, and provide additional assistance. Sessions will focus on helping students (and parents):
Prepare for and adjust to college life.
Navigate the college/university accommodation/support processes.
Manage stress and time.
Manage workload and assignments.
Communicate with professors, advisors, and other college/university personnel.
Become familiar with strategies and resources to help maximize the potential for successful outcomes.
Please note that all services can be provided remotely.
Parents, students, and high school professionals are all essential to the successful transition from high school to college for all students—especially those with disabilities. To help each of these participants in the process understand his or her role in the student’s transition, I have designed a series of trainings and workshops. In these sessions, I provide information about service options at the post-secondary level, outline expectations, and student responsibilities. I also address some of the critical differences between high school and college, with respect to expectations, legal responsibilities, and accommodations. Having this knowledge will allow parents and relevant high school professionals to better guide students through this transition by helping them set their own realistic goals and acquire the skills they will need to pursue them.
“Achieve a More Successful Transition to College for Students with Disabilities"
This is an overview of legal precedents, students’ rights and responsibilities, student success factors, the college environment and managing the change in expectations, and obtaining the appropriate accommodations.
(Can be arranged as an in-service or online option for parents and/or professionals)