Parents and students should consider the following to get ready for college:


1.       Make sure psychological testing is up-to-date.

2.       Obtain all special testing records before high school graduation.

3.       Make contact with the local Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services.

4.       Consider a vocational assessment as a way to amplify present and future goals.

5.       Know study skills that work!!!

6.       Consult with the high school to get a good understanding of how much support is necessary for success.  This should be in

          writing.The Individual Education Plan can be a very useful tool.

7.       Increase independent living skills.

8.       Encourage part-time jobs or volunteer positions.

9.       Make sure there is a good understanding how information is learned best.

10.     Understand how the disability is connected to social expectations with peers.

11.     Encourage students to be their own advocates.

12.     Learn about Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

13.     Get information on special exam arrangements for the ACT and/or SAT.

14.     Obtain two copies of all college applications.

15.     Contact the Disabled Student Services Offices of colleges before applying.

16.     Visit colleges before making a choice.  Shop around!

17.     Consider starting college in a summer session rather than the fall.

18.     Consider an appointment with a qualified optometrist.

19.     Encourage students to have their own membership in support and advocate organizations.

20.     Make sure it is the student’s choice to attend college.




The following list of questions is helpful when inquiring about available services at any post-secondary institution.  THERE ARE NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS.  Various post-secondary institutions provide a range of type and degree of support for students with disabilities.  Your goal should be to match YOUR NEEDS with the available support services.



·        What are the admission requirements for students with a disability?



·        Are campus resources available to diagnose specific disabilities?

·        If so, is there a charge for this?

·        If not, where can I go for testing?  Will that testing be expensive?

·        Does student health insurance pay for getting a diagnosis?

·        Will family health insurance cover the cost of a diagnosis?

·        If I were diagnosed as having a disability when I was a child, do I need new testing now?

·        How will the diagnosis be of use to me?



·        For which subjects are tutoring available?

·        How do I find a tutor?

·        Is there a charge for tutoring?  If so, how can I get the money to pay a tutor?



·        Are there special seminars for students like me?

·        What do they cover?

·        How will they help me?

·        How do I register for them?



·        Are there classes designed for students with disabilities that I can take for credit?

·        What are they?

·        Are they available every term?



·        Is there someone who will help me obtain accommodations if I run into a problem?

·        Is there someone who can explain my rights and responsibilities to me?

·        Is there a person or committee that considers petitions for modified courses of study (such as being excused from taking a foreign language or taking a lighter class load)?

·        Are there student advocacy groups and/or organizations on campus?



·        Is counseling available from someone experienced with various disabilities?

·        What areas do personal and career counseling cover?



·        How do students with disabilities get to know other students?

·        If there is a support group available, what kinds of topics are covered in the meetings?

·        When and where do support groups meet?



·        Are there some programs set up just for students with learning disabilities?



·        Do you have a program for taping textbooks?

·        What are my responsibilities in such a program?

·        If there is no program, what do students whom cannot read print do?



·       Is there an extra tuition charge for the services you provide to students with disabilities?

·       If so, what is the charge?







 Local Colleges for Students with Disabilities & Special Needs


    The following are only a few resources available.  It is suggested that you

consult your Department of Human Services, Office of Rehabilitation

Counselor.  There are many other colleges and/or technical programs that

may better fit your needs.



College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd.

Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137

Main Campus:  (630) 942-2800

Special Student Services (630) 942-2306

TDD:  (630) 858-9692


Contact: Special Student Services Office

Support Services Include: Individual assessment of student needs, new student orientation, assistance with registration, accessibility information, library assistance, employment/career information, note-takers, testing accommodations (readers), tape records, access to audio recorded text books, tutoring, interpreters for the hearing impaired, access to microcomputers and adaptive equipment for the blind.  Learning Disability Specialist on staff for instructional support (one 15-minute appointment per week through the Center for Independent Living).







College of DuPage


Vocational Skills Program

Teaching Workplace Competency to Special Populations


425 Fawell Blvd

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

(630) 942-3854 ( Steve Fry)

(630) 942-2941 (Sally Mullen)

TDD: (630) 858-9692


Description: Vocational skills courses developed specifically for students with mild to moderate cognitive impairment. Classes are designed to develop entry-level employment skills and enhance independent  living. These 8-week courses meet for 4 hours each week on campus or at community based sites. Target population is students 18 years or above. Students must possess manual dexterity to perform specific tasks as required by each course. Classes currently offered: Employment Skills I, Employment Skills II, Keyboard Skills, Computer Skills I, Computer Skills II, Automotive Skills, Food Service Skills, and Hotel-Housekeeping Skills.







Elmhurst College


Elmhurst Life Skills Academy (ELSA)

190 Prospect Ave

Elmhurst, IL 60126

(630) 617-3752


Description: ELSA is a 4-year commuter Life-Skills program. Program is open to students 18-25 years old with severe learning, intellectual, cognitive, physical/sensory disabilities. Students must have completed high school.







William Rainey Harper College


Access and Disability Services

1200 W. Algonquin Rd.

Palatine, IL 60067-7396

Phone: (847) 925-6266 & TDD:  (847) 397-7600

Fax:  (847) 925-6267


Contact: The Access & Disability Services Office

Support Services include: Specialized programs and services are available through the Access & Disability Services Office. They provide instructional support to improve retention, academic progress and success for students with disabilities. Accommodations may include: sign language interpreters, readers or scribes for exams, modification in test taking, note taking assistance, use of specialized technology, class relocation, modifications in procedures and conversion of materials. An orientation is offered to high school juniors and seniors with disabilities, the College Awareness program.







National-Louis University

Professional Assistant Center for Education (PACE)

Evanston Campus

2840 Sheridan Road

Evanston, IL 60201

(847) 905-2670

Description: PACE  program is for students 18-30 years old. This specialized program offers integrated non-credit post-secondary services to young adults with multiple learning disabilities. Students live on-campus in a dormitory setting in order to develop independent living skills, aga appropriate social skills, career preparation and academic opportunities.







Waubonsee Community College

Rt. 47 at Waubonsee Drive

Sugar Grove IL 60554

Phone: (630) 466-7900

TDD:  (630) 466-4649

Fax:  (630) 466-4649


Contact: Access Center for Students with Disabilities, Ext.2564

Support Services include: Individual assessment of student needs to ensure successful Educational Planning, new student orientation, note-takers, readers, test accommodations, taped texts, sign language interpreters, career counseling. Learning Disabilities Specialist on staff.






Additional Training Resources


Donka, Inc.


400 N. County Farm Road

Wheaton, IL  60187

Phone:  (630) 665-8169


Services Include:  Computer training and Assistive Technology enabling individuals with disabilities to communicate, read, write, continue education or get employment. Mobile services to provide assistive technology trainings and evaluations for high school students in the school setting. Offers “Train the Trainer” workshops.








Assistive Technologies, Inc.

Technology Access Solutions for Work, Home & School


1415 North Eagle Street

                                                                                 Naperville, IL  60563

Phone:  (630) 527-0100


Services Include:  Vocational Assessment, applications training on most software, and rehabilitation adaptations.  Personalized training is provided specific to job expectations and/or learning needs of people with disabilities.

NOTES: ___________________________________________________






Technology Center of DuPage  (TCD)


301 South Swift Road

Addison, IL  60101

(630) 620-8770


Contact:  Dean of Students or Special Needs Coordinator

Services include:  Provides a variety of technical and vocational training programs and options to high school students in DuPage County and Lyons Township.