Information helpful for parents as their children transition to college

U.S. laws that establish protections and services for students with disabilities are significantly different in the post-secondary environment when compared to the K-12 environment. In college, the law focuses on the student and that limits how we interact with students and their parents.

  • We communicate exclusively with the student about their disability and needs.
  • Students can sign an information release that allows us to communicate with parents and/or relatives.
  • We welcome parents, with their child's consent, to attend the initial meeting with the disability specialist to...
    • Get answers to any questions they have about the transition to college
    • Assist their child in the transition

Parents' Role

Parents have a limited role as requesting and receiving academic accommodations requires the active participation of the student
Note: Parents may not request accommodations and/or services on behalf of their child. The student must request services and accommodations.

Student focused

Because the academic accommodations are provided for students, the process for requesting and providing academic accommodations requires the active participation of the student. Student Disability Resources needs to have open communication directly with the student in order to assess the needs and wishes of the student who is requesting the accommodations.

Our policies and procedures require the student’s involvement. Furthermore, the Office for Civil Rights has ruled that students must initiate the process, be active participants in the accommodation process and have direct interaction/contact with the disability coordinator.

Parents involvement

Written consent provided by students under FERPA entitles parents to information regarding their child's educational program; however, such consent does not entitle parents to participate in the academic accommodations process.

Delegation through LionPATH allows access to student records. It is not related to any services provided by Student Disability Resources and this authorization of a parent as a delegate does not allow parents to insist that students not be contacted directly or be involved in the accommodation process. 

The basis for this policy is the existing FERPA (Family and Education Rights Privacy Act) regulations and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) decisions involving colleges and universities across the country.

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