The Department of Support Services understands that parents, family members, or friends of students with disabilities may have more concerns than family or friends of other college students. We hope that becoming familiar with services and procedures at KCC will reduce anxiety and help students pursue reasonable academic accommodations.
For Parents and Family Members of Recent High School Graduates
You may be accustomed to playing an active role in your student’s education. The changes in services and responsibility at the college level often take students and stakeholders by surprise. High schools don’t always prepare families for the differences they face when enrolling in college. We hope the information on our website helps provide the information you need to better understand post-secondary disability services so you can continue to support your student at this level.
In college, the service model changes dramatically. IEPs and 504 Plans do not exist at the college level. There is no equivalent to the team approach which you are likely accustomed to being a part of. Support Services staff, college faculty, and KCC staff are not responsible for identifying students with disabilities and connecting them with Support Services. Students must identify themselves to the office, provide documentation of disability, and request accommodations. A college student is an adult in the eyes of the law and is the only one who can initiate the accommodation process. Please encourage your student to apply and then allow the student to take on this responsibility.
It can be difficult to adjust to this new role, especially if you are concerned that your student might not initiate or follow through with the process. Being proactive and accepting personal responsibility are keys to your student’s college success. Social skills and awareness are also important. After college, your student will have to articulate the nature of his or her disability and assert the right to accommodations in the workplace. For legal, practical, and developmental reasons now is the time for your student to accept this responsibility and begin to self-advocate.
As parents or family members, you have helped your student reach this educational goal of college enrollment. Congratulations! Your role is still crucially important, but behind the scene.
For Family Members of Nontraditional Age Students
If your loved one acquired a disability, or has been diagnosed with one, later in life, the world of disability accommodations may be a new and confusing one. For those who received Special Education or disability services in high school, but it has been a while since graduation, there are also special challenges. Even those individuals with disabilities who have received accommodations at their place of employment in the past, the more rigid, centralized procedure of requesting and receiving accommodations at college can be a difficult transition.
It is the goal of Support Services to provide your loved one with the most appropriate, effective reasonable accommodations for his or her documented disability. We do work within very specific boundaries and are not always able to approve every request for accommodation. However, our decisions are always based on the documentation provided, as well as our ability to provide a specific accommodation without fundamentally changing the nature of the program of study that your loved one is pursuing.
Our goal is to help your student succeed academically at KCC in order to be prepared for successful employment or further studies. We understand that it can be frustrating to watch your loved one struggle at something that seems to “come easy” to others, and the requirements for providing documentation and requesting actual accommodations for a particular course may seem overly complicated. It is not our goal to discourage or weary your student with our policies, but we must have the necessary information to best assist and serve all students.
Please encourage your student to contact our office if he or she has any questions or concerns about the approved accommodations.
How You Can Help Your Student
- Look at the Support Services/Disability Services website together
- Make sure the diagnosis can be explained by the student to others
- Encourage contact with Support Services soon after (or before!) admission to KCC
- Go over your student’s documentation to make certain it is current and complete
- Suggest the student contact Support Services with questions or for clarification
Contact Support Services