Accommodating Students with Disabilities
Dickinson College is committed to ensuring equal access and reasonable accommodations to all qualified students with documented disabilities. At Dickinson College students with disabilities represent approximately 10% of the student population. The Office of Disability Services is designed to assist all students and is especially important for students with disabilities. Accommodations are approved through Director, Marni Jones, and many services are facilitated through the Academic Advising Department.
Parents: What to Expect
You may be concerned that your child will have a difficult time transitioning to college. Don't worry! Dickinson College offers a variety of resources to promote success and independence to all students.
One of the main differences between high school and college is that the school is no longer required to provided accommodations. Instead, college is an opportunity for students to become independent and advocate for themselves. While at Dickinson, the students are responsible for scheduling meetings with the Director of Learning Skills and Disability Services, as well as with each of their professors, in order to receive accommodations.
Check out the differences between High School vs. College, or view our Accommodation Process to learn more about what to expect as your child enters Dickinson College.
Tips for Parents
- Encourage your child to communicate and advocate for him/herself (but don't be afraid to follow up and find out if he/she has).
- Start early! Plan a visit to visit the campus and the Office of Disability Services.
- Talk with your child and share with him/her the concerns you have and issues you think need to be discussed. Encourage your child to share these issues with the Disability Services staff, but do not pressure if he/she does not want to.
- Don't be insulted if you are not invited to sit in on your child's meetings. Some students may prefer that this meeting be a private one.
- If you do attend a meeting, don't interrupt during a meeting or conversation. Give your child the opportunity to speak for him/herself. After your child has had an opportunity to ask all questions, you will have your chance to ask questions or address any concerns that were not met.
- Acknowledge and accept your child's limits and strengths, and be open to new changes.
- Promote exploration of new opportunities and new relationships.
- Let your son/daughter know that you are there for them if he/she needs it, but also help him/her to identify the resources available on campus (advisors, peer tutors, the Writing Center, librarians, peer advisors, class deans, Learning Skills Workshops...)
- If you feel the need to communicate with Disability Services, involve your child in the conversation so that everyone is on the same page. Disability Services is limited in what information can be shared with parents due to FERPA confidentiality laws, but we understand that some students may appreciate having their parents involved in conversations in which they are seeking strategy guidance.
- Finally, be prepared for major stumbling blocks and bumps in the road. Remember that we often learn and grow the most when we are challenged and things don't come easy. But overcoming adversity helps make students with exceptionalities exceptional!
Please take a few minutes to review Dickinson College's Parent Philosophy.
These are outside resources who are not affilliated with Dickinson, but who have provided independent coaching services to several Dickinson College students who wished to recommend their services to others:
Marni Jones, Director of Learning Skills and Disability Services
Stephanie Anderberg, Administrative Assistant for Learning Skills and Disability Services
Terry Wilkins, Administrative Assistant for Academic Advising and Disability Services