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Jr. High & High School Resources

Post Secondary Success With Dyslexia

Over twenty years of research has identified factors that predict successful outcomes for children with disabilities. Research identified these characteristics and life experiences that lead to successful life outcomes:

  • goal setting
  • self-awareness
  • perseverance
  • emotional coping strategies
  • support systems
  • proactivity

After High School: Different Paths to Success provides information on the many paths students may take post-secondary.

The Complete Guide to College for Disabled Students gives a general overview of various resources for students with learning disabilities.

College Entrance Exams

College Board Exams include the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and AP Exams. Accommodations are available for students with disabilities that meet eligibility requirements. However, it is important to remember that receiving school accommodations does not guarantee College Board approval of a request.

Typical Accommodations include:

Accommodation approval requires extensive documentation, and unfortunately, our dyslexia assessment likely will not meet guidelines. Learning disability documentation guidelines require:

  • Diagnosis clearly stated;
  • Current information (less than 5 years);
  • History presented;
  • Diagnosis supported with:
    • summary of testing procedures,
    • narrative summary,
    • test scores,
    • comprehensive cognitive and achievement battery.

The general education dyslexia assessment does not include a comprehensive cognitive battery. If your child is eligible for special education or you have obtained additional assessment outside of the school district, your testing may contain the required information.

There are two processes to request accommodations, (1) School Verification and (2) Parent Paper Verification. Regardless of which process you choose, contact your high school counselor to initiate the process.

School verification process:

  1. Student/parent approaches campus counselor who will notify the campus Services for Students with Disabilities Coordinator (SSD);
  2. Student and parent sign consent forms;
  3. SSD coordinator completes an online form documenting the student meets eligibility for the accommodation, the accommodation has been in place for more than four months  and the student currently uses the accommodation at school;
  4. If the answer to any of the statements in “3” is no, the school will submit the available documentation for review by the College Board.
  5. If approved, the student will receive an SSD number to use when registering for a test  
  6. Accommodations remain in effect through one year after graduation from high school.

Parent Paper Request This process again begins by contacting the SSD coordinator at your child high school. The SSD coordinator will provide a form for the parent and student to complete and submit.

If your request was denied, you can find information on how to proceed here.  If you are interested in SAT preparation, Khan Academy offers free online preparation: SAT prep from Khan Academy

ACT tests are another type of college entrance exams. Like the SATs, certain accommodations are available for students who meet eligibility criteria. Detailed information can be obtained at ACT’s Services for Students with Disabilities page. Unlike the SAT process, students must register for ACT prior to requesting accommodations. The student will then be able to print an application for accommodations.

There are three types of ACT accommodations available:

  1. National Standard Time with Accommodations
  2. National Extended Time (50% additional time)
  3. Special testing At School (more than time and a half or special test presentation such as oral administration)

ACT Policy for Documentation is similar to SAT requirements, and unfortunately, it is likely our testing will not meet guidelines.

SAT/ACT Optional

Many fully accredited degree-granting institutions do not require the SAT or ACT.

These colleges let applicants decide whether or not to share their test scores.  If the scores reflect strengths, share them; if not, apply without including the scores.

(Dyslexic Advantage: Newsletter, September 2019)

Click on the link to view several of these TEST OPTIONAL schools.    

College Services for Students with Dyslexia

There is no reason a student with dyslexia shouldn’t pursue college if he or she chooses to do so. Before deciding which school is best for him or her, students should investigate the services that are available at prospective colleges. While all colleges must provide some level of services to students with disabilities, the level of services varies greatly.

Most colleges provide one of three levels of services:

  • Basic accommodations such as note-taking assistance and extra time on tests;
  • Specialized services which include staff who work with students and professors;
  • Specialized colleges that have comprehensive programs for students with disabilities (often for a fee).

The K&W Guide to College Programs and Services for Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD (Princeton Review) is a thorough listing of colleges and the supports available to students. It is available through Amazon, or possibly your school or local library.

Information on applying for and selecting a college for your child with a disability can be found at these sites:

Examples of disability services at Texas universities and colleges can be found below:

Section 504 and College

In the preK through 12 grades school setting, Subpart D of Section 504 Regulations apply. However, once a student graduates and enrolls in college, Subpart E applies. Modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree requirements, substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted.

In most cases, the screening instruments often used for developing a “504” plan are insufficient as documentation for college accommodations. Additional testing is likely to be required. In addition, the student goes from an environment that is structured to “ensure student success” to one that is designed to “allow equal access.” The success of the student is up to the student in the college setting. The college must ensure access, NOT success.

Dyslexia and the Military

Some students may be more interested in joining the military rather than going to college. Here is information that may be helpful.

Dyslexia and the Workforce

For students who choose to go straight into the workforce from school, they may be eligible for reasonable accommodations in some situations.