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Information for Parents & Families

Disability Access Services

Information for Parents & Families

For many students, going off to college marks the first time they are living on their own. It’s an exciting time, but it also can pose new challenges and concerns as students learn how to become more independent. DAS aims to help students successfully make this transition between high school and college, as well as assist in helping students learn how to advocate for themselves.

Some students may be transferring accommodations from high school; some students may receive a diagnosis in college and will be figuring out accommodations for the first time. Regardless of where your student is in their lived experience as a person with a disability, this page aims to give you info on understanding accommodations at CUI.

Transitioning Between High School and CUI

In high school, an educational team involving teachers, parents, and support staff may have helped coordinate accommodations for a student. At CUI, students partner directly with DAS to coordinate accommodations. The first step to transitioning those high school accommodations to CUI is to Register with Disability Access Services. You may also want to review our documentation guidelines posted on that same page.

The table below is a helpful guide in highlighting some of the key differences between high school disability services and those at the university level.

High School Concordia University Irvine
High school accommodations are about success. College accommodations are about equal access.
The student has an IEP or 504 plan. The student has an Academic Accommodation Letter.
Parents/guardians advocate for the student. Students are their own advocates.
The school district evaluates and documents a student’s disability. The student is responsible for providing current documentation to CUI.
The school modifies the education programs. CUI makes reasonable accommodations in instructional programs which do not alter the essential content or requirements of the course or program.
The school may provide personal care services as part of the student’s IEP. Students are responsible and accountable for their own personal care in and out of the classroom.
The school automatically incorporates accommodations into the student’s daily schedule once a disability is documented. The student is responsible for registering with DAS and must request accommodations for their accommodations.

Some changes are in terminology: an IEP or 504 plan becomes an Academic Accommodation Letter. Other changes are related to accommodations that are specific to the high school experience: at the university level, students do not get modified coursework, unlimited opportunities to take a test, or reduced coursework. The primary difference, though, is that students are their own advocates and work directly with DAS and professors to implement accommodations.

Supporting Your First Year Student

Transitioning from high school to college is an exciting step, and students are often getting their first opportunity to advocate for themselves. Parents and caregivers can help students navigate this new role as self-advocates by asking important questions that will help them prepare for their new responsibilities.

  • How will I manage my medication?
  • Do I need to set up a transition plan with my mental health provider prior to coming to campus?
  • How will I talk about my disability, the impacts, and/or accommodations that I need?
  • Will I remember homework assignments, due dates, etc.?
  • How will I wake up in the morning?
  • How will I talk to faculty?
  • Do I need to talk with the cafeteria about allergies/special diet needs?

Supporting your student with a disability

Whether your student is a first year student, transfer, or returner, you can help support your student to be successful. Some questions to ask:

  • Have you requested accommodations for this semester?
  • Are you using your accommodations?
  • Do you need to schedule your exams for accommodations with DAS?
  • Are you using tutoring or other resources?
  • Have you checked to see and read any emails you received from DAS?
  • Have you communicated with your class instructor about accommodations?

Access to Student Information

DAS does not disclose information about students and accommodations to parents or guardians. A student may sign a release with DAS that gives us permission to share information related to the office with parents; however, even with a signed release, students are still responsible for handling matters related to DAS, including registration and accommodations. We do not work with the parent in place of the student.

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