Frequently asked questions
I have an IEP now. What happens to my IEP in post-secondary?
Your IEP doesn’t automatically transfer to your chosen college or university. You must contact the post-secondary institution for an initial intake appointment in order to register with the Accessibility Services office, to discuss your learning needs and to submit the required documentation.
When should students contact the accessibility services office?
Students are encouraged to contact the accessibility services office of the post-secondary institutions they are considering before applying or accepting an admission offer in order to find the best fit for their needs and learning style. Students making the transition to post-secondary studies have many adjustments to make and can benefit from the information and support that the school can offer.
Do post-secondary schools offer students with IEPs the same support as in high school?
Accommodations are based on an assessment of individual needs and medical/psychoeducational documentation and typically include:
Extra time for tests and exams
Writing exams in a smaller classroom with fewer distractions
Reduced course load for students with learning disabilities
Note taking support
Access to a computer for spell checking, sequencing, and production of legible results
Use of a programmable calculator where appropriate
Consideration (no penalty) for spelling or grammar mistakes when spell check was not used
A reader to read aloud the test questions and infrequently, a scribe, to write answers
Answering multiple choice questions directly on the exam paper
Alternate exam formats: Alternate format exams may include the use of adaptive technology (such as Kurzweil, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Read&Write, C-Pen etc.)
Do students with IEPs receive special consideration for admission?
Some institutions are accepting supplemental applications that may help students with IEPs gain admission with slightly lower marks. There are deadlines to apply for this special consideration so students must check with the institution of interest before the application cut-off dates.
Are students with IEPs able to access extra time and computers for their admission tests?
Yes, when students receive notification that they must write an admission test, they should contact the post-secondary school's accessibility office in order to access accommodations.
Do students need a recent psycho-educational report for accommodations and support?
Although some post-secondary institutions require recent testing (in the last 5 years), many now offer basic accommodations such as peer tutoring, organizational counseling and extra time for exams even when a student has been receiving accommodations based on an older psycho-educational report. The level of support offered is based on a review of each individual's needs.Some post-secondary schools offer testing once you have enrolled in their school as a student.
Is there a course that can help students prepare for the transition?
Most colleges and universities offer a pre-course during the summer to help students know what to expect and help make the adjustment to post-secondary courses. Residence is often included and the course is usually free or a nominal cost. Once school starts there are additional courses, tutoring and counseling services available at no cost for students with a documented need.
Is all information that is disclosed to the post-secondary school treated confidentially?
Accessibility services offices at post-secondary institutions regard all student information as confidential. Written permission is required from registered students before personnel can speak with anyone (including instructors and parents) regarding their disability.
What kind of financial assistance is available for students with IEPs?
If students qualify for OSAP, they may also qualify for bursaries ("free" money) which are available for laptops, assistive software, psycho-educational testing, etc. Go to the OSAP website for further information.
There are often additional services offered such as:
One on one and/or small group training in time management/organizational skills, textbook reading, essay planning/writing, and studying for tests/test taking techniques
Access to an Assistive Technologist who researches and recommends software for individual student needs, provides individualized training and continued support in the use of Assistive Technology and offers practical, transferable skill training that will carry over into employment.
Suggested questions to ask post-secondary Disability Student Services personnel:
Is there a separate admission process for students with IEPs?
What documentation is required? How recent does it have to be?
When do you suggest prospective or new students should contact you?
How do you determine which accommodations are available?
What type of courses do you offer: summer pre-admission, remedial and/or
Are your staff members trained in the area of learning disabilities and/or assistive devices?
How do students arrange accommodations such as extra time for exams?
How long does a student wait to get in to see a counselor (a day, a week)?
What is the LD counselor/student ratio?
Are there services such as tutoring and organizational support offered free of charge?
Is there anything else that is important for me to know about your school?