University of Southern Indiana

Transition Checklist Before College

Source: Adapted from the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. © 2008 

1. Find out about your disability.

  • Talk to your parents, high school special education teacher, or guidance counselor to learn about your specific disabilities.
  • Understand the academic impact of your disability. 
  • Understand your areas of strength and weakness. 
  • Make sure you have current documentation (request updated testing or a re-evaluation before you leave high school).
  • Read your disability documentation and understand what it says. 
  • Understand how your disability might affect future employment and/or career choices. 

2. Actively participate in all transition-related activities. 

  • Participate in IEP/504 meetings. 
  • Understand how the accommodations you receive are related to your disability. Learn to express your current and future needs, concerns, interests, and preferences. 
  • Research how high school and higher education differ from one another, especially for individuals with disabilities. 
  • Know your rights and responsibilities as an individual with a disability. 

3. Create a personal information file with disability-related information which includes: 

  • psychoeducational and educational evaluation records
  • current IEP/504 plan (if you have one)
  • current high school records (e.g. grade transcript)
  • college entrance exam results/information (SAT, ACT) and the accommodations used for them, if applicable

4. Contact the USI Disability Resources Office. 

  • Call or  the USI Disability Resources Office with any questions. 
  • Submit your documentation by faxing or mailing it to the Disability Resources office. 
  • Set up an appointment with a Disability Resources coordinator. 
  • Check your USI email account on a regular basis. 
  • Prepare for placement testing. Review your algebra skills (if taking the math placement exam). Call Disability Resources if you need accommodations. 
  • Prepare for orientation. Call Disability Resources if you need accommodations for orientation. 

5. Learn about and practice self-advocacy. 

What is self-advocacy? 

  • Self-advocacy means speaking or acting for yourself. 
  • It means deciding what is best for you and taking charge of getting it. 
  • It means standing up for your rights as a person. 
  • It teaches others about our rights and responsibilities. 

Why is self-advocacy important? 

  • It helps us to develop assertiveness skills and good communication skills. 
  • It teaches us to make decisions and choices that affect our lives so that we can be more independent. 
  • It helps us to develop confidence about our abilities. 

When will I use self-advocacy at college? 

  • When you need additional accommodations
  • When you don't have access to some activity on campus and you need to have that barrier removed
  • When you are having disability-related difficulty in a class and need some extra assistance

How can I practice being a self-advocate?

  • Understand what your disability is and how it affects you.
  • Understand your rights and responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA.
  • Use this information to achieve your goals and advocate for yourself.

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