Preparing for Post-Secondary: Part One

Have you been accepted to a post-secondary educational institution? Congratulations! Now what? 

Part One: Accessibility Services 

Transitioning to post-secondary education will be a different experience for everyone. It is important for individuals with diagnosed or suspected learning differences to be proactive in preparing for this new experience.  

First and foremost, be aware of your specific challenges and needs because you will be responsible for making others aware of your needs and requesting accommodations where possible. An essential factor in starting the year strong is accessing your institution’s accessibility services. 

If you already have a diagnosis or do not have a diagnosis but a learning difference is suspected, obtain an updated psycho-educational assessment as soon as possible. It will be necessary and helpful in streamlining the process. The type of document(s) you need will depend on your diagnosis. If you do not have a diagnosis, you will not be eligible to access accessibility services at your institution.  

Once you have the necessary documentation, find your institution’s Accessibility Services team (go to your institution’s webpage and look for student services or support) and book an appointment. Do this as soon as possible because there is generally a wait time for intake appointments. The sooner you book, the more likely you will receive accommodations from the start of your first semester. Book an appointment three months in advance of the start of school.  

Accessibility Services will work with you to arrange appropriate accommodations for your specific diagnosis. Some accommodations include:

  • Extra time on exams
  • Recorded lectures
  • Note-taking support
  • Alternate assignment formatting
  • Preferred seating
  • Assistive technology

Be aware that accommodations such as Sign Language Interpreters or transcribers can take several months to arrange. 

Need help financially accessing a learning disabilities assessment? The BC government offers a bursary to help part-time or full-time students with the up-front costs of a learning disabilities assessment.  

Have more questions about accessibility services? Please email us

Learn more about RISE Now for ages 18+. We can help you achieve your learning, education or employment goals!

This post is part one of a five-part series on preparing for post-secondary education with a learning differencePart Two: Registering for CoursesPart Three: Transitioning to a New SchedulePart Four: Reading your Program Calendar and Finding Resources, Part Five: Reading your Syllabus and Talking to your Instructors.

– Becky Bishop, Case Manager and Lead Instructor

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