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Volume 26, Number 1
January/February 2010

From Special Ed to Higher Ed

Transition planning for disabled students focuses on advocacy skills


When freshmen visit E. Lynne Golden, the director of the University of Hartford’s program for students with disabilities, she first asks them to identify their disability and describe how it limits their learning. To obtain accommodations from the college for their disability, they need to be able to ask for them, but many students just don’t know how to do it, she says.

“Many students say they have a disability, but they don’t know what it is,” says Golden. “Others say they’ve never read their records.”

“In K–12, they’ve learned to talk about their strengths, but these students can’t talk about their weaknesses,” Golden adds. “My mandate is to provide the accommodations they request, but I get kids in my office who can’t talk about what they need. I may provide provisional services the first semester, but they have to come back to talk with me and bring additional documentation.”

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.


For Further Information

For Further Information

Erin Carter, Kathleen Lane, Melinda Pierson, and Kristin Stang. “Promoting Self-Determination for Transition-Age Youth: Views of High School General and Special Educators.” Exceptional Children 75, no. 1 (2008): 55–70.

Christina Samuels. “Charting a Course After High School.” Education Week 28, no. 25 (3/18/2009): 18–21.

Stan Shaw, Joseph W. Madeus, and Lyman L. Dukes III. Preparing Students with Disabilities for College Success: A Practical Guide to Transition Planning. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing Co., 2009.

Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction. Opening Doors to Postsecondary Education and Training: Planning for Life After High School, A Handbook for Students, School Counselors, Teachers and Parents.