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Postsecondary Disclosure

As a person with a disability, you will have the important decision of whether to disclose your disability or not to disclose. What is  important to understand is that in order to receive many of the  supports and services that might benefit your success in higher   learning, disclosure might be necessary.
For this reason you will want to pay close attention to the supports and services a postsecondary institution offers to all students. Think in terms of:


  • Will I be successful with the supports the school offers to all students?

  • What will I need in a college classroom setting?

  • Do I require accommodations that exceed what are given to all students?


Asking questions, acquiring information on all the supports and services offered while visiting your potential postsecondary institution will help guide the decision making process.


It is important to keep in mind that the terms and requirements of postsecondary education are different than those you have experienced in High School.

If you haven’t disclosed in the past, this is a good time to develop this skill. Disclosure is a lifelong skill that may benefit to you and your success. Learning to disclose effectively will help you keep the focus on why you are disclosing, what you need in order to be successful, and how much of your personal information is needed in the process. Practicing in a safe environment with a safe person will help you become more empowered and confident in the disclosure process.


Have clear and open communication with key people including but not  limited to professors, disability service office, and advisors. Building trust through open communication and thoughtful dialog about your disability and needs will go a long way in ensuring success and help you and educators adapt and make adjustments as they arise.

Plan, Plan, Plan… Preparation is the key to success.

  • Visit potential higher learning opportunities asking questions to help you make informed choices.•  

  • Get to know the players such as where the disability service office is, is there a student learning lab, the hours of availability, what supports and services are available to all students.

  • What are the academic requirements specific to your course of study?

  • What documentation is necessary to obtaining academic adjustments?

  • Prior to enrollment you will want to make an appointment with the Disability Services Office to talk about needed documentation and what accommodations - academic adjustments you need.

  • You may want to meet with your professors ahead of time to disclose your disability and have a discussion about your needed academic adjustments. Think creatively and keep an open mind as you work with the professor to come up with a plan that works for you both.


  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

  • Fair Housing Act

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