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College is an important time for students to establish their independence and learn to advocate for themselves. Parents and family members can also support your student by encouraging them to take responsibility for the impact a disability may have on their academic and residential life. Students are encouraged to contact ODS for information on accommodations.
National Resource Center on ADHD - Information on ADHD science, general information, resources, and support.
Attention Deficit Disorder Association - Lists directories of support groups and professionals who work with people who have ADD. It
also publishes a newsletter and hosts webinars on coping with ADD.
ADDitude - A magazine about living with ADHD. Its site provides tips and strategies for people with ADHD to incorporate into their social, academic, and work lives.
Asperger's Association of New England - Provides community support and education for adults, teens, children, and families with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Springboard - Springboard is a social club for adolescents and adults with Asperger’s and other learning challenges. Members meet to participate in a wide variety of activities in the Boston area.
College Autism Spectrum - College Autism Spectrum (CAS) is an independent organization of professionals whose purpose is to
assist students with autism spectrum disorders, and their families. They help students with ASD explore and navigate college options before, during and through the college process.
Autistic Self Advocacy Network - ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which autistic people enjoy
equal access, rights, and opportunities. They work to empower people with autism across the world to take control of our own lives and the future of their common community.
Autistic Women and Non Binary Network - The mission of AWN is to provide community, support, and resources for Autistic women, girls, transfeminine and transmasculine nonbinary people, trans people of all genders, Two Spirit people, and all others of marginalized genders.
National Deaf Center - Devoted to furthering educational opportunities for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing - Provides services to Massachusetts residents who are deaf or hard of hearing.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders - NIDCD supports and conducts research and distributes information to improve the lives of millions of individuals with communication disorders.
Hearing Loss Association of America - The mission of HLAA is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by
providing information, education, support and advocacy.
Alexander Graham Bell Association - The AG Bell Association works globally to ensure that people who are deaf and hard of hearing can hear and talk.
American Cochlear Implant Alliance - This is a not for profit membership organization created with the purpose of eliminating barriers to cochlear implantation by sponsoring research, driving heightened awareness and advocating for improved access to cochlear implants for patients of all ages across the US.
Learning Disabilities Association of America - A support association for people with learning disabilities, which has a large resource network.
The International Dyslexia Association - A nonprofit organization that provides education and support for people with dyslexia.
American Chronic Pain Association - American Chronic Pain Association's mission is to facilitate peer support and education for individuals with chronic pain and their families so that these individuals may live more fully in spite of their pain. To raise awareness among the health care community, policymakers, and the public at large about issues of living with chronic pain.
Chronic Disease Coalition - The Chronic Disease Coalition is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the rights of chronic
disease patients against discriminatory policies and practices.
College Diabetes Network - CDN works for the day when all young adults with diabetes are motivated and equipped to live a healthy
life, so they can pursue their dreams without compromise.
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation - The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer-fueled organization dedicated to finding cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases.
Epilepsy Foundation - The Epilepsy Foundation's mission is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy
and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.
National Alliance on Mental Illness - NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
New Mobility - A magazine for wheelchair users. Its website features blogs and a message board.
The Ride - The MBTA’s transport service for people with disabilities, not limited to Massachusetts residents.
Cerebral Palsy Guide - Free educational information, financial options, and emotional support for those affected
by cerebral palsy.
Little People of America - LPA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with dwarfism throughout their lives while celebrating with great pride Little People’s contribution to social diversity. LPA strives to bring solutions and global awareness to the prominent issues affecting individuals of short stature and their families.
American Foundation for the Blind - Offers information about vision loss, links to support organizations, job listings, and
National Federation for the Blind - Advocates for people with vision loss and runs programs to improve the quality of life of
people with vision loss.
National Federation for the Blind Newsline - A free service for listening to newspapers and magazines over the phone.
Massachusetts Commission for the Blind - Provides services for legally blind residents of Massachusetts.
National Center on Secondary Education and Transition for Parents - Provides helpful advice for parents on supporting their children with disabilities entering post-secondary education.
Students may be hesitant to contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) for a variety of reasons. Some students transitioning to college may want to leave behind any stigma they feel is related to having a disability or have concerns about being labeled.
The role of ODS is not to help students with disabilities through college or give them an unfair advantage. Our goal is to arrange accommodations to provide students with the same opportunities to succeed as their peers. You can help your student understand their disability is a part of their life and encourage them to request for accommodations to benefit from the educational experience.
Your student must ultimately decide whether to seek accommodations, however, you can guide their decision by encouraging a positive attitude toward their diagnosis and affirm your student's independence by reminding them that you trust their decision-making abilities.
Students who register are only known to ODS staff but have the option of implementing academic accommodations in their classes via letters that they deliver to their professors either in person or through email. Faculty are not made aware of a student's diagnosis. They only know that documentation is on file with our office which confirms the student is eligible for the accommodations listed in the letter. Not all students who are registered choose to use accommodations or they may use accommodations in specific classes. It is important to note that accommodations do not apply retroactively so implementing accommodations as early in the semester as possible is encouraged.
If your student is unsure whether they wish to continue to request accommodations at the college level, encourage them to schedule an informational meeting with ODS!
U.S. Department of Education: Transition to Postsecondary School - Contains a helpful list of questions and answers about legal rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities in college and how they differ from those in high school.
National Center on Secondary Education and Transition - These FAQs address the support students with disabilities can receive in college and differences from high school supports.
College Guide for Students with Disabilities - A guide to learn more about advocacy and legislation and helping students with disabilities successfully navigate higher education.
Job Accommodation Network - Explains workplace accommodations and rights under the ADA.
Neurodiversity Career Connector - Database of employers committed to neurodiversity focused hiring initiatives. They strive not only to match neurodivergent job seekers with meaningful jobs but also to provide the training and support needed for career growth and success.
U.S. Business Leadership Network Disability Equality Index - The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a comprehensive benchmarking tool that helps companies build a roadmap of measurable, tangible actions that they can take to achieve disability inclusion and equality. Each company receives a score, on a scale of zero (0) to 100, with those earning 80 and above recognized as “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.”
Black Disabled and Proud: College Students with Disabilities - A website for college students, created by the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Disability Consortium and the Association on Higher Education And Disability.
LGBTQ Disabled Queer and Hear - Disabled, Queer and Hear are a national specialist infrastructure and membership organization. They work to build the resource, sustainability and resilience of LGBT+ groups, organizations and projects so that they can deliver direct services and campaign for individual rights.
National Black Deaf Advocates - NBDA’s college and youth programs prepare and provide tools for Black Deaf and hard of hearing youth and young adults with the leadership training/workshops, forum, seminar and educational activities to become future leaders.
Para Pride - ParaPride is a registered charity working with social venues, public spaces and online platforms to create inclusive events and social opportunities that cater specifically to the needs of all those living with disabilities, mental health and chronic health conditions and impairments.
Steve Fund - The Steve Fund is the nation’s leading organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well being of young people of color. The Steve Fund works with colleges and universities, non profits, researchers, mental health experts, families, and young people to promote programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance for the mental and emotional health of the nation’s young people of color.