Greetings Prospective Students and Families! We are glad you are considering GW as your college choice. For students with disabilities and their families, the transition to college presents unique challenges and opportunities. Students become their own advocates, responsible for arranging their accommodations and communicating their learning needs to faculty and staff while seeking out additional resources as needed. Parents or guardians shift from advocate to mentor as their college-aged students advocate for themselves. This can be a big shift. Your rights and responsibilities change once you enter the postsecondary environment. It is important to understand the process of requesting accommodations as it is substantially different from the K-12 process.
Be aware that high school accommodations and services do not automatically transfer to college. Having a diagnosis does not necessarily mean you are eligible for academic accommodations. Accommodations are provided to students whose disability significantly limits their academic functioning. An IEP/504 plan in and of itself is rarely sufficient documentation to secure accommodations, which are determined by review of documentation, interactive interview with the student, and staff professional judgment.
It’s important for parents and guardians to keep in mind that in order for the university to share any information about a student’s academics, disability accommodations, or other aspects of their college experience, the student will need to give explicit, written permission via a signed FERPA. The DSS team knows that the transition is often a team effort but is mindful that the college-age adult is the one who must direct the accommodation requests and notices.
You must be actively enrolled as a GW student to register for disability support services. Prospective students are welcome to contact the office for general information prior to enrolling at GW.