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For parents

Parents of students with disabilities will want to continue supporting their students while at the same time facilitating independence. As students enter college, the role of parent must shift to that of encourager. This is particularly important for students with disabilities, for whom independence is crucial to self-esteem and future success. Encourage your student to get involved in clubs or community activities and, most importantly, encourage your student to seek out the help they need from resources, both on or off campus.

In college, students must advocate for themselves. It is imperative that parents not do the work for students, but parents can offer support as students figure out how to navigate the college system. The more students learn to self-advocate, the more successful they will be in college and beyond. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), for students 18 years of age or older, colleges and universities are not free to discuss academic, financial, or judicial information with parents without written release of the student.