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Parent and Family Resources

We know that you may have questions and concerns about your student’s transition to higher education. We hope that after reviewing the following information, you feel confident that your student is in good hands at Illnois State.

Helpful Information

The transition from high school to college can be a difficult time for the parents of a student with a disability. Up until now, you have been required to play an essential role in their academic life. We ask for your assistance in preparing your student for the university experience by taking the following steps:

  • Assist the student in becoming informed about their disability and history of accommodations
  • Ensure the student understands and can effectively communicate their needs, strengths, interests and challenges
  • Allow the student the opportunity to practice stating their needs and asking pertinent questions

We believe taking these steps will help the student in becoming a competent self-advocate and pave the way for satisfying experiences with staff and faculty upon arriving at the university.


Recognizing that parents have a high level of interest in the student’s academic experience, we encourage students to maintain an open dialogue with you. However, the open dialogue must be between the student and their parent, as SAAS staff are required to follow the guidance contained in The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA. If a parent wishes to speak with a coordinator regarding the student’s accommodation records, the student must be present in the conversation.

Differences between K–12 and Post-secondary Institutions


  • The student is identified through an assessment.
  • The assessment is provided by school personnel.
  • The appropriate program is determined for the student with parental involvement.
  • An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is written to address goals for the student.
  • A Multi-Disciplinary Conference (MDC) is held to assess the student's progress.
  • The student has the right to a free appropriate public education.

Post-secondary Institution

  • The student must self-identify to the disability services office.
  • The student must provide documentation of disability and/or medical/mental health condition. IEP/504 plans from K-12 do not continue into higher education, but can be good supplemental documentation.
  • Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • The student is responsible for their success or failure.
  • The student has the right to equal access in the University.
  • The student has the responsibility to manage their educational progress.

An Open Letter to Parents

An open Letter to parents of students with disabilities about to enter college.

Read the letter