Breaking through barriers for workers
who have children with special needs

Differences Between High School and Post Secondary

High School

College or University

Accommodations Provided

Teachers and parents may ensure you have accommodations in place (e.g. extra time).

Accommodations Available

Your education is your responsibility. It’s your responsibility to:
- Register at the disability services office before class begins. The staff are there to help you.
- Provide documentation of your LD and/or ADHD. The type of documentation varies depending on your province or territory (e.g. some provinces accept a transition plan from high school, while others accept a copy of your Individual Education Plan). Without this documentation, you cannot qualify for academic accommodations. Visit your college or university DSO website to get a list of the documentation that is required to bring to your first meeting. If you do not have documentation, the DSO can organize your evaluation.
- Request appropriate accommodations. Accommodations are arranged on an individual basis and based on the documentation of your disability.

Choices are limited

By and large, many of your classes are compulsory. Teachers, family and others are there to offer suggestions when you have the flexibility to choose your own courses.

Choices are limitless

With increased independence, you get to choose your classes, your program of study, and your future career goals. It’s your responsibility to ensure that you have fulfilled your program requirements, which are often complicated. To support you through college or university, be sure to check out the academic advising and career counselling offices.

No Freedom

You’re practically forced to keep up by teachers and parents telling you what to do, when to do it, making sure you’ve done it, and helping out if you’re having trouble.

Freedom is a Mixed Blessing

Colleges and universities have larger classes. If you’re struggling and fall behind, it’s your responsibility to ask for help. Teaching assistants and professors hold regular weekly office hours and meet by appointment for extra help. Writing and math tutorials, as well as free programs to improve study skills are also available. Many other supports are available through your university or college’s disability services office.

Rush, rush, rush

Classes all day, every day, with just the odd spare. It’s just as well - there’s not much going on anyway.

Time, time, time

With only a few hours of class a day, you choose when you want to study. It’s up to you to make the most of your free time, but you may find that there are distractions everywhere. To survive, you’ll need good time management skills. See your learning strategist or campus study skills specialist for strategies.