There are some steps that you should start early in high school, to make sure that you are ready to apply to the schools that interest you. These are a few examples:
- Consider whether documentation of your disability needs to be updated or refined. You will need to provide current documentation of your disability to request accommodations to take any standardized tests that the school requires for admission. For a learning disability, consider whether you should get additional diagnostic testing.
- Begin researching the schools that interest you. Visit the school’s website to get more information. You may wish to arrange visits to the school campus. It is usually possible to arrange a tour of campus so you can see the school location and facilities.
- When you are researching schools, ask questions. For example, ask about the services they offer to assist students with learning challenges. You may also wish to ask about classroom accommodations for students with learning disabilities or physical limitations. Or, you may wish to ask whether the school offers residential options or alternatives. Keep in mind that the school will be able to offer only general information about the services and facilities that they offer. The school will not be able to address your individual situation until you make a specific request for accommodation. (See section on “Accommodations.”)
- Consider what accommodations for standardized tests you may need to request. (See section on “Standardized tests.”)
For More Information
There are many organizations and resources where you can get more information about planning for education after high school. Here are just a few:
The Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
The Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) assists people with disabilities to prepare for, get, and keep jobs.
It offers various services, such as assessment, counseling and guidance, information and referral, physical/mental restoration services, rehabilitation technology, skill training, job placement assistance, interpreter services, and supported employment services. You can be referred to DVR through your high school, or you can contact them directly.
In some cases, DVR may suggest that you pursue education after high school in order to reach your career objective. There are two DVR programs that may assist you in transitioning to education after high school.
- The DVR Transition Services program assists students transitioning from high school to adult life. It is implemented in all 19 public school districts in Delaware. It also is implemented at alternative and private high schools in the state. The program assists transitioning students by providing links to adult services and employment.
- Supported Education at the Delaware Technical & Community College (DTCC) is a program for students with disabilities who are beginning their first year of college. This program provides educational supports for transition students enrolled in remedial programs at DTCC.
You should also know that DVR can help pay for tuition, books, tutors, transportation and other needs related to your pursuit of education after high school. The DVR caseworker manual has an entire chapter on education after high-school (Chapter 15A, Post-Secondary Education”).
You can request a copy of this manual from DVR if you are thinking about asking DVR to support your college efforts.
For more information, see http://dvr.delawareworks.com/job-seekers/transition-services.php
Delaware’s Pathways to Employment Program
You should also know that Delaware has a new program called Pathways to Employment, which assists eligible people with disabilities ages 14-25 with services such as:
- Employment Navigator
- Career Exploration and Assessment
- Supported Employment (Individual and Small Group)
- Benefits Counseling
- Financial Coaching
- Non-Medical Transportation
- Personal Care (including a self-directed component)
- Orientation, Mobility, Assistive Technology
You can learn more online at: http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dsaapd/pathways.html.
 Interpreter services can also be a responsibility of the university/school. See section on “Accommodations.” DVR and the university/school may have a formal or informal agreement with respect to when each party is responsible for the interpreter costs. Legally, both may have the responsibility at the same time.