Parent Accessibility Resources
Accommodating Students with Disabilities
Goucher College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to all qualified students with documented disabilities. Accommodations are approved through the Office of Accessibility Services and many of those services are facilitated through the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) .
What to Expect
You may be concerned that your student will have a difficult time transitioning to college. Don't worry! Goucher College offers a variety of resources to promote success and independence for all students.
One of the main differences between high school and college is that, unlike high school, where academic adjustments are often routinely and automatically provided to students based on their Individualized Education Plans or Section 504 Plans, at Goucher College, as at other postsecondary institutions, students will be required to advocate for themselves, and to follow the policies and procedures that have been set in place by the institution to request appropriate accommodations. The Director of Accessibility Services and Disabilities Specialist are available to help students achieve academic success at Goucher College.
You can view our Accommodation Process, which allows for your student to submit requests for accommodations.
Tips for Parents
Self-advocacy is key. Encourage your student to communicate and advocate for him/herself (but don't be afraid to follow up with your student and find out if he/she has).
Tell your young adult to start early! The sooner a student discloses and makes a request for accommodations, the more smoothly the process will go for everyone. We ask that requests for accommodations be submitted no later than June 15 of the summer before the academic year begins.
Share with your son or daughter any concerns you have and issues you think need to be discussed with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS). Remind them that such conversations are confidential and that they remain in the "driver's seat" with regards to their own disclosure and requests for accommodations.
If you're making a campus visit with your student, your student may prefer that you not sit in on his or her meeting with an OAS staff member. Take no offense; some students may prefer that this meeting be a private one.
If you do attend a meeting, give your student the opportunity to speak for him/herself. Wait until after s/he has had an opportunity to ask all questions before asking your own or addressing any concerns that were not met. Remember, self-advocacy is key!
Promote exploration of new opportunities and new relationships. Relationships, in particular, are a prerequisite for learning, the central motivators of the student experience, and often the most treasured results of college.
Let your son/daughter know that you are there if he/she needs it, but also help him/her to identify the many resources available on campus (the Academic Center for Excellence, advisors, peer tutors, the Writing Center, the Quantitative Reasoning Center, the Bio-Chem Resource Center, and librarians, who can help with assistive technology).
If you feel the need to communicate with OAS, involve your student in the conversation so that everyone is on the same page. OAS is limited in what information can be shared with parents due to FERPA confidentiality laws, but we understand that some students may appreciate having their parents involved in conversations in which they are seeking guidance.
Finally, be prepared for bumps in the road. Remember that we often learn and grow the most when we are challenged and things don't come easy. Understanding how to learn best, seeing failure as an opportunity, and being self-aware of strengths and weaknesses are all predictors of academic and life success.
Office of Accessibility Services
Academic Center for Excellence
Baltimore County has produced a Resource Guide (PDF) about disability services that are available in the community.