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Disability Services

McNally Smith College of Music is an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant institution.  The college helps to ensure equal educational access and opportunity for all members of our community.  The Student Services Department oversees the college’s Disability Services and collaborates with administrators, faculty, and staff to ensure that the facilitation of reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities is provided.

We believe that our policies and mission carry out the intent of Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act, which states:  “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 7(20), shall solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Additional Resources

Graduate School and College Guide for Students with Disabilities  A full guide for disabled students who want to get a college or a graduate degree. This article covers the process of choosing and applying at university, laws and regulations for disabled students and getting financial aid through scholarships. There are scholarships that are awarded to students with disabilities as well.

The Autism Society of America awards scholarships each year for deserving students pursuing higher education. The organization’s Foundation acts as its philanthropic arm, providing scholarship for undergraduates and graduate student studying autism. Some scholarships are reserved for graduate and post-doctoral work in the research of autism, with an emphasis on prevention, cure and the amelioration of autism. In addition to efforts from the National Society, the ASA works with local chapters to administer educational assistance targeting regional members and colleges.

The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation assists families by working to increase Autism awareness, and the group also provides grants for education. Some funding is institutional, earmarked for schools to use in ways they see fit.  Some assistance helps college students directly, providing money for tuition and other education expenses like computers.

Affordable Colleges Online, an organization dedicated to providing free higher education tools and information for current and future college students and their families, has recently published a new resource for students with disabilities, titled “Making College Affordable: A Guide for Students with Disabilities.” Multiple experts in the field with experience in academia, financial aid, and law contributed to the content in this resource guide.

Americans with Disabilities Act Q&A: Section 504 and Postsecondary Education — Many parents of students with disabilities have learned the basics of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). However, as students and their families prepare for the transition from secondary school to postsecondary options they often find they are less familiar with the protections provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. These questions reflect the most commonly asked regarding the ADA and postsecondary institutions.

The College Steps Program  The primary goal of the College Steps Program is the preparation of students for meaningful careers and autonomy after graduation. The College Steps Program partners with colleges and universities to support students of varying ability (e.g., autism spectrum disorders (ASD), intellectual disabilities (ID), learning disabilities, etc.), ages 17-26, with their college pursuits. Our target population includes young adults with the functional skills sufficient to thrive within a college environment but who remain challenged to succeed in a traditional college setting without additional supports.

Developing College Skills in Students with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome  Going to college can be a daunting prospect for any young person, but for teenagers on the autism spectrum this is especially true. Developing College Skills in Students with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome describes the unique needs that ASD students entering further or higher education are likely to have.

Financial Aid Guide for Students with Disabilities — OnlineSchools.org put together a financial aid and scholarship guide for students with disabilities, one of the few comprehensive and simple-to-use directories of its kind. The list contains options that range from national financial aid opportunities to local opportunities within the United States and Canada. Each scholarship profile indicates whether online programs at accredited colleges or universities are eligible for the award.

Financial Aid Opportunities for Disabled Students — Fortunately, there are many financing options and benefits available to disabled students. This is a guide from BestColleges.com to the opportunities out there. This easy-to-reference, comprehensive list of financial aid opportunities could make a real difference for disabled students.

Fully Accessible Guide to Paying for College for Disabilities — GoodCall’s Fully Accessible Guide to Paying for College for Disabilities is an optimized resource guide.  The guide follows W3C standards for web accessibility for students using assistive technology.

Going to College: A Resources for Teens with Disabilities — This website contains information about living college life with a disability. It’s designed for high school students and provides video clips, activities and additional resources that can help you get a head start in planning for college.

How to Prepare Students with Autism to Succeed in College — Six keys to helping autistic students prepare for college, as described by a noted expert in an interview podcast from Autism Hangout, an online community for those with autism, their parents and professionals.

Navigating College: A Handbook on Self-Advocacy Written for Autistic Students — from Autistic Adults  From the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, this guide offers a step-by-step look at college life for those with autism — offering tips on everything from classroom accommodations to dealing with roommates — and it’s written by adults with the developmental disorder.

SCoRE® (Student Curriculum on Resilience Education): Propel — Developed with funding from Autism Speaks, SCoRE: Propel is an online research-based resilience program that helps students with developmental disorders adjust to college life. The program helps students cope with the personal, social, and academic challenges of college life by providing practical information and strategies to: manage stress, develop self-advocacy skills, navigate challenging situations in a college setting, access the college’s disability services, develop healthy relationships, maintain a healthy body and mind and achieve success in college and life.

Think College! College Options for People with Intellectual Disabilities  Doors to colleges are opening for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in many different ways all over the country. This website is designed to share what is currently going on, provide resources and strategies, let you know about training events, and give you ways to talk to others. The information is for transition aged students as well as adults attending or planning for college. It provides resources and tools for students, families, and professionals.