Applying to college? Congratulations! But you might be anxious about what your dysgraphia might mean here compared to high school. Let’s break down what you need to know:
Before you go:
Pretty much every college/university in the US is required by law to provide accommodations to students with documented disabilities. Most of the coordination for accommodations happens through a specific office on campus, usually called access and disability services or resources.
Once you have a list of colleges you might want to apply to, check their websites to see what services they offer and what requirements they might have. For example, they may require certain types of documentation of your dysgraphia. They might also require you to alert them to your needs as soon as you get accepted and decide to go, so that they will be ready for you by the time you arrive on campus. And in general, you might just want to make sure that the schools you are looking to attend offer support that you feel confident about.
Once you are there:
Figure out your classes. By now, you may have already thought about what you want to study but your school probably also has course requirements outside of your area of study. Unless you already have decided to focus on computer science, math, engineering, or other physical sciences, writing is often a big part of college.
If there are courses that have a lot of writing requirements, get support early. Talk to the access and disability services office about getting a notetaker or about recording lectures. Talk to your professor about getting copies of lecture slides, if he or she hasn’t given them out already. There are paper writing tips that can help you get organized too.
In addition to disability services, most schools offer help to all students who want to improve their studying, writing, and note-taking skills. Your school may offer peer-mentoring or academic skills tutors, study skills classes, and other seminars that can help all students learn better. Don’t be afraid to use them!
You are not alone in dealing with dysgraphia in college. Luckily there are lots of resources available to help you succeed. Connecting with your peers and sharing tips and tricks can also help. Are you dealing with dysgraphia in college? Share your experience in our community. [Link coming soon! Launching November, 2019]