- Talk to your parents, high school special education teacher, or guidance counselor to learn about your specific disabilities.
- Understand the academic impact of your disability.
- Understand your areas of strength and weakness.
- Make sure you have current documentation (request updated testing or a re-evaluation before you leave high school).
- Read your disability documentation and understand what it says.
- Understand how your disability might affect future employment and/or career choices.
- Participate in IEP/504 meetings.
- Understand how the accommodations you receive are related to your disability. Learn to express your current and future needs, concerns, interests, and preferences.
- Research how high school and higher education differ from one another, especially for individuals with disabilities.
- Know your rights and responsibilities as an individual with a disability.
- psychoeducational and educational evaluation records
- current IEP/504 plan (if you have one)
- current high school records (e.g. grade transcript)
- college entrance exam results/information (SAT, ACT) and the accommodations used for them, if applicable
- Call or email the USI Disability Resources Office with any questions.
- Submit your documentation by faxing or mailing it to the Disability Resources office.
- Set up an appointment with a Disability Resources coordinator.
- Check your USI email account on a regular basis.
- Prepare for placement testing. Review your algebra skills (if taking the math placement exam). Call Disability Resources if you need accommodations.
- Prepare for orientation. Call Disability Resources if you need accommodations for orientation.
What is self-advocacy?
- Self-advocacy means speaking or acting for yourself.
- It means deciding what is best for you and taking charge of getting it.
- It means standing up for your rights as a person.
- It teaches others about our rights and responsibilities.
Why is self-advocacy important?
- It helps us to develop assertiveness skills and good communication skills.
- It teaches us to make decisions and choices that affect our lives so that we can be more independent.
- It helps us to develop confidence about our abilities.
When will I use self-advocacy at college?
- When you need additional accommodations
- When you don't have access to some activity on campus and you need to have that barrier removed
- When you are having disability-related difficulty in a class and need some extra assistance
How can I practice being a self-advocate?
- Understand what your disability is and how it affects you.
- Understand your rights and responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA.
- Use this information to achieve your goals and advocate for yourself.