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We are pleased your student is considering Sonoma State University as their college of choice. Disability Services for Students (DSS) has created this web page for you to provide information for parents of students with disabilities. Please visit the How To Register for Disability Services for Students web page for more information for your son or daughter who is considering receiving DSS services.

The New Role for Parents
High SchoolCollege
Legal guidance provided by IDEA.Legal guidance provided by Section 504 and ADA.
Parents required to make sure child attends school to age 16.Parents are under no legal mandate to send child to college at any age.
Teachers reach out to parents and include them in educational planning.Professors do not include parents in educational process and legally are under no mandate to talk with parents.
Parent or some other adult is considered the student's guardian.Student is considered his/her own legal guardian unless there is a court order to the contrary.
Parents should expect periodic progress reports and can request a conference at any time.Parents should not expect college staff to provide reports on student progress or attendance. Student may sign release forms to allow staff to discuss personal information with whomever he/she chooses.
Parents are expected to be an advocate for their childStudent is expected to be his/her own advocate

Other Consideration for Parents

Here are some other considerations for you as your child transitions to SSU:

  • Students have new freedoms and new responsibilities and must make decisions on their own.
  • Students must manage their own time and arrange their own schedules.
  • Students must seek out assistance and campus resources.
  • Students must develop strategies and learn how to advocate for themselves.
  • Accommodations provided in high school may not necessarily be appropriate at the postsecondary level.

At postsecondary institutions students have the responsibility to:

  • Self-identify or disclose their disability to the designated office for disability services.
  • Provide documentation from an appropriate professional source that verifies the nature of the disability, functional limitations, and the need for specific accommodations.
  • Act as independent adults and use appropriate self-advocacy skills.
  • Arrange for and obtain their own personal assistants, tutoring, and individually designed assistive technologies.

Postsecondary institutions are not required to:

  • Reduce or waive any of the essential requirements of a course or program.
  • Conduct testing and assessment of learning, psychological or medical disabilities.
  • Provide personal assistants.
  • Provide personal or private tutoring.
  • Prepare Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).