Higher and Further Education

Similar findings are seen in the percentage of young persons with SHCN that attain higher education (19). While nearly 85% of all young people in the United States will pursue some form of higher education, those with orthopedic and other health impairments go on to any post-secondary school at the rate of 46.3% and 56%, respectively (19). Key to making the post-secondary education experience successful is referring the young person to a disability support service (or the equivalent) in college. Most colleges and universities in the United States and the United Kingdom have either a Disability Support Services (DSS) office or some other office or individual designated to assist students with disabilities. To receive assistance or request accommodations for disability-related needs, a student must take the lead by disclosing his or her disability, providing documentation of the disability, and identifying needed accommodations. Documentation of the disability must support the requested accommodations. Examples of accommodations for young people with rheumatic disease that can be requested of DSS include allowing extra time to get to class when the young person is on a big campus or having an elevator available for dormitory rooms on higher floors. The DSS office should be able to assist a student with disclosing the disability to instructors; requesting accommodations; identifying support services and assistive technology; and addressing other disability-related needs presented by the student. There is a great deal of variability among schools as to the steps undertaken on behalf of the student with the disability as well as to the types of accommodations provided.

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