An Individual Education Plan or 504 Plan may ensure that a child with a disability receives all the necessary help to achieve educational goals up until high school graduation or age 22, but students with disabilities must plan  ahead for college if they want to achieve their goals.

Soft SkillsHigh School Counselor Scott Koebel of Newark High School in Licking County, Ohio, believes that parents need to start early to prepare for what will be needed after their child’s senior year concludes.

“Get involved with curricular and extracurricular programs that build on a student’s strengths,” Koebel said. “Communicate with school officials — teachers, school counselors, principals — your child’s desire to attend college.

“Seek their recommendations on opportunities that will best prepare your child for post secondary education. What programs are in place in high school that will carryover to college? Individualized Education Plans and Section 504 Plans will carry over to college if the student continues to show evidence of a disability. When researching colleges, it may be helpful to ask the college how they support students with special needs.”

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