Going to College: When a Student has a Brain Injury

Going to College: When a Student has a Brain Injury

Jane E.B. Goodwin, M.A.,CCC-SLP and Linda E. Larson, M.A.,CCC-SLP
College does not provide the same entitlements and supports as special education services in public schools. This tip card helps students with traumatic brain injury learn about federal laws for students with disabilities and how to negotiate accommodations in college.
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Full Description

College students have greater responsibility for self advocacy and negotiation of accommodations for learning. This tip card describes federal laws designed to help students with disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act. It gives tips on finding special services in college when a student has traumatic brain injury such as academic accommodations for exams, lectures, and classroom assignments. Practical strategies are given for students with cognitive impairments to improve language and comprehension, plus tips for organizing information and studying.

Pages 8
Year Third edition, 2010


This tip card helps young adults, parents, educators and counselors...

  • know federal laws
  • identify academic accommodations
  • use compensatory techniques

Going to College?

Federal Laws Can Help

  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Americans with Disabilities Act, Public Law 101-336

What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

Special Services in College

  • Tips on applications and admissions
  • Tips on other services at the college

Academic accommodations

  • Tips on exams
  • Tips on lectures
  • Tips on classroom assignments

Tips to Facilitate Learning

Speech and Language

  • Reading comprehension
  • Auditory comprehension
  • Verbal language
  • Written language

Cognition or thinking and learning

  • Information organizers
  • Study time
  • Study tips
  • Support Services



Sample excerpt. Preview only please do not copy.

Going to College?

The state and federal laws of special education that provide funding for special education and related services in public schools do not apply to college. Eligibility for special education ends upon high school graduation or age 21 (22 in some states), whichever comes first.

Looking for and choosing a college can be exciting but confusing for any prospective student. For the applicant who has a brain injury, or any one with a disability, it is important to identify what resources, accommodations and supports will be available not only during the admissions process but once the student is enrolled.

Special Services in College

Tips on applications and admissions...

  • Who can help with the application process?
  • Who has information about financial aid?
  • What documentation of the disability is required?
  • By whom - MD, psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist?
  • Is priority registration allowed?
  • Are reduced course loads permitted?

Explore other services, find out if the college has...

  • Tutoring center. If not, how are individual tutors arranged?
  • Academic counselors who specialize in working with students who have disabilities
  • Study skills or time management workshops held on campus
  • Center or individuals who can assist with writing skills
  • Support group for students with disabilities
  • Map which shows handicapped features (bathrooms, elevators, parking, ramps, curb cuts)
  • Handicapped housing
  • Foreign language requirement waiver