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Date of Graduation

Summer 5-7-2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Ashton Trice

Deborah Kipps-Vaughan

Timothy Schulte


With nearly 98% of public institutions reporting enrollment of students with a disability, requests for services, supports, and accommodations is increasing (Gordon et al., 2002; National Council on Disabilities, 2003). However, certain barriers and/or perceptions get in the way of students’ mobility in seeking and acquiring necessary accommodations. While disability services and accommodations are available, it appears that many students do not take advantage of them in a timely manner. While it is not required for a student to disclose information about a learning disability, the student will not be able to acquire any accommodations. Students should be prepared and equipped with the self-determination and self-advocacy skills to find and use available resources in college. The current research attempted to determine if selected students with a learning disability at James Madison University are able to advocate for themselves by seeking services and/or accommodations upon entering into post-secondary education in relation to his or her knowledge and understanding of the learning disability, degree of transition services, and perceptions about seeking help. The results indicated that those students who came to Disability Services during their freshman year had more preparation in high school for the transition to college; however, it appears that those students who sought services early may have had more serious academic difficulties (e.g., they were still receiving services during their senior year of high school and were more likely to have comorbid attention and anxiety-related concerns). Overall, getting to Disability Services early does seem to make a difference in a student’s academic achievement. Implications for school psychologists, suggestions and feedback regarding the development of a transition protocol within the schools, and future research are discussed.

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