Understanding Your Disability

Understand Your Disability

Being self-determined in high school will help you succeed in college. You have to know about your disability so you can ask for assistance in college. These practices will help you learn about yourself and practice self-determination skills:

Review Your High School File. Meet with your Individual Education Plan (IEP) team and your parents to discuss your disability and learning strategies. Ask the following questions:
  • What is my disability?
  • How does it affect my learning?
  • What is my learning style?
  • What accommodations and strategies help me learn the best?
  • Can I have copies of my IEP and evaluation reports?

Activity # 1: Disability Worksheet (Opens in a new tab) Complete the Understanding Your Disability Worksheet to help you better understand your disability and how it affects your learning

Meet With Your Evaluator
  • Ask the same questions above so that you get a complete and clear understanding of your disability.
Take An Active Role In Your IEP Meetings
  • Participate in discussions to practice communicating your disability related needs.
  • Learn about your strengths and limitations.
  • Gain valuable knowledge that can influence your services in high school and those you request in college.
  • IEP participation ideas:
    • Before each IEP meeting
      • Understand the purpose of the meeting.
      • Know who will be there and their role at the meeting.
      • Review the report from your last IEP meeting. Understand the goals listed on the report.
      • Practice saying how you accomplished the goals.
      • Establish new goals and be prepared to state them.
    • At the IEP meeting
      • Summarize your past goals and accomplishments.<.li>
      • State your new goals.<.li>
      • Ask for ideas and feedback from other members.<.li>
      • Know what support and help you will need to accomplish your goals — and ask for it.<.li>
      • Ask questions if you don’t understand.<.li>
Setting Goals

Setting goals will help keep you on track and prevent stress created by not having a clear direction. Goals can also help you work to turn areas of need into strengths.

Activity #2: Complete the Goal Setting Worksheet (do this with your mentor). Do not just answer the questions in your head, but take the time to write or record your answers.