Students and Disabilities in College

What does it mean to have a disability?

A disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, is "a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, having a record of such impairment, or being regarded as having such impairment."

  • Major life activities that might be impacted by having a disability include, but are not limited to:
    • caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.
  • This definition also includes anyone with a chronic medical condition that affects the following areas:
    • Immune, Respiratory, Circulatory, Endocrine, Digestive, Reproductive, Neurological, Brain, Normal Cell Growth, Bowel, and Bladder.

How is having a disability in college different than in high school?

While every student has challenges, students with a disability, diagnosis or chronic health condition that may impact their living and learning environment should examine what resources and opportunities are available to them to make their transition to college successful.  There are some fundamental differences between high school and college, and it is important for you to know and understand these differences. Review the links to the right and the information below as you prepare to transition to college: