Please use the link below to access information for students and young adults with disabilities.

    Online Resources


    Scholarships & Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities


    Transition from School to Adult Life 

    at: http://www.state.nj.us/education/specialed/transition/


    Keeping it Real: How to Get the Support You Need for the Life You Want

    at: http://rwjms.rutgers.edu/boggscenter/projects/keep_real_more.html


    Impact: Feature Issues on Supporting New Career Paths for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

    at: http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/251


    What is CBI

    at: http://www.nj.gov/education/specialed/transition/CBIVideo.shtml

     ARC NJ Bergen and Passaic Resources

    Getting Accommodations at College Click here:  College


    Student with Special Needs & Financial Aid

    With the passage of the Higher Education Act of 2008 federal funding has been set aside to support students who are attending a Comprehensive Transition Postsecondary (CTP) college programs. Comprehensive Transition Postsecondary (CTP) programs (like NYIT's VIP program or the CCS program at TCNJ) are approved by the Federal Office of Postsecondary Education specifically for students with intellectual disabilities who qualify for such programs. Students who are accepted into a CTP program may apply using the FAFAS form obtained on line. Based on Federal Financial Aid determination of eligibility, students may be eligible to receive Federal PELL grants, Federal Work Study (FWS) and/or Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants ( FSEOG) funds. More information can be found http://studentaid.ed.gov/eligibility/intellectual-disabilities

    For Students with disabilities, other possible sources of funding for college include:

    New Jersey Department of Human Services
    Division of Developmental Disabilities (800)-832-9173

    The New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) provides public funding for services and supports that assist people with developmental disabilities. These services are offered in the community by more than 250 New Jersey agencies and in seven residential developmental centers. There is no entitlement for services funded by DDD. However, the division strives to make the most effective use of available funding so that it can serve as many people as possible. DDD determines through an application process who is eligible* to receive services it funds. Generally, to receive services, you must show that you have a severe, chronic physical and/or mental impairment that: manifests in the developmental years, before age 22; is life-long; and substantially limits you at least in three of the following life activities: self-care, learning, mobility, communication, self-direction, economic self sufficiency and the ability to live independently.

    Some conditions that might be considered a developmental disability include: mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, spina bifida, autism or a neurological impairment.

    Family Guide to Guardianship (Retrieved from DDD)

    Department of Social Security Administration (800) 772-1213 http://www.socialsecurity.gov

    This program was established for the aged and people with disabilities and provides monthly stipend and NJ Medicaid. Parents may apply on behalf of the children.

    Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (609) 292-5987

    Eligibility generally is based on the presence of a mental or physical disability that is an obstacle to employment. Resources and services may be available to students who will need on the job training or support to find a job.

    Division of Disability Services (DDS) (888) 285-3036 or (609)-292-7800 .

    Individual Training Accounts (ITA): ITAs are funds set aside by the One-Stop Career Centers to help individuals pay for training that will lead to obtaining employment. However, eligibility for an ITA is at the discretion of the local One-Stop. Often, an individual must demonstrate a financial need and the likelihood of improved employability as a result of receiving further training. For more information, visit the Department of Labor website.

    Plans for Achieving Self-Support (PASS Plans)

    PASS Plans were developed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as an incentive to encourage individuals who may be receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI) to enter the workforce. In essence, this plan allows an individual to work and save money and not be penalized by a deduction from their SSI or SSDI check. However, there are restrictions on what the saved money may be used for. To learn more about PASS Plans in general, or to find out what is covered under this type of plan, go to: http://www.passplan.org

    Success in College for Adults with Learning Disabilities

    By: HEATH Resource Center (1999) 
    Retrieved from: http://www.ldonline.org/article/6002/

    Successful adult college students with learning disabilities, college advisors, and campus disability support services staff agree that developing knowledge about one's self — the nature of one's learning disabilities as well as one's personal and academic strengths and weaknesses — is vital for success in college.

    Many people are not diagnosed as having a learning disability until they are in their 20's, 30's, or even later. By this time, their academic needs and goals have changed. They have multiple responsibilities related to their jobs and families. Their educational goals may be somewhat different from those of other students. Motivation for adult learners often is focused on career enhancement needs as well as on self-development and growth.

    While the diagnosis of a learning disability in an adult brings about many changes in his or her life, it is important to keep in mind that such a diagnosis need not keep someone from pursuing higher education. With support and information, many adults are able to achieve their goals.

    Increasing numbers of people with learning disabilities are enrolling in two-year and four- year colleges and universities. Since 1985, among first-time, full-time freshmen who reported having any disability, the percentage of those with learning disabilities doubled from 15 percent to 32 percent. Currently, nearly one-third of all freshmen with disabilities report having learning disabilities. Anyone with a learning disability who is considering going to college should be encouraged to pursue this goal without letting age become a barrier.


    In order to facilitate the college application process, adults with learning disabilities need to have an accurate idea of the strengths they bring to college. They also need to have an accurate idea of the academic requirements and admission procedures of the colleges or universities in which they are interested.

    Professional documentation of the learning disability is the vehicle for understanding one's strengths and weaknesses. It is essential to have a full and frank discussion about that documentation with the psychologist or other expert who made the assessment.

    Successful students with learning disabilities advise that the actual college application process should begin as early as possible. This will enable students to review the documentation of their learning disabilities and to work on understanding their strengths, weaknesses, learning styles, and any accommodative services that may be necessary.

    Once in college, students are responsible for self-identification and self-advocacy. Effective self-advocates must learn to understand their particular type of learning disability, the resultant academic strengths and weaknesses, and their individual learning styles. Most importantly, they need to become comfortable with describing to others both their disabilities and their academic needs.

    Legislation affecting students with disabilities

    In order to be effective self-advocates, students need to be informed about legislation with which colleges and universities must comply that protects the rights of people with disabilities. It is important to know about the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (especially Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and how these two pieces of legislation differ from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990. IDEA is the legislation that governs the provision of special education services to children and youth with disabilities in elementary and secondary schools. IDEA does not apply to higher education. Colleges and universities do not offer "special" education.

    Section 504 and the ADA protect the civil rights of people with disabilities and require postsecondary institutions to provide accommodative services to students with disabilities. However, keep in mind that once students have been admitted to a college or university, it is their responsibility to self-identify and provide documentation of their disability. Otherwise, the college or university need not provide any accommodation.

    Students with disabilities want to ensure that written records will be kept confidential and made available only to those with a legitimate interest in them. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 protects the confidentiality of student medical records. Disability-related information should be kept by the college or university in separate files with access limited to appropriate personnel. Disability documentation should be held by a single source within the institution in order to protect the confidentiality of persons with disabilities by assuring such limited access. FERPA protects a student's record from being shared (without the student's permission) with "curious" faculty, administrators, other students, the press, or anyone without a legitimate reason for seeing the record.

    Types of institutions

    Students with learning disabilities who are planning to go to college should familiarize themselves with the general categories of postsecondary education institutions. There are more than 3,000 colleges and universities in the United States. In addition to size, scope of programs offered, setting (urban, suburban, or rural, residential, or commuter), and cost of attendance, several factors are of special importance for students with learning disabilities.

    Some colleges have open admissions and admit anyone over age 18 or with a high school diploma. These include both two- year and four-year institutions. Other colleges have selective admissions requirements. Applicants to a selective college must meet the criteria set by that particular college. Some standard, commercially available college guides list colleges by their degree of selectivity, or "how hard it is to get in" — from "most difficult" to "minimally difficult."

    Two-year colleges are most frequently public community colleges located in urban, suburban, and rural areas across the United States. Most are open admissions institutions and are non-residential. Some are independent (private) junior colleges that encourage students to earn an Associate Degree. Community colleges attract a variety of students; those who plan to take either a few selected courses in their interest area, those seeking vocational courses to train for specific jobs, and those pursuing an undergraduate certificate (to study a specific field of training). Also, many students find it cost effective to obtain an Associate Degree at a local community college and then transfer to a four-year institution.

    Four- year colleges and universities may have either open or selective admissions. Most require students to pursue a degree, and many are residential. Four-year colleges also are located in various settings, and in small communities they may be the center of cultural life. Tuition, room, board, and books are generally more expensive per year than they are at a community college.

    Services and programs for students with learning disabilities

    Services required by Section 504 and ADA are provided at no cost to the student. The college or university has the flexibility to select the specific accommodation or service it provides, as long as it is effective. Some examples of these could include:

    • Allowing extra time to complete exams,
    • Permitting exams to be individually proctored, read orally, dictated, or typed; and
    • Providing modifications,
    • Substitutions, or waivers of courses, major fields of study, or degree requirements on a case-by-case basis. (Keep in mind that such accommodations need not be made if the institution can demonstrate that the changes requested would substantially alter essential elements of the course or program.)

    In addition to such services, hundreds of colleges and universities have comprehensive on-campus programs specially designed for students with learning disabilities to enable them to pursue the regular college program. Staffed by individuals trained in the area of learning disabilities, these programs offer services — in addition to the standard services offered by the campus as a whole services — that go above and beyond making a program accessible. As the services provided in comprehensive programs go above and beyond those that the college or university is required to provide under Section 504 and ADA, some colleges and universities charge an additional fee for these services.

    Students who wish to learn more about comprehensive programs should either call each of the colleges and universities in which they are interested and ask if such a program exists on campus, or check one of the many guidebooks found in public libraries and bookstores that contain listings and information.

    Colleges and universities will have either an individual or an office on campus whose purpose is to coordinate support services and accommodations for students with disabilities. It is a good idea to establish communications with these service providers as early as possible in order to make arrangements for any accommodations or services you may require. Ask your admissions counselor where this office is located on campus.

    Documentation and accommodative services

    Documentation of a learning disability is a written diagnosis that a learning disability exists, and is provided by a qualified professional such as a school psychologist, neurologist, or educational diagnostician. Recommendations for accommodative services and programs are usually part of the written document. This document can serve as a vehicle for the student to understand his or her strengths and weaknesses and is required to obtain the accommodative services necessary to participate in regular college programs.

    Accommodative services are essential to the success of many students with learning disabilities. Accommodations that have proven successful may include:

    • Listening to a tape recording of written material while reading it,
    • Allowing extended time to complete exams (usually time and a half),
    • Using a computer to write out exams or papers,
    • Providing a quiet place to take exams without distraction of other students or intrusive noises.

    Choosing a college

    Visit campuses, preferably while classes are in session, so that you can get an impression of campus daily life, or talk by telephone with the staff of the Disability Support Services Office or the learning disabilities program.

    During the application process, the student will need to decide whether or not to "disclose" the fact that he or she has a disability. The college or university may not require the student to disclose a disability on the admission application. Should a student decide to disclose his or her disability, this information in and of itself cannot be used as a basis for denying admission. Colleges and universities cannot discriminate on the basis of disability. On the other hand, colleges and universities also are under no obligation to alter their admissions requirements or standards. Students with disabilities, like all other prospective applicants, must meet the admissions criteria established by the college or university.

    Colleges and universities are not required to alter admissions requirements, nor are they required to alter programmatic requirements for students with learning disabilities once they have been admitted. If a course in question is found to be an essential element to the student's course of study or degree sought, it is unlikely that a waiver or a substitution will be granted. Accommodative services, including the provision of course waivers and substitutions, will not to be used in any way that would lower the academic standards established by a college or university.

    Tips for successful preparation

    The following tips may help adults with learning disabilities as they prepare for college:

    • Consider internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer community service that will develop necessary skills.
    • Consider enrolling in a summer pre-college program specifically designed for students with learning disabilities.
    • Contact the local Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency and investigate eligibility requirements. VR agencies may offer a variety of services to eligible students with learning disabilities, including vocational assessment, tuition assistance, or testing services.
    • Explore sources of financial aid. Most students need financial assistance to pay the costs of attending college. While there is very little scholarship money specifically for students with learning disabilities, readers are encouraged to review the HEATH resource paper, Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities.
    • Join one of the national organizations that provide support not only to adults with learning disabilities, but also to professionals. Participation in the activities of such organizations is an excellent way to build confidence, increase disability awareness and disability-related knowledge, and get information about special programs and resources.
    • Take courses that will help prepare you for college. If appropriate, take foreign language courses and computer training while still in high school.

    Awareness of one's strengths, advocacy skills, and persistence are among the most important tools for building a future through education. Adults with learning disabilities can maximize their chances of success by getting appropriate support, continually assessing their growth, and planning carefully. Students will be admitted only to colleges and universities to which they actually apply. With support and planning, more than ever before, people who have learning disabilities are applying to, enrolling in, and graduating from America's colleges and universities!



    Programs for Students with Learning Disabilities

    The following are profiles of institutions with dedicated programs or support programs for students with learning disabilities.  They will be available for consultation.


    American International College –

    Curtis Blake Supportive Learning Center
    100 State StreetSpringfieldMA  01109

    Degree Program       Program Enrollment:  90

    Program Director:  Mary Saltus  413-205-3246


    Chapel Haven

    1049 Whalley AvenueNew HavenCT  06515

    Post-Secondary Independent Living Program

    Program Director:  Dr. Judy Lefkowitz  203-397-1714


    Concordia College – Concordia Connection

    171 White Plains RoadBronxvilleNY  10708

    Degree Program   Program Enrollment:  20

    Director:  Dr. George Groth  914-337-9300, ext 2361


    Iona College – College Assistance Program

    715 North AvenueNew RochelleNY  10801

    Program Enrollment:  75

    Director Regina Carlo  914-633-2582


    Marist College – Learning Disability Support Program

    290 North AvenuePoughkeepsieNY  12601

    Degree Program    Program Enrollment:  70

    Director:  Jean Vizvary  845-575-3274


    Manhattanville College

    2900 Purchase StreetPurchaseNY  10577

    Degree Program     Enrollment:  135

    Director:  Jean Baldassare  914-323-7127


    Mitchell College – Learning Resource Center

    437 Pequot AvenueNew LondonCT  06320

    Degree Program    Program Enrollment:  300

    Director:  Peter Love  860-701-5071


    St. Thomas Aquinas College – Pathways – Learning Disability Support Program     Degree Program    Program Enrollment:  75

    125 Route 340, SparkillNY  10976

    Director:  Dr. Richard Heath  845-398-4227

     Career & Community Studies Program  
     Career & Community Studies is a college-based, liberal studies program designed to prepare students (ages 18-25) for adult life through academic rigor, career discovery and preparation and peer socialization as part of a diverse community of learners.

    The College of New JerseyPO Box 7718Ewing, NJ 08628-0718

    P) 609.771.2381E) ccs@tcnj.edu  
    Program DirectorRebecca Daley
    Vocational Independence Program @ New York Institute of Technology 
     Students may enter the vocational program, a three-year post-secondary program that focuses on academics, independent living, social skills development, and vocational exploration and training, or the degree program, which guides students through regular NYIT academic majors

     For more information call 631.348.3354.


    Additional Programs for Students with L.D./A.D.H.D.


    The following is an additional list of colleges with strong LD programs:
       Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ
       St. Thomas Aquinas, NY
       Manhattanville College, NY
       Landmark College, Vt
       Curry College, Mass.
       Hofstra University, NY
       University of Hartford, Conn
       Adelphi University, NY
       University of Denver
       University of Arizona 
       Barry University, Fla
       Mercyhurst College, Pa.
       University of Connecticut
       Ohio Wesleyan
       Southern Illinois University
       University of Indianapolis
       Lynn University, Fla
       Ocean County College, NJ
    New York Institute of Technology, NY
    The College of New Jersey, (TCNJ) NJ 
       Western New England College
       Dean College, Mass.
       Suffolk University, NY
       Mt. Ida College, Mass.
       Paul Smiths College, NY
       Lesley University, Mass.
       Widener College, Pa.
       Johnson & Wales College, RI
       Monmouth University, NJ 
    Spartanburg Methodist College 
    Converse College