How to Get Help at School For a Disability

Three Methods:Disability Help in Primary SchoolDisability Help in Secondary EducationDisability Help in College

People with visual, auditory, mobility and cognitive disabilities may find handling their disability at school to be daunting. In order to offer equal opportunities for a good education, most schools are required by law to provide disability services. As a parent, caregiver or disabled student, you must be proactive in asking for help in advance, as well as once problems arise. Although the school can provide many educational services and devices, these services will change depending upon the age level of the student. In many cases, the parents must be the advocates for children under 18, and disabled people must be their own advocates in a college or university environment. Learn how to get help at school for a disability.

Method 1
Disability Help in Primary School

  1. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 1
    Pay attention to children's school performance to watch for signs of disabilities. While some disabilities are immediately apparent at birth, learning disabilities often appear in elementary school. Children may not know that they have a disability, so parents should watch for trouble reading, disciplinary problems, low-interest level and other indicators of a larger problem.
    • Go to the website of the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities at You can find services that are available to school-aged children with disabilities.
  2. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 2
    Consider enrolling a disabled student in a school that is specifically designed for those with the same impairment. Many states host schools for the blind, deaf or cognitively impaired. Request information about enrollment in these schools, to see if the disabled student is interested in attending a school that tailors the curriculum to work with any impairments.
  3. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 3
    Contact school administration for information on the disability services in your district. Many primary education districts have a special education director. Arrange a meeting with your school's disability contact.
  4. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 4
    Register your disabled student with the program or office that supports disabled children. Many of these services are funded by federal or state aid, so they are required to keep track of specific services and student progress. Fill out all applicable forms to ensure your child will receive services when they need them.
  5. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 5
    Create an Individual Education Plan (IEP) with the disability contact. This should include services that are provided and a support network. Schedule appointments for evaluation of services during the semester, as well as at the end, after grades have been given.
  6. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 6
    Discuss the disability services with your child's teacher. Before the start of the semester, you should schedule an appointment to speak with the teacher about the disability. This will help you to communicate any problems in the future and it also allows you to give extra support to the teacher.
    • The teacher may never have taught a student with this particular disability. There may need to be a period of trial and adjustment. You may be able to suggest ways to handle possible problems in the future.
  7. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 7
    Contact your school district or Section 504 Coordinator, if you believe that the necessary accommodations have not been made. Request a copy of the school's disability requirements and request a meeting with school administration if those requirements are not being met. You may need to negotiate for some services, if the school cannot afford to adopt all the necessary disability services at once.

Method 2
Disability Help in Secondary Education

  1. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 8
    Ask for a contact at your high school. Many disability services do not have offices at a high school. A school administrator, teacher or counselor can help you to deal with day to day issues that arise due to your disability.
    • This contact can also be an advocate. In case of problems, you can come up with a plan and discuss it with your individual teachers together.
  2. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 9
    Research potential educational aides. The rise of technology, including smart phones and computers with visual or audio cues may mean that you can be permitted to use educational devices during school hours. Discuss the possible adoption and purchase of aides to help you at school.
    • A school's disability program is tasked with providing services to a large variety of disabilities and within a budget. They are not always able to stay at the cutting edge of educational devices, so you should consider researching new technology and bringing it to their attention for the future.
  3. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 10
    Read the Americans with Disabilities Act. During high school, students should know their rights as a disabled person. In order to receive help in high school and later life, you will need to know what to ask for and what is required by law.
  4. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 11
    Join an online or local support group. By talking with people who have the same disabilities as you, it may be easier to deal with the struggles of your disability. Online disability support groups encourage conversations on things like educational aides, emotional situations and getting support from services or schools.

Method 3
Disability Help in College

  1. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 12
    Apply for disability scholarships and programs. In addition to the programs offered by the local school, the student may also be eligible for state or federally funded programs. Ask your disability contact to recommend these programs, or go online and search for disabled student scholarships.
    • Go to to see a list of current scholarships that are available in the United States and around the world. Visit FinAid at to see more information about financial aid for students with disabilities.
  2. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 13
    Contact the disability coordinator or office to arrange an appointment. You should meet with the coordinator before classes begin, so that you can receive all available educational services and disability aides. Many disability offices are only able to provide help at the beginning of the semester, so do not wait until it is too late.
    • Some research suggests that many people with disabilities try to go without help when they first enroll. They may feel that they have been singled out for their disability too often in their life. You must be registered with the disability office in order to receive services. By the time a student recognizes the need for help, they may already be failing some classes.
    • Talk with your professors at the beginning of the semester about potential class modifications that are necessary with your disability. Although this may feel uncomfortable, it will help you to avoid future problems.
  3. Image titled Get Help at School For a Disability Step 14
    Contact your school's Section 504 Coordinator if you feel there has been discrimination against you. Section 504 is the "Protection from Discrimination" part of the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are grievance procedures to correct these problems.


  • Keep a journal all the avenues you take to get help for the disabled student. This may be important if the school in question is not following government guidelines for accommodating disabled students. Keep copies of all written communications. In rare cases, families may need to consult an attorney in order to file an official complaint or take further action against a school. Keep this in mind when you talk with school administrations.

Things You'll Need

  • Disability coordinator
  • Journal and photocopies
  • Educational aides/devices
  • Scholarships
  • Individual Education Plan (IEP)
  • School administrator information
  • Parent/Teacher conference
  • Section 504 Coordinator

Article Info

Categories: Raising Children with Special Needs | Disability Issues