Parent & Family Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • My child has an upcoming intake meeting and I want to attend. However, their instruction letter says that parents are typically not encouraged to attend these meetings. Why am I not supposed to come?

    College is very different from high school, and students are expected to develop independence as they make this transition. We know that and are here to help with this process! College is a wonderful opportunity to begin to develop self-advocacy and self-awareness skills, and that includes honing these skills as they relate to your child’s disability. Students are experts on themselves and need to be trusted to pave their own path, including providing insight into their own experiences and explaining what they want/need. Oftentimes, students want very different things than what their parents think they need, and this leads to confusion and frustration. If you would like to help your child prepare for an intake meeting, great ways to do so include helping them to identify and write down questions ahead of time, or helping them to jot down topics they want to discuss.

  • I called the office to get information on my child, but was informed I couldn’t be told details about anything going on as far as their disability or accommodations. How is this possible? I’m their parent!
    College is very different from high school for many reasons, one of which is that students are legally adults, and therefore protected as far as personal and/or confidential information, which includes information related to their disability status and accommodations. For this reason, Disability Services cannot disclose any information about a student’s records, status, or interactions with Disability Services without a release on file (for you or anyone else who does not have access to this privileged information)--this could be considered disclosure without permission, and therefore a breach of confidentiality.
  • I want to make sure my child is approved for [insert accommodation here]. How do I do that?
    The University guarantees access to all things Richmond. However, there is no way to guarantee an approval of any specific accommodation prior to the application process, as access can be granted in many different ways depending on each student’s specific needs. Accommodation approvals are driven by the student specifically, as they are experts on themselves and their own experiences. Additionally, accommodations are matched to student need as far as access (not success) within the college environment, which is very different from K-12. This means that, even if a doctor, psychologist, or other provider specifies a “required accommodation” in their documentation, it does not guarantee an approval because the University makes decisions regarding reasonableness, appropriateness, and equal access. For these reasons, there is no way to make guarantees about specific accommodation approvals.

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