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Increasing numbers of students with learning disabilities, ADHD, and Asperger's Syndrome are enrolling in mainstream postsecondary education programs through the country. Factors contributing to this positive trend in education and professional development begin in childhood. They have been receiving the diagnoses at younger and younger ages, and the early diagnoses mean early intervention and greater educational supports. In turn, these children are finding a more equal playing field in secondary school meaning they are able to "show what they know" to a greater extent than ever before.

Because of their academic success, young adults who would once have been encouraged to explore a vocational track are now encouraged to pursue a college education. With the proper accommodations, they are competing for entry alongside their peers without disabilities, and they are being accepted on their own merit.

Once in college, students with LD, ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome discover a new world of challenges and new hurdles to navigate. For a comparison of the difference in requirements, expectations and supports from high school to college, please click here: Differences in Legal Rights and Responsibilities in Secondary and Postsecondary Education and OCR'S Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Rights and Responsibilities

Many students with these hidden disabilities still need academic supports, services and accommodations in college in order to even the academic playing field and to allow them to demonstrate their knowledge competitively with their peers. When that is done, most go on to achieve academic success and to have fulfilling careers.

Students with various neurologically-based disabilities need several forms of support in order to succeed in college. At BU we offer supports in the area of self-knowledge and in academic areas.

Binghamton University General Education Requirements

Binghamton University's General Education Physical Education Requirement

Binghamton University is deeply committed to the importance of physical education for all students. For those students who may not be able to meet this requirement for disability related reasons, please refer to the website for Appealing General Education Requirements.

Binghamton University's General Education Foreign Language Requirement

Students who anticipate that they will have disability-related difficulties successfully fulfilling the General Education Foreign Language Requirement, with or without assistance, should identify themselves and their concerns to SSD immediately upon enrollment at Binghamton University.

Binghamton University is deeply committed to the importance of foreign language learning for all students. The faculty of the foreign language departments and the staff of Services for Students with Disabilities stand ready to assist students in their efforts to meet the stated requirement. .

Students who know, through past experience in foreign language courses, that they will need extra help and will need to work extra hard, should seek help from the outset. Students who have diagnosed learning disabilities but have been judged able to learn a foreign language should likewise seek extra help and work extra diligently. They are advised to identify themselves at the outset to their instructors as well as to the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Finally, the university recognizes that there will be a small number of students with documented learning or cognitive disabilities that gravely impede foreign language acquisition. These students may petition for a substitution of the General Education Foreign Language Requirement. Please note the following important facts:

•  Students who were waived from taking a foreign language in high school will not automatically be eligible for a General Education Foreign Language Requirement substitution at Binghamton University.

•  Students requesting a Foreign Language substitution based on their disability will have their request considered by SSD on the basis of a review and assessment of the following:

•  The student's specific request.

•  A comprehensive Adult-level disability evaluation, completed by a professional licensed or certified to diagnose and treat the student's disability(ies) and submitted to SSD by the student. The documentation must clearly substantiate the impossibility or extraordinary difficulty the standard requirement would present to the student within the context of higher education.

•  The insufficiency of standard academic accommodations (e.g. extended time on exams, spelling dispensation) to afford the student equal access and a level playing field in the foreign language course offerings at Binghamton University.

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Last Updated: 8/4/10