Resources for New Students and Parents

Welcome to Bates! We hope that the following information will be helpful as you prepare for the transition to college and explore available resources.

When to Reach Out

Contact the Office of Accessible Education and Student Support (OAESS) as soon as you decide to enroll at Bates so there is ample time to review requests, implement accommodations, and update documentation, if necessary. Please visit the Requesting Services page for additional information.

What to Expect

Bates College is committed to ensuring equal access and reasonable accommodations to eligible students with disabilities. One of the major differences between high school and college is that, in college, the student is responsible for disclosing a disability, requesting services, and working with faculty to implement approved accommodations.

There are significant differences between accommodation services and academic expectations in High School and College for students with disabilities.  This High School vs. College grid outlines some of these key differences.

Tips for Self-Advocacy when Requesting Services

  • You are the best expert on yourself! Be prepared to describe your disability and how it impacts you in your own words. Student self-report is a critical component of an accommodation request in addition to the formal documentation from a medical or other provider.
  • Be familiar with the documentation of disability you are submitting. Be prepared to discuss your strengths, challenge areas, and any recommendations made by the evaluator/provider.
  • Consider developing and practicing a personal summary that includes the following information. You may even want to write this down and share it with the OAESS:
    • How your disability has impacted you as a student in past
    • Accommodations you’ve received in the past and how they have helped/not helped you
    • How you learn best and any strategies you’ve developed to be successful as a student
    • What accommodations you are requesting in college and why
  • Come to your initial appointment prepared with any questions or concerns you may have.

Tips for Parents and Families

  • Encourage your student to be a self-advocate. Be there as a source of support but know that the student needs to be the one in the “driver’s seat” when it comes to disability services in college.
  • If you feel the need to communicate with the OAESS, involve your student in the conversation so that everyone is on the same page. Due to educational privacy law, the OAESS is limited in what information we can share with parents without the student’s permission but we understand that students may sometimes wish to include their parents in parts of the process.
  • Share any concerns you have and issues you think need to be discussed with the OAESS with your student before their initial meeting.
  • Encourage your student to be proactive and take advantage of resources available to all Bates students, including tutoring, Writing at Bates, and their Student Support Advisor, for example.


Resources for Students at Bates College: A snapshot of both Accessible Education and general resources for Bates students

Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and ResponsibilitiesU.S. Department of Education & Office for Civil Rights

College Survival SkillsDisabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT)

ADHD College Survival Guide: Tips and Resources for ADD/ADHD and LD Students: ADDitude Strategies and Support for ADHD & LD

Navigating College: A Handbook on Self Advocacy Written for Autistic Students from Autistic Adults: Autistic Self Advocacy Network