Young man in the library looking at a laptop

Life at college and university is quite different than life at high school, and it is not always easy to know what to expect. It can be difficult to sort through all of the information that is available from different colleges and universities and to narrow it down to the important details. This guide aims to bring together all of the information that you need in one place – to help ease this transition and put you on the path to success in your post-secondary studies.

For Students

Steps for Using the Guide: 

  1. Read the Learn About Accessibility and Plan Your Journey sections to understand how students with disabilities are supported at post-secondary, what you can expect when you get there, and how to set yourself up for success.
  2. Read about your preferred colleges and universities in the Research Schools section. Follow the links and use the contact list to further your research and get more information about what is important to you.
  3. Complete the individual school checklist for each institution you are interested.
  4. Visit the campuses and/or complete virtual tours of your top choices.
  5. Complete the final checklist to compare schools.
  6. Choose where to apply, and which college or university to attend.

Making the transition is an exciting and scary process and, even though it may be difficult, it is important to take ownership of the process and work to become independent. When you arrive at college or university, the professors and staff will want to hear from you directly and not from your parents. Now is the time to gain the knowledge and tools that you need to choose the post-secondary program that is right for you and to become a true self-advocate.

For Parents, Guardians, Guidance Counsellors, and Other Support People

The process of transitioning to post-secondary education can be a challenging.  Many students will need a fair amount of support while making this transition, and that’s normal. At the same time, it is the person that is making the transition – the student – who needs to take ownership of the process. The TRG is here to help parents and educators learn about resources and supports available to students with disabilities to allow them to help guide students through this process. It is important, however, for students to learn this information themselves, and to prepare to self-advocate once they reach post-secondary education.

Tips for parents in supporting your child through this transition:

  • Help your child write out a list of everything that they will need to prepare for post-secondary.
  • Help your child create a time line and checklist of important dates and deadlines.
  • Allow your child/student to work on the list independently, and provide support if requested.
  • Let your child know that you believe they are ready for this change, and are capable of making the transition independently.
  • Consider that if you are doing everything for your child, perhaps it’s not the right time for this transition.
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