Herridge, A. S. (2017). First-year performance: Students with disabilities transitioning to college from high school . College Student Affairs Leadership , 4 (1), article 4. https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/csal/

Journal Article
Herridge, A. S. (2017). First-year performance: Students with disabilities transitioning to college from high school. College Student Affairs Leadership, 4(1), article 4. https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/csal/


College Student Affairs Leadership is a journal published at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI. The specific article can be located on the University's webpage at https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/csal/vol4/iss1/4


Accommodation/s not specified; Learning disabilities; Postsecondary; U.S. context





The researcher summarized findings from the literature on the issue of postsecondary students with disabilities, particularly learning disabilities, choosing not to seek academic accommodations, particularly at the point of transitioning from secondary to postsecondary education. While not explicitly examining individual accommodations or their impacts, the researcher authoring this review of literature identified a set of reasons for students' decision, forming a framework for postsecondary educators' consideration.


In this literature review, the researcher identified 15 studies, published in 2005–2016, that were relevant and informative to the topic of reasons that students with disabilities have tended neither to self-identify with disabilities nor to seek academic accommodations when they began postsecondary education. Participants in these studies were postsecondary students with learning disabilities. Learning disabilities have been termed "invisible disabilities" in this context because these learning challenges might not be apparent and can require young adults to self-identify and advocate for assistance and support.

Dependent Variable

This is a review of literature about the issue of students with learning disabilities choosing not to access academic accommodations upon beginning postsecondary education. The researcher searched four academic databases using 11 relevant terms and phrases. The summary includes findings about accommodations use, or lack thereof, and perceptions about accommodations in general from the perspective of students with learning disabilities.


Applying Schlossberg's transition theory (Goodman et al., 2006) to postsecondary students with learning disabilities not seeking accommodations, the researcher examined four factors and noted the salience of self-advocacy, indicating that postsecondary students with learning disabilities may lack information about available academic accommodations and the process for seeking them in postsecondary institutions, leading to failures to complete postsecondary education. The author further asserted that postsecondary institutions having program staff to support students' development of self-advocacy skills, in order for students to more successfully access reasonable accommodations. An additional recommendation was for secondary school transition staff and postsecondary program staff to work together to support students with this transition.