Skip To Main Content

College Options for Students With Disabilities

There are many local and national college options for students with disabilities. Since every student is different, please consider your student's needs above all. 

Virtually all colleges will have Student Services programs that will provide some accomodations, and there are specialized programs at many colleges. We provide resources here for you to do your own research to find options that work for particular circumstances.  

Family Resources for the College Search

Think College offers specialized guidance and advice for families of students with intellectual disabilities. Access the how-to guides and view the extensive FAQ section. 

College is Possible Resource Fair

The College Bound Resource Fair held every January is a unique event created specifically for people with disabilities who aspire to become college students and the families and educators in their lives. It includes presentations & resources on college programs, preparing for college, transportation, financing college, advocacy and independence, academic support and more.

Shoreline Community Based Transition Program

Mission: To prepare students to be productive, integral, and valued members of society in collaboration with families and the community.

Students learn vocational skills in real work environments.

Students relate classroom education to real-life situations.

SCBTP partners with local employers, King County DDA School to Work Program, and PROVAIL to help place graduating students into paid employment.

Shoreline School District Based Transition Program

Mission: Through skill building activities and collaboration with families, caregivers, agencies and the community, students will broaden their opportunities to live and work as independently as possible.


For students in Post 12th Grade (5th /6th /7th year HS) in LRE 3 who require instruction and supports beyond the traditional 4 years of high school due to their cognitive and adaptive delays and require specialized supports (i.e. nursing, behavioral).

OLS Program at Bellevue College

Occupational & Life Skills (OLS) is an associate degree program for adults with learning disabilities. In the supportive skills-based program,
students apply academic knowledge through community activities, service learning and social experiences. Students identify a career pathway, gain marketable, workplace-ready competencies, develop better interpersonal skills and complete an internship in alignment with their career goals.

Bellevue also has a summer transition program for students who intend to live on campus during the school year. See   LARP Your College XP webpage 

DO-IT Scholars with the University of Washington

DO-IT Scholars prepares Washington State high school students with disabilities for success in college and careers. Scholars attend Summer Study sessions, held during three consecutive summers at the University of Washington campus. This allows students to experience college life and work on self advocacy skills. Throughout the school year, Scholars connect with program staff, DO-IT Mentors, and each other using email and e-lists. They also meet in-person at DO-IT events, complete individual and group projects, and receive valuable information and support for the transition to college. 

Think College Search

Think College Search features 313 colleges and universities that offer postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual disability. Users of this searchable online database can filter by state, length of program, type of school, options for living on campus, and more. 

Transitioning from High School to College: Spotlight on Section 504

This article from the George Washington Graduate School of Education and Human Development has some key takeaways: 

  • Colleges have their own eligibility criteria for determining whether students have a disability that can be accommodated within their classrooms.
  • At the postsecondary level, you are responsible for seeking out disability services.
  • While you are responsible for your academic success in college, you do have support to make sure your civil rights as a student are being met. Schools should have staff responsible for assisting students with disabilities.
  • Under Section 504, colleges are required by law to provide reasonable accommodations to students who they determine to have disabilities.
  • Self-advocacy is the name of the game.

Neurodiversity Navigators at Bellevue College

The Neurodiversity Navigators (formerly Autism Spectrum Navigators) program offers educational opportunities along with individualized advocacy and access services for Neurodivergent Bellevue College students.

Program entry is summer only; information sessions are offered every January. 

Bellevue also has a summer transition program for students who intend to live on campus during the school year. See   LARP Your College XP webpage 


WSU ROAR (Responsibility Opportunity Advocacy and Respect) is a two-year inclusive postsecondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The program provides individualized programs of study in education, social skills, and vocational training through person-centered planning. 

What's Next After High School: Choices & Opportunities for Students with IEPs & 504s

Video of a Shorecrest event on 3.10.2021

Three experts talk about an array of options for students with IEPs and 504s. This 90-minute webinar features after-high school employment programs through Shoreline Schools’ Transition program and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), plus a college options presentation by Amy Guatelli, a former Eastside special education teacher, current special education consultant and mom of a special needs child in college.

Disabled Students Navigating STEM at Bellevue College

Disabled Students Navigating STEM (DSNS) supports students in the transition from high school to college and college to career successfully by focusing on essential skills such as self-advocacy, self-efficacy, and self-determination. Career preparation cohort classes that they take alongside their program of study, paired with peer mentor meetings, means that they will learn self-reliance and receive individual support at the same time.  

The DSNS cohort program combines the best practices of two existing, renowned, continuing programs at Bellevue College: Neurodiversity Navigators and STEM to Stern. DSNS is open to all students at Bellevue College (including those in Running Start) who identify as disabled and are interested in STEM pathways. It is a two-year educational and advocacy cohort program that supports students in developing disability identity, community, and career aspirations.