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Parent to Parent


Parent to Parent: Ft. Lewis College (and now UNM)

Update to this article: this parent’s child is now attending UNM Albuquerque and doing very well academically.  Both the parents and child equally praise Fort Lewis College and UNM, acknowledging that both institutions have strong merits for students with dyslexia.

Fort Lewis College, rising above the Animas Valley of Durango, Colorado, with a student population of just over 4000 as of the 2013-2014 academic year far exceeds meeting their students’ needs through Disability Services that promote “an equal opportunity for students with disabilities in pursuing a higher education and achieving their academic goals. Fort Lewis College recognizes disability is an aspect of diversity. To that end, Disability Services Office collaborates with students, instructors, staff and community members to create usable, equitable, inclusive and sustainable learning environments.”

My daughter, who is a freshman, provided documentation of her diagnosis of Dyslexia prior to the academic year’s start, meaning she was able to qualify for accommodations based on her documentation. She has taken it upon herself to self-advocate with each of her professors and within the disabilities office. The following is a list of support services and accommodations she is receiving if needed:

  1. Advanced copies of power points from professors (if possible)
  2. Alternate exams (essay rather than multiple choice, for example, if possible)
  3. Permission to record class sessions
  4. Extended time (1.5) for exams and quizzes
  5. No penalty for in-class spelling errors on quizzes and exams
  6. Takes exams in the Disabilities office
  7. On math exams can use formula/process sheets
  8. If needed can have a “reader” for her exams
  9. Early registration of classes for upcoming semester

Fort Lewis College provides tutorial services, small study groups within the math lab, accessible professors, and an enthusiastic, friendly, and caring staff within Disabilities Services. The emphasis is on improving basic skills, and designing programs for each student to succeed. My daughter has proven herself already to be a successful college student who continues to set her own goals, meet them, dream big, and follow those dreams.

The parent who wrote this article first learned of the benefits of Ft. Lewis College from another parent who had served on the SWIDA Board a few years back. While SWIDA cannot endorse any college, SWIDA welcomes positive comments from parents who want to help other parents and students in the college selection process.


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