The need for support services for students with disabilities related to congenital heart disease doesn’t end at childhood. When exploring possible college, university, or vocational schooling programs, you can contact that educational institution’s ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) or disabilities services office or coordinator, if needed. By law, institutions must provide reasonable accommodations for qualified students. (The rules are slightly different for institutions that receive federal funds versus those that do not, but all are required to provide equal access to public accommodations.) You will be asked to submit documentation of your disability to the office or coordinator for review.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor (or Your Child’s Doctor) and the School About Education
The following questions can help you talk to your child's physician and school officials. Print out or write down these questions and take them with you to your appointment. Taking notes can help you remember your physician’s response when you get home.
- What staff at the educational institution are available to assist me with questions related to my child’s (or my) medical condition?
- What other professionals may be of benefit to me or my child (health insurance/financial counselors, social workers, mental health counselors, career counselors)?
- What do I need to know about accessing specialized educational services for my child or myself?
- Can special plans be made for in-class and standardized testing?
- Are there school-related activities that my child (or I) should refrain from participating in?
- What do I need to know about administration of medications at school?
- Is there someone at my child’s school with specialized medical training?
- Which and how many staff members are trained in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)?
- Is my child’s school equipped with AEDs (automated external defibrillators)?
- What kind of emergency plan for my child should I make with the school?