When a student goes to college, parents face a major transition. One of the biggest challenges is making the shift from being a caretaker with some authority over your child’s life to becoming a mentor and advocate who guides a young adult making his or her own decisions. When the student has a disability, the challenges become even more complex.
Colleges and universities treat all students as legal adults with adult freedoms and responsibilities. The Disability Center emphasizes helping students develop personal responsibility, self-advocacy and self-determination. Parents can help their sons and daughters by reinforcing their sense of independence as they navigate the unfamiliar challenges of a university education.
Mizzou Families serves as the primary liaison between the university and MU families. Mizzou Families develops programs and services that inform, educate and assist MU families. Visit the Mizzou Families site to sign up for a newsletter, get tips, ask questions and stay up to date on what’s happening at Mizzou. You also can call the toll-free parent assistance line at 888-631-1098.
Students with disabilities are responsible for registering with our office and for requesting and arranging for the accommodations they need. Please review information about accommodation plans, accommodations and confidentiality. If you have further questions or concerns, feel free to contact us. Once your son or daughter is an established MU student, your best option is to talk directly to him or her. For general information and guidance, you can contact the Office of Parent Relations or the Office of the ADA Coordinator.
Laws and Policies
It’s important to understand that legally your role in your child’s life changed when he or she became an adult. Distinctions are made among special-education laws governing K-12 education, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Additionally colleges and universities are governed by federal laws concerning privacy, and higher education professionals legally cannot discuss your son or daughter with you without the student’s written consent. Learn more about confidentiality.
Questions? Contact us.
Resources for parents
- Mizzou Families
- Office of the ADA Coordinator
- MU Mental Health Services
- MU Student Health Center
- Undergraduate Admissions
- University Registrar
- MU Counseling Center
- UMKC Institute for Human Development: Missouri Family to Family
- UT Arlington Office for Students with Disabilities: Parents’ Guide
- Heath Resource Center: Parents’ Guide to Transition
- College Parents of America: Americans with Disabilities Act
- Pacer Center: ADA and Postsecondary Education
- Office for Civil Rights: Parent Letter