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Supports for Participating Students

Student's Digest

Disabilities and How to Work With Them

Students with disabilities may have learned behaviors that stop them from making the most of their abilities. Students with disabilities may experience challenges in the following areas:

  • Creating hope for the future
  • Taking responsibility for doing all they can for themselves
  • Standing up for their own needs

This does not have to be the case.

To help you take control of your life and feel good about yourself, your mentor will:

  • Accept you as you are and use your friendship to help you grow
  • Challenge you to try new skills and encourage you to push yourself
  • Help you build on your strengths in school, friendships, art, and sports
  • Teach you to ask for what you need in a specific, clear way, including asking for accommodations for your disability
  • Teach you to expect the best from yourself through their friendship, support, and high expectations for you

Learning More About Disabilities

Everyone has strengths and special skills. Everyone has challenges. Learning about strengths and limitations can help you solve problems and reach your goals. Understanding the challenges you face and teaching your mentor about those challenges can help build trust and friendship. If you are interested in learning more about a disability or helping your mentor learn more about a disability, here are some ways that you and your mentor can find information:

  • Look up the disability on the Getting to Know Disabilities page of this Web site.
  • Look for information about the specific disability on other Web sites, which can be found on the Related Web Sites page (see Disability-Related category) of this Web site.
  • Go to the Web site called Special Education Resources on the Internet (
  • You and your mentor can go to your Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting at school.
  • Read A Student's Guide to the IEP, which will help you learn how to ask for your mentor’s help in writing your IEP (

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This page was last updated October 2, 2007.