Programs and Services

Helping students have a successful college experience.

Our programs and services include one-on-one disability advising and support, student clubs, and social activities.

Disability Advising

Access and Disability Services is committed to helping students make a smooth transition from high school to college, as well as having a successful college experience. To achieve this, ADS works closely with our Center for New Students and Orientation office providing recommendations for educational planning according to each student’s needs and disability. 

ADS Deaf Club

The ADS Deaf Club is a Harper-sponsored club that is open to any currently enrolled Harper student who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The meeting schedule for the club changes each semester and is dependent upon the student leadership at that time. Please email us at for more information.

ADS Success Club

The ADS Success Club is a Harper-sponsored club that is open to any currently enrolled Harper student, faculty, or staff member who has a disability. The meeting schedule for the club changes each semester and is dependent upon the student leadership at that time. Please email us at for more information.

Assistive Technology Lab

The Assistive Technology Lab is located in the Access and Disabilities Services (ADS) office in Room I-103. At the lab, textbooks can be converted to digital files; students can borrow portable equipment, such as assistive listening devices, digital recorders, etc.  Appointments are recommended.  For questions about our assistive technology, please email us at:

College Awareness Program

The College Awareness Program (CAP) is a transition program designed for high school students with learning disabilities/attention deficit disorders.  Its mission is to reach students within the Harper district and inform them of the accommodations and programs available through ADS. The College Awareness Program helps students become familiar with the campus and prepares them for college life. Contact us at

Learning Disability (LD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) Services

Approximately 60 percent of the students served in Access and Disability Services are diagnosed with LD and/or ADHD.  ADS approves legally mandated accommodations for all students with documented LD and/or ADHD. Documentation should be provided prior to or during the intake interview. If documentation is not available, we will discuss other available options for obtaining documentation. After the intake interview and a thorough review of all documentation, an ADS Access Advocate may recommend/approve one or more of the following accommodations:

  • Priority registration
  • Legally mandated accommodations
  • Participation in ACES
  • Advocacy strategies - requesting and using services
  • Supportive Coaching
  • Participation in targeted ADS courses
  • ACES: Academic Coaching to Empower Students

Academic Coaching Empowering Students is an innovative approach that involves completing a two-credit First Year Experience Course and working with an assigned academic coach. The Coach (the Access Advocate who teaches the class) will assist the student in navigating both the challenges and the opportunities found on our campus.

Instructional Support

Access Advocate provide free instructional support/learning strategies for students with LD/ADHD and refer students to other campus resources as needed.

ACES Program

The ACES Program will support students with learning disabilities (LD) and/or ADHD who register with ADS. The program assists students with their transition from high school to college and guides them to become independent learners. Students will have an individualized Access Advocate who will teach advocacy skills and support them as long as they are enrolled at Harper.

Semester One

  • Students will obtain an individualized accommodation plan with approved accommodations.
  • Students will receive support through the CNSO academic advising process.
  • Students will enroll in a special section of a "First Year" course.  The instructor will become the students' Access Advocate.
  • Students will meet with their Access Advocate at least THREE times during the semester.
  • Access Advocate will request progress reports using a computerized system from other instructors.

Semester Two

  • Accommodation Plan will be updated.
  • Students will receive support through the Academic Advising and Counseling Services (AAC) academic advising process.
  • Students will attend an advising meeting with support from their Access Advocate. The AAC advisor/counselor will collaborate in selecting special sections of courses based on the recommendations of the Access Advocate.
  • Students will meet with their Access Advocate at least TWO times during the semester.
  • Access Advocate will request progress reports using a computerized system from other instructors.

Access Advocate Responsibilities

  • To support students throughout their academic careers at Harper.
  • To meet with the students regularly during scheduled appointments and as needed, and to make recommendations that will help them be successful.
  • To send out for progress reports and to share information with students in a timely manner.

Student Responsibilities

  • To agree to have progress reports sent out to instructors.
  • To make and keep the necessary appointments each semester.
  • To keep the Access Advocate informed of academic success/struggles.

Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Harper College has been providing a program for Deaf/Hard of Hearing students since 1973, serving between 45 to 55 students each year. The program has served local deaf and hard of hearing students, in addition to drawing enrollment from other parts of Illinois, neighboring states, and international students. Services and instructional support beyond those which are legally mandated are a hallmark of the program. The program serves students who prefer to communicate through American Sign Language and students who prefer to communicate through speaking and listening.  Harper hosts DeaFest, an annual celebration of Deaf Culture each Fall. Harper also offers a club for Deaf students and an annual Volleyball Tournament which draws college and high school teams from Illinois and surrounding states. Contact us at 224.836.5048 VP or email for more information.

Career Skills Institute

The Career Skills Institute, part of Harper's Continuing Education Program, provides students with mild intellectual disabilities a college campus experience which seeks to assess and strengthen basic academic and employability skills.  The Institute (CSI) is located in Building X and is designed to assist students in developing self-advocacy and general entry-level skills while developing a realistic career plan.  For more information, please dial 847.925.6000, ext.2076.

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