Heading off to college can be an exciting yet daunting prospect for any student. However, for those with disabilities, the transition can be especially overwhelming. While there is a lot of support available in colleges today, there are still numerous logistical challenges disabled students face.
To make the transition a little easier, here we’ll look at some of the top tips for disabled students heading to college.
Planning for the challenges ahead
It’s going to really help if you create an in-depth transition plan before you enroll. If you have a high school Individualized Education Program, you’ll typically find the teachers, counselors and parents can help you to identify collegiate goals. Knowing what to expect and preparing for the challenges ahead are key to making the transition easier.
You’ll also want to register with the college’s disability services. This will document your disability, enabling the college to provide the right level of support. The actual registration process will vary between colleges, but typically you’ll need to provide paperwork from your medical professionals which will then be evaluated by the staff at the university. Some of the help you may be entitled to includes providing extra time during exams and note taking.
One of the key challenge’s students with physical disabilities encounter at college, is mobility. Getting around the premises can be difficult, so it could be worth looking into mobility aids. Folding scooters from a company such as Mobility Solutions, allow students with disabilities to be much more independent and easily get around the college grounds.
Pay a visit to the college prior to starting
To make the process less daunting, it’s worth paying a visit to the college prior to starting. This enables you to familiarize yourself with the layout, including where the bathrooms are, and which way you’ll need to go to get to your classes.
Of course, this doesn’t guarantee you won’t get lost when you start. However, that’s something which happens to all students, not just those with disabilities! By visiting the grounds beforehand, it can make you feel much more comfortable and less daunted when it comes to starting college.
Know your legal rights
While support and knowledge of disabilities has come a long way over the years, you still may come across those who don’t fully understand your disability. This means, occasionally you may need to be your own advocate. So, make sure you know your rights as a disabled student, so you can stand up for yourself if it’s needed.
Overall, starting college is a huge change for any student. However, when you have a disability, it’s even more crucial to do your research and identify potential challenges before making the transition.