Roughing it smoothly

A disabled person’s perspective on how to navigate your college search

Roughing it smoothly

Finding the college that best suits you is an exciting adventure, but it can be a stressful time, too—especially if you are physically disabled and use a wheelchair.

I hope this story will be a tool to make your search and journey through college easier. Here are some tips.

• Gifted, caring, faculty is found throughout the country. And getting to know the college nurse can be a key ingredient.

• A nurse can be an important component in evaluating your needs and assisting with certain medical procedures if necessary.

• Take a trip to the college or university as early as possible for a one-on-one tour. Once you get your schedule, go to find classrooms and places where you need equipment. I had to use a standing table similar to a podium because I have leg braces and I must stand for a couple of hours a day. Again, a school nurse or a student is most helpful here.

• For learning disability help, I recommend visiting the student help center and inquiring about specific services and resources.

At the college I attended, I often took a trip to the student help center. I had a folder system for homework assignments and term papers that were due. I had a tutor when needed and alternative courses to fulfill difficult course requirements. Also, a note taker helped in many of my classes. I think being organized is paramount in a smooth college experience.

It helped me to take a reduced semester of courses so I had more time to do a good job. Too many courses can be overwhelming.

So take your time. Do not be afraid to be honest about your learning and physical needs when you take a trip to visit college campuses. Most faculty and students will be more than happy to help.



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