College is a natural next step for many graduating high school seniors. College can offer many opportunities, social events, and educational paths. It is essential that you choose the right college that best suits your needs as a student and as a disabled individual. Whether you plan on attending a four-year university or a two-year college, these tips for disabled students on researching colleges will help you ask the right questions and find the best option!
Find Ratings and Reviews from Alumni Who Used Disabled Students Services
Previous students have a lot to say! You can find these reviews on internet forums, social media groups and websites dedicated to rating college faculty. The function and form of a college’s Disabled Student Service office can provide insight into the college’s awareness of accessibility and accommodations.
Look at the Clubs, Organizations and Sports the College Offers
College is a great time to try new things and meet new people! Look for things that interest you. If the college has a disabled student club/organization or wheelchair sports teams, chances are they have a great community of disabled students! A community of individuals who share the same experiences as you can be very beneficial in college.
International Travel Opportunities
Many colleges offer student exchange and study abroad programs! Some are for students who are pursuing a specific degree, but most programs are for any student. If you are interested in traveling internationally but your college does not offer a program, look into trusted exchange organizations. My favorite organization that empowers disabled individuals to travel internationally is called Mobility International (MIUSA).
Find Government Resources for Disabled Students
If you live in the United States, you may be familiar with Vocational Rehabilitation Services, or VR. This is a state assistance program for individuals with disabilities who want to pursue a career or require assistance in their career. VR services can include but are not limited to: finding a job, funding college education, learning skills for a job and job accommodation advocacy. To get started with a VR counselor, reach out to your state’s vocational rehabilitation office.
I hope these tips help guide your college decision-making process. Just remember, there are many paths to education. If one thing doesn’t work, there is another opportunity right around the corner. Best of luck!
About Riley Hurt: Riley lives in Salem, Oregon, and uses a Stretto Power Wheelchair for mobility. Riley is enrolled in college, pursuing electrical and computer engineering. She hopes to make her future field more inclusive for people with disabilities. Click here to learn more about Riley.
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