College can be a frightening experience for any incoming freshman. However, the prospect of moving away from the safety of your home can be even more intimidating if you suffer from a mobile disability or impairment. Though the experience may be daunting, it’s important that prospective students understand that most college campuses are appropriately equipped with offices and services that provide accessibility and accommodations that can suit their needs.
Familiarize yourself with your campus
Head to campus a few days before the check in period. During this period, the campus will likely be less crowded giving you the perfect opportunity to get the layout of the land without having to deal with the rush of incoming students.
If you know where your classes will be located, trace easy routes for you to use. Take a tour of residence halls designed for people with mobile disabilities. Scope out handicap accessible entrances, elevators, bathrooms, and parking spaces. Now is your time to get comfortable with your surroundings.
Speak to your Professors and Advisors
Schedule appointments with your professors and advisors before classes begin so you have time to address any concerns or special accommodations you may require.
Use Tech Solutions When Needed
Technology is there to help us when we need it the most. If you’re moving to an unfamiliar location, don’t be afraid to tap into technology to make your transition easier. There are plenty of apps that can help assist you in your everyday life. For a list of useful apps, visit our recent article, For Tech Solutions for People with Mobility Challenges.
Join Support Groups
Starting over can be challenging enough. Doing so with a disability makes it even more difficult. You don’t have to embark on this journey alone. Reach out to your advisor or Office of Disability Service. They can also offer you valuable resources. For instance, most college campuses have transportation programs in place to help transport students with disabilities across campus. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of resources. They are there to help you excel at your college career. You just have to ask.
For more resources for navigating your college career with a disability, contact your campus’ Office of Disability Service. They can help ensure that your college experience is both successful and rewarding.
Image Credit: Josue Mendivil