Today, I am happy to bring you a guest article from Aimee Laurence, an editor at Write My Papers and Custom Essay. She shares her insights on special needs, occupational therapy, and college life. She is passionate about getting equal opportunities for all and improving the educational system. Aimee also works as a freelance editor for the site Economic Essay Help.
*Fitness for Health does not endorse any products or services listed.
Any student who’s about to attend college for the first time is likely to be overwhelmed by the entire concept and experience. It’s a whole new environment, a lot of new people, maybe they have a roommate to get used to, in addition to the actual campus and classes that are necessary.
For students with disabilities or special needs, there’s an added factor of looking for a college that meets accessibility needs. You want to choose the perfect fit college to get the best experience; look for these 10 things when researching colleges.
Some colleges are much better than others in terms of aid resources, and this is a huge factor in your ability to get a high-quality education. Many schools can offer occupational therapy or physical therapy if you have special needs, or a guide dog. You’ll want to find out how to ask for these services way before you arrive on campus so you’re well prepared.
Technologies for Assisted Learning
Look into the various technologies offered by the school as learning aids for special needs. Many schools will only meet the minimum standard, but others have a lot of good options to help you succeed. These options include physical therapy, assistive learning, reading, and hearing assistants, very helpful for certain course and course manuals.
Research Stats on College Accessibility
Before going to the school, research some useful stats online to learn just how many students at each campus need additional accommodation or physical therapy. A helpful suggestion from Martin Rashman, a professor at Research Paper Writers and Academized, is that “when visiting the campus, be on the lookout specifically for students who might fit that description. In short, the more people with special needs there are at a campus, the higher the chances that campus will be accessible.”
Access to All Buildings
Research the accessibility of all the college buildings, and ask someone if you can’t find info online. This includes all the buildings where classes take place, the library, the dorms, and the food hall. Make sure that they’re accessible at 24/7 and if you plan to attend college in a cold climate, find out if the college keeps accessible routes clear of snow right after a storm.
Go on a Campus Tour
Don’t hesitate to go on a college campus tour before deciding on the school, which is the best way to find out how accessible the campus is and how easy it is for you to get around. Make sure to go into buildings that aren’t on the official tour, because you might be only visiting the newer buildings with accommodations and not the older ones that might not be as accessible.
Review the Accommodations Policy
You should read the school’s policy on accommodations, because some do a lot more than others, as mentioned. It’s important that it meets your special needs. Take the time to find out how you go about reporting a problem if you have one and whether someone could help fix it immediately. For example, if an elevator is broken but you need it for class, what will happen next?
Find out if the library has their resources online in case you can’t attend in person or you know you won’t have time between your classes. You should also find out if you’ll be able to request accommodations online to save you time and work.
Disability Services Office
Laura Hillerman, an educator at Assignment Help and Literature Review, suggests that you “go to the Student Disability Services Office and talk to others there to get a sense of how the college is supporting them and meeting their special needs. Speak to both the other students in the office as well as the advisors.”
Take Part in an Extracurricular Group
Another useful step is to determine if your campus has an extracurricular support group for students with disabilities or special needs. This is a great network to join for support and ideas if you have any problems.
Look at Budget Assistance
Some schools don’t mention the cost of accommodation extras in their budget and prices, so find out the exact price tag for attending before you start comparing universities.
About Fitness for Health:
A finalist for About.com’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Special Needs Resource in the D.C. Region and voted Washington Family Magazine’s 2016, 2017 and 2018 Best Special Needs Camp and Best Special Needs Program in the DC area, Fitness for Health, founded by Marc Sickel who also suffers from ADD, specializes in creating personalized, therapeutic programs for children with a broad range of special needs:
- Sensory processing disorders
- Gross motor delays
- Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
- Pervasive developmental disorders
- Down Syndrome
- Developmental and physical disabilities
- Confidence and self-esteem issues
- Emotional disturbances and anxiety disorders
At Fitness for Health, you get a complete team—including pediatric fitness specialists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists—working together to create a full-service plan of care that’s expertly tailored to your or your child’s developmental, skill and comfort levels while providing fitness. As a parent, you’re involved every step of the way. Learn more about our therapeutic exercise, occupational therapy services, and physical therapy services today.