Commentary: Transitioning process for students with disabilities

Ready or not, it’s almost time for students and teachers to return to school! Last week I read a very thought provoking article about how the transition from high school can be much different and challenging for students with disabilities. Although this story comes from the NPR station in Boston, the difficulties are encountered throughout the United States.

During the next few weeks, I will share some tips and suggestions that helped me in my transition from high school to college. I will also talk about assistive technology that can be of great help to students who are blind or have low vision. Finally, I will share information on scholarship opportunities and other financial aid resources available to students with disabilities.

For an in-depth look at some of the challenges students with disabilities encounter in the transition process, check out the article at http://learninglab.wbur.org/2015/07/06/for-students-with-disabilities-transition-from-high-school-brings-unique-challenges/.

Are you a blind or visually impaired person? What tips and techniques helped you along the way while you transitioned from high school to college or to a job? Please comment! We might publish your tips and suggestions in our blog! Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

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2 thoughts on “Commentary: Transitioning process for students with disabilities

  1. I had low vision in high school but it was not identified and so I didn’t receive any support services. In the long run, I think it turned out to be a positive thing, as I had to work very hard in high school to keep up. When I got to college, I did well because a lot of what it takes to succeed in college is self-discipline and hard work. I did struggle with not having accommodations when I needed them, but I got creative with making my own accommodations, like partnering with people who could read the textbook to study for tests. Having to do this myself meant that I had to find equal measures of assets that I could bring to the table, like typing detailed study notes from the lectures, and not assuming that everyone else should do all the work.

    I think a lot of what makes the transition hard is low expectations in high school. I hope that my blind daughter can be taught to strive for her dreams starting early so that she is willing and able to put in the effort required to succeed when she is ready to spread her wings. The “real world” wants an equal work output and isn’t going to hold your hand or excuse you from stuff that’s hard, so when high schools do that for blind kids, they aren’t doing them any favors when transition time comes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, and thanks for your feedback! I have heard and seen many instances where blind or visually impaired students only have low expectations both in high school and home. In a way parents and teachers think they’re doing a favor to the child by providing every possible accommodation, adaptive technology, etc. for the child. However, this only harms children in the longrun. By the time they graduate from high school they will have no idea how to advocate for themselves or seek the services and resources they will need to succeed. I think that rather than providing every single service/resource for the child while he or she is still in high school, parents and teachers should begin teaching them from an early age how to obtain these resources independently. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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