Commentary: Importance of communicating with your college professors

Our friends from Learning Ally recently wrote a blog post about why and how blind and visually impaired college students should communicate with their professors well in advance of the beginning of the semester. This is where those strong communication skills come in handy!

The communication should begin as soon as students register for classes and know who their instructors will be. In my initial contact with professors, I would explain to them that I was enrolled in one of their courses and that due to my blindness it was very helpful to know what textbooks, coursepacks, etc. were required. I would also explain to them that by knowing ahead of time I could make the necessary arrangements to obtain these in alternative formats. Getting class syllabi can also help, especially if you have to get books scanned or audio-recorded ahead of time.

In my experience, professors were willing to help out when I explained my situation. They generally had additional questions about how I would complete certain assignments, and this is when meeting with them shortly before or after the beginning of the semester helped.

To read the blog and get more tips, go to https://go.learningally.org/tips-for-blind-college-students-on-working-with-your-professors/. Did you reach out to your college professors prior to the beginning of each semester? How did this help you. We may post some of your comments in future posts. Look out for Thursday’s column, where I will discuss some of the differences that exist between high school and college. If you have questions related to blindness or visual impairments or any other ideas for our blog, please send those to sandysview@chicagolighthouse.org.

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