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College, Universities, IVY Leagues

,hey everyone! I just wanted to know what college is like for blind/visually impaired people, is it any different from anyone else or is it not a big deal? do you get to memorize the school ahead of time? Are there special scollar ships you can get because ur blind? is it fun? Also I'm pretty set on going to an IVY league so if u have info about anything college, could u let me know?

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Re:College, Universities, IVY Leagues

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Re:College, Universities, IVY Leagues

hey lizzy

first off, I am sighted so I'm not quite sure how much I can help you in regards to your question. However, I am a senior in high school and I did get accepted to a top school, so if you need any help with the whole college admissions process (essays, commonapp, etc.) feel free to let me know. I'm not sure if it will be different for you, but I'll tell you what I can and give whatever help you may need.

my email is

good luck!

Re:College, Universities, IVY Leagues

wow that was a lot of great information! not to sound pompous or anything but I'm soooo ready. the only thing I have to work on is my reading speed.
Jillian I have a question. Did u go to a school for the blind? Were ther many or any other visually impaired people ther? Are thr any visually impaired people at ur college?

Re:College, Universities, IVY Leagues

This is a resource I put together a number of years ago. I don't have the most up to date version with me, but it gives you some things to think about. The persons above are great resources, as they are currently living it!

I developed this as a graduate student with very low vision and helping to run a program preparing students with visual impairments for college in the State of Florida at Florida State University. I did this for a few years and developed a curriculum for it.

The VI (Visually Impaired) Student College Survival Guide
By Joe Strechay

What is the ultimate goal of a student going off to college?
To succeed, but what does that mean?

Attendance (O & M)
Note Taking
Time Management
Volunteer Experience
Social Skills
Self Advocacy
Accessing Technology
Independent Living Skills
Employment Skills

The Importance
These areas are even more important to students with visual impairments. Students with visual impairments will have to be taught how to perform these tasks in an efficient and effective manner.

Attendance (O & M)
Learning the Campus
Students will need to arrive on campus early to familiarize themselves with the campus and routes.
Enlisting the help of an orientation and mobility instructor would be beneficial.
Learning base routes and expanding out hitting areas of importance first.
Learning the landmarks, cues and clues.

Attendance (O & M)
Learn the buildings and numbering systems.
Learn the classroom set up and rehearse routes all the way through.
Leave for classes with plenty of time to spare.
Plan schedule according to buildings and times.

Attendance (O & M)
May be necessary to ask for other student’s assistance to get to classes. Be polite and make sure they are in the class as well. Don’t ware out your welcome! (Until route is learned)
Be practical and realistic.

Reading method must be fast and efficient!
Must know how to get access to reading materials and be able to adapt or accommodate for themselves if need be.
Must take the initiative to find out books prior and plan ahead.
Books can be downloaded online.

Students must keep a dialogue with professors to find out about up coming readings if added.
Students must know how to access readings in multiple mediums.
Students must learn to prioritize and use good Time Management Skills!

Time Management
Make a schedule and live by it! A planner is a good idea.
Put all readings, assignments and exams into the planner.
Assign times to study.
Allow time to sleep and eat, staying healthy is important.
Get assignments done early.

Volunteer Experience
Volunteer with charities or philanthropies.
Volunteer to get employment experience and “your foot in the door.”
Prove your value in these situations!
Being a well rounded individual.

Contact the Student Disability Center on the campus to find out their procedures.
Student should know what accommodations they need.
Let professors know what accommodations are needed right away.

Testing Accommodations to be considered
Size of Print
Having a reader
Electronic format such as on a computer
Filling out the answer key (Scantron can be difficult)
Use of a CCTV or magnifier
Utensil or computer

Note Taking
Speed, accuracy and efficiency.
Must be able to take some sort of notes.
Recording the class is great, but doubles the amount of time spent on the notes. They will have to be transcribed later.
Method has to suit the student!

Introduce the student to multiple methods.
The student must have a primary method before college.
Some classes may require a different method of studying.
Some students do not study well in groups.
Schedule reader if needed.

Social Skills
Basic manners
Age appropriate
Conversation skills
Posture and attention
Addressing different audiences
Dress and appearance
Peers will be honest, practice!!! Enlist help if needed.
Phone conversation skills

Self Advocacy!
Students must be able to express themselves and what they want in an appropriate manner.
Students must know how to advocate for themselves and this needs to be practiced in all facets of life.
Students must know when it is appropriate, it many not always be.
Disclosure statement

Accessing Technology
Students must be able to use computers, use the internet efficiently, access online blackboard sites, access e-journals and extranets.
Screen readers or magnifiers, note takers or recorders, and the latest technology.
It is up to us as teachers to make sure they have the technology and skills to make it!

Research the college or university to see what services they offer.
Contact the Disability Center on campus.
Visit the school.
Contact a student with a visual impairment at the school.

Contact local organizations.
Look into housing that allows easy access to the school.
Look at transportation in the area and the cost.
Get to campus early and get to know it, weeks or months early!

Keep track of the contact information of all the resources and people you meet for future reference.
Create a rapport with contacts.
Make sure these people remember you, make an effort.

Readers and Note Takers
Practice and role play hiring readers and note takers.
Make lists of questions.
Have them read or look at their notes.
Create a flyer with first name, phone number and the service you are looking for.

Readers and Note Takers
Have many readers, try to get some non-students. Churches, super markets and libraries are great places to put a flyer.
This is a job, you can fire them if they don’t meet your needs!

Employment Experience
First job is not a career.
Create a Portfolio.
Know your materials.
Interviewing skills
Letters of Reference
Be confident and dress to impress.
Practice, practice and more practice…

Employment Experience
Start Internships early and keep them coming.
Contact people in fields of interest.
Contact persons with VI in related field.
Career Connect is a great resource!
Career Centers are great places and are under utilized.

This information was compiled by Joseph Strechay and Tiffany Barbieri during the
summers of 2004 and 2005 at Florida State University while helping to run a college transition program. These are areas that we felt these students were lacking in when arriving.

Are our students prepared?
Are they prepared to succeed in the modern college or university or have we neglected needs that will cause them to fail!
Let’s prepare them to succeed! We all care a lot about these students and want the best for them!!!

Re:College, Universities, IVY Leagues

Where are you going to college?
What for, and do you read braille or complete assigned tasks via audio?

Re:College, Universities, IVY Leagues

its very different. for one talking with the teachers and getting them to understand is very hard, sometimes you get ones that are mean about it and theres nothing u can do. yes you can get scholoarships and stuff, and disability. i get my books and tuition free because ive been declared with the disability office. its very hard dealing with mean kids especielly if u use a cane and magniyers in class. all in all its VERY DIFFERENT and hard but ya learn as u go.

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