Off to College: Tips for Students with Visual Impairments
By Laura Magnuson
College is full of new experiences. You will meet new people, learn new things, and perhaps be away from home for the first time. As a person who has a visual impairment, you may be wondering how you’re going to do it all. How will you pick a good school? How will you find all your books and do all your homework? How are you going to find your way to class? Will you be able to make friends with other students? This article will answer these and other questions.
The first step in transitioning to college is finding the best school for you. Don’t worry; you don’t have to do it alone. Your parents, school counselors, and teacher for the visually impaired will all help you choose a school that meets your needs and goals and best fits with what you want to learn in college.
If you and your parents are able to take a college’s campus tour, you can begin to develop a good feel for the school’s atmosphere. You also can stop by the office for students with disabilities, which will be an important resource for you in college. This office provides supports to students with disabilities so they will have the same opportunities to complete their education as students without disabilities. Talking with department staff and finding out what kinds of services they provide can help you decide about attending that school. (The name of this office is different for every college, but the title is similar enough that you should be able to find it.)