Dealing with Disabilities
Dealing with disabilities in college can be difficult. You can miss lots of class, not be able to get to class on time, have to leave class early, and even not be able to finish a test because you have to leave in the middle of it. First and foremost, find out if your school has a disabilities center (which most likely it does) and contact them and set up an appointment. They can make things much easier for you to deal with classes with whatever your disability might be.
Missing class: Whenever you miss a class, let your teacher know the reason. Teachers will be a lot more sympathetic to students when they realize they are struggling with their health. When you miss class, you miss notes plain and simple. Sometimes teachers post notes online but they don’t post what they say about the notes or what they write on the chalkboard. You also miss anything the teacher said about the homework they assigned, and any bonus opportunities that might be available. To help keep up in class and make sure you don’t miss anything, make sure you find somebody in class that takes good notes and you can contact if you do happen to miss class. Copy the notes from them and talk to them about anything you might have missed. Also always email your teacher right away asking what they did in class and what homework there might be. This also shows you care about your grade, and you’re not just skipping class.
Arriving late/leaving early: When you arrive late to class you might not get a good seat so just pick one and try to see things as good as you can. If you can’t see things that are on the screen or board, ask your note taker friend about the notes. Go up to the teacher after class and let them know what your problem was and make sure they understand that you’re not trying to interrupt their class on purpose. Lastly always enter quietly and don’t cause a disruption to the class, your teacher will understand. If you have to leave before the class is over just quietly pack your things and leave the class without disrupting everyone around you. If you know you might have to leave class early try and pick a seat that will cause the least disruption like a front seat or end seat. Leave quietly and email your teacher as soon as possible asking for anything you might have missed the rest of the class.
Finishing tests: Sometimes you might have to leave in the middle of a test for any reason. This should be ok as long as you are registered with the Office of Disabilities. They will work with you and come up with a plan of what should happen if you have to leave during a test.
Test environment: Some students need extra time for tests or don’t function well in a normal test environment. You can take the test in a separate room and in some cases will be accommodated with extra time.
Typical accommodations afforded to college students involve the following needs:
- Attention issues
- Reading difficulties
Physical impairments (wheel chair bound, learning difficulties, seeing difficulties).