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Living with a learning disability as a college student

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My first advice for anyone having a documented disability wanting to go to college is to make sure you asked the right questions. Do not apply as a student, until you have suitable answers to the questions you asked. Usually, there is an advisor who handles students having disabilities. The following questions can be used as a guide in determining if this college is right for you:

* What is considered appropriate documentation to acknowledge that I have a
disability? (An updated medical letter stating the diagnosis, a suggestive list of reasonable accommodations and a statement acknowledging that the student has the ability to handle college academics should suffice.
* How many students with disabilities are on campus?
* What services are provided for students with various disabilities? Who provides them?
* What kinds of academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services does the college have available to students with disabilities?
* Is there a check-out system for equipment to use in the classroom?
* What technology have students with orthopedic impairment used in the classroom?
* What strategies are provided for students who use adaptive technology? Were they successful?
* What modifications have faculty and administrators been willing to make for students with disabilities on campus?

***Remember, it is a known fact that ALL colleges receiving federal and/or state funds must provide students with academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services such as specialized computer equipment.

Once when you become a college student, the following suggestions might be helpful towards obtaining a degree:

Meet Your Professors
* Let your professors put a face with your name. Ask pertinent questions.
* Read ahead so you can ask valuable questions and become "known" to the professor.
* Sit in the front row.
* Be able to discuss your specific learning needs.
* Be able to talk about why you are interested in the course.

Study Skills
* Schedule classes with your best learning period in mind.
* Become involved in a study group.
* Meet with tutors to discuss lecture and text materials.
* Ask if old exams are available for your review.
* Break long assignments into parts--give yourself deadlines.
* Study every day, make summaries and outlines as you go along.
* Make a note of what was confusing in the lecture or the text and ask about it.
* Stay focused.
* Borrow someone's notes if necessary.

Organizational Skills
* Set daily time for review of each subject.
* Begin studying your most difficult or boring subject first.
* Color code material
* Learn to highlight when reading; develop a color-coded system.
* Seek out a quiet place to study.
* Study in the same place each day.
* Allow more time than you think it will require.
* Make studying a priority! It's your job!

Personal Satisfaction
* Follow a major that reflects and enhances your strengths.
* Look for materials which are presented in your learning style to support the text and lecture materials. For example: videos, tapes, computer programs, etc.
* Be prepared to type all papers.
* Pace the amount of heavy reading or writing courses.
* Remember no paper or project can ever be perfect.
* Consider taking more than the typical four years' time to complete college.
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