It’s a sad reality that we can only hope to change in the future – no matter how much we tout equality, some people are discriminated against because of the color of their skin, their cultural beliefs, their economic status, and their physical and mental disabilities. There are no perfect people, but those who are blessed with everything tend to believe that they’re a few steps above than the rest of their brethren, and this is why discrimination happens. The world of education too is no stranger to discrimination, and those with disabilities find that they have to fight extra hard to get doors to open and admit them inside. However, talent and determination will help you go a long way, and with just the will to learn, here’s how you can get a college education when disabled:
- Start early: Your high school grades and your SAT scores speak a lot about your ability, so don’t spend your school days feeling sorry for yourself because your classmates make fun of you and refuse to include you in their cliques. Use your time to boost your grades and do the best you can. Your brains are your most valuable asset and all that matter when you want to excel in academia, so get down to some serious studying and ace your high school tests and your SATs. Once you’re armed with these tools, there’s no way any college is going to turn down your application.
- Look for scholarships: There are many scholarships that have been instituted for the disabled. Besides doing a search on the Internet, talk to your high school guidance counselor and your local college office. Also check out the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) website to see if you qualify for any of their scholarships or grants. Disability scholarships are also offered by private foundations and philanthropists, so research the various options thoroughly before you shell out your own money or take out a loan to finance your education. Check out this website for more details.
- Don’t let your disability stand in the way of learning: It’s true that you are at a disadvantage in a classroom of able-bodied students; however, your mind is just as sharp and keen as theirs. So never let your physical difficulties get you down, no matter what. Focus all your energies on doing well in class and performing well in your exams.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help: If you need special help because of your situation, don’t hesitate to talk to the concerned authorities about it. Most colleges provide special facilities for disabled students, and all you have to do to use them is to make a formal request. Before you seek admission to a school, check out its facilities for the disabled – you don’t want a college that does not have ramps for those in a wheelchair or a library with Braille books. Choose your college based on the nature of your disability so that you find it easier to cope.
- Try online education: If your disabilities are too overwhelming for a regular college life, try online education. There are many good options in almost all disciplines, and you can earn a degree from the comfort of your home. All you need is the determination to succeed and the time to work on your lessons and assignments. If you’ve secured a scholarship, check if it will cover the costs of an online education before you choose this option.
Disability is no excuse for not gaining an education, not with all the options that exist today. So arm yourself with good grades and positive frame of mind, and start your academic journey at the earliest.