Take extensive notes. You can use a tape recorder, too, to assure that you have not missed some important piece of information.
Now you are ready to begin contacting schools. Some of the issues you will need to consider as you prepare for this adventure are listed below.
A. Start early. Contact the schools during your junior year in high school.
1. Contact the office that provides disability services at each college. Talk to the counselor who will be working with you. Use your list of questions (see above) and do your own calling. Do not ask your parents to call for you.
2. Ask the counselor about the types of services and accommodations that are offered.
3. Find out what the institutional requirements are for documentation of your disability. You are responsible for providing this information at your own expense.
4. Send your disability documentation to the disability service provider only. Do not send confidential disability-related records to the admission office.
B. Visit the campus and determine for yourself if you will have any access problems.
Terrain on campuses differs. Will the climate affect your mobility? What if it snows? Are accessible rooms available in a number of different dorms? What kind of assistive technology is available? Plan ahead to avoid problems.
II. Course Load Issues (How many courses can you comfortably take in one semester or
A. Will you need to have a job to meet educational costs or to gain work experience?
Full-time attendance may not be realistic if you plan to work more than 10-12 hours per week.
B. Will you have insurance coverage? You should note that most medical insurance companies
would cover a young adult under their family’s policy only if they were enrolled full-time, which is usually 12 credit hours/term. Sometimes you can appeal to the insurance company to
reduce the number of credit hours that would be considered full time by taking your disability into account.
C. Will you need financial aid? Your high school counselor or rehabilitation counselor will have funding sources and scholarship information. Assistive devices for your own use may be provided by the Georgia Department of Rehabilitation Services if the devices are necessary for you to meet your educational goals. You will probably be working with your rehabilitation counselor while you are enrolled in high school. However, if you have not, and you do not know who your rehabilitation counselor is, call the state information number, (404) 657-3000, for that information.