Online Programs That Make College Accessible to Disabled Students

Online Programs That Make College Accessible to Disabled Students
  • Opening Intro -

    Moving from high school to college is a big step for everyone who makes the leap.

    But if you're a student with a disability, the challenges can feel especially daunting.

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Fortunately, there are resources available to help you on your journey. From preparing yourself for college to picking the right online school, you can find help and support at every turn.

Disabilities come in all forms and fashions, so every student will take a different path to meeting their individual higher education goals and needs. Take a look at some tips for building your own customized plan.

Put Your Own Needs First

One of the best things you can do to prepare for your post-secondary education is to make sure you are taking the best care possible of your mind and body. There is excellent online disability education available to help you access the support you need, no matter your individual situation.

You can find free and easy courses on living with chronic pain, wheelchair exercise, and technological aids that make life easier. Students with learning disabilities rather than physical disabilities can also find support through various online resource guides like this one.

It’s important to know that you are not alone. In fact, estimates are that over 2.4 million students with a disability are attending college right now.

Each one has a unique set of circumstances, so there is no one-size-fits-all roadmap for navigating higher education. Listen to your body and your inner voice as guides along the way.

Understand the Advantages of Online Universities

Online college classes are a great fit for many students with disabilities because they normally allow them to interact with course materials at their own pace.

In addition, because classes take place over the computer, students can remain in their homes or any other environment that is comfortable and safe for them.

Selecting an online university can seem overwhelming, but you will arrive at the right decision for yourself by taking an organized approach. First and foremost, you’ll want to consider cost, reputation, and whether the school offers the courses you’re interested in.

Beyond that, focus on the school’s disability office. Once you inform them of your disability and specific needs, they can let you know what accommodations can be made. Just keep in mind that, unlike in high school, when it was the school district’s responsibility to provide everything needed to support your successful education, at the college level, it is your responsibility to communicate your needs, and the school will do its best to accommodate you.

Research the Best Online Schools for You

There are literally thousands of online colleges and universities to choose from, so there’s bound to be one that fits your needs. Begin your search based on which factors are most important to you. For example, if you have a learning disability, check out this list of affordable online colleges for students with learning disabilities.

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If yours is a physical disability, look into the options for assistive technology such as keyboard and mouse alternatives, speech recognition software, and page flipping tools. Check with the universities you are considering to find out what type of assistance and support they are equipped to provide.

Look for Scholarships Designed for You

While you certainly don’t let your disability define you, you should be aware that there may be financial aid available to you that other students do not qualify for. You may be able to find scholarships for students with disabilities that can offset costs of tuition and other fees, making higher education more affordable.

The transition from high school to college is a major milestone. Having a disability need not be a barrier to pursuing the education and career you desire. By looking into the resources to help you prepare for college, select the best online university for your needs, and find the funding, you can set yourself on a course for success in school and beyond.

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