Once you graduate from high school, your adult life as an individual with vision loss begins; a life that will be shaped by the decisions you made in high school.
After you receive your diploma and toss your cap, will you have a plan to succeed in the workforce and to fulfill your dreams as an adult who is visually impaired? If your plan includes pursuing higher education to obtain a college degree or attending a career school (also known as technical or vocational school) to learn specific skills needed to perform a job, you’ll want to be fully prepared to pursue your dreams.
Five Questions to Ask in Preparation for College Success
So, how do you become college ready as a student with vision loss? Start by asking yourself five important questions and then use the suggested resources to develop a plan for making your dream to attend college or career school a reality.
"Am I prepared with the skills I need to earn a college degree?"
Review Lesson 11: Skills for College Students with your personal network and teacher of students with visual impairments to determine if you need to spend time learning and practicing additional skills such as how to study with a human reader.
"Does my Individualized Education Program (IEP) include instructional goals to prepare me for those critical skills I will need to succeed as a student with vision loss in college such as effective note-taking skills, college-level study skills, time management skills, etc.?"
Attending college or career school as a student who is visually impaired is an educational journey unlike high school. It encompasses more than the freedom you have been longing for. Higher level skills are needed to be successful in college. Complete Lesson 13: Transition IEP Goals to Prepare Students with Vision Loss for College with your teacher of students with visual impairments or vocational rehabilitation counselor to determine if you need specialized instruction to learn additional skills for college success.
"If I applied for college today, would the volunteer and extracurricular activities I list on my application demonstrate my leadership skills?"
Your grade point average (GPA) and your scores on standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT are important factors when college or career schools review your application for admission. The institutions are also looking for information to determine if you are involved in extracurricular or volunteer activities that will help demonstrate your character, commitment, and what you would contribute to the campus. Use Lesson 14 to learn more about the importance of volunteer and community service on your college or career school application.
"Am I prepared to submit a well written college essay that creates a self-portrait of myself as a student with vision loss for the admissions review committee?"
Get your essay showcase ready by utilizing Lesson 15: College Essay Writing Practice.
"Is my decision to attend college as a student with vision loss a good decision for me?"
Use Ask a College Graduate with Vision Loss for Advice to help you make an informed decision about your future educational plans. When we make big life decisions, it can be helpful to talk to someone who has made the same decision we are considering. A college graduate with vision loss can offer you valuable advice and share his or her perspective about attending college as a student who is blind or visually impaired.
When it is time to leave the halls of your high school campus, will you be prepared to succeed in college or career school as a student with vision loss?
Resources to Prepare Students with Vision Loss for College
Transition to College: Program Activity Guide for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
College Bound As a Student Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired
Post-Secondary Education Options
College Knowledge for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
The Degree I Need to Succeed in the Workforce
Admissions Requirements for Visually Impaired Students
College Costs for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
Paying for College and Completing the FAFSA
Scholarship and Grant Opportunities for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired