Transition to College: Program Activity Guide for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
Graduating high school and transitioning to a postsecondary institution to obtain a college degree or license or certificate at a career school is a pivotal event for any student. For students who are blind or visually impaired, it is an event that requires a coordinated effort from the student, their parents, teachers, counselors, and rehabilitation professionals to ensure specialized instruction is provided during the student’s education. Because vision loss can increase the challenges a student has in college or career school, the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) should include instructional goals related to preparing the student for postsecondary education or training. Optimally, the preparation process should begin as early as middle school as adequate preparation requires long-term, collaborative efforts from the student’s network of service providers and, more importantly, input and participation from the student.
College and Career School Readiness Activities for Students Who Blind or Visually ImpairedVisually impaired students who are planning to attend college need to learn and master an array of skills from the expanded core curriculum prior to attending any postsecondary institution. Upon high school graduation, students will be fully responsible for their education. Therefore, specialized instruction is necessary to prepare students with vision loss for what will be expected of them in a new educational setting.
Essential Skills for College- or Career School-Bound Students with Vision LossThe following skills are covered in the activity guide to help prepare college-bound students who are blind or visually impaired.
- Researching admissions requirements
- Navigating the application process
- Requesting accommodations for the SAT or ACT
- Applying for scholarships, grants, or loans
- Ordering materials in accessible formats
- Establishing a working relationship with the Office for Students with Disabilities
- Coordinating services with a vocational rehabilitation agency
- Using knowledge of one’s rights and responsibilities as a student who is visually impaired
- Independently traveling on campus
- Advocating with professors in a self-determined manner
- Hiring and working with a live reader