How This Website Came To Be
Welcome to Peer Support for Students who are Deaf-Blind! I hope this website will help you in some way.
This labour of love was created and completed by Craig MacLean, webmaster, deaf-blind student, activist, leader, and member of many deaf-blind organizations. It has taken one year to complete the task of setting up a website, learning about listservs, and the post-secondary system. It has been a fun year! I want to take this time to thank Marna Arnell, Karen Poirier, and Shirley Coomber, as well as my Advisory Committee for their support and feedback. I am proud of the outcome and feel confident that your answers about post secondary institutions will be answered here.
Post-Secondary and the Student who is Deaf-Blind
Entering a college or university can be a tough experience for anyone, especially for students who are deaf-blind. It is hard to know what to do, what services you need and how to obtain those services. Take it from someone who went through the system without this knowledge beforehand, I can tell you it is a tough challenge!
Typical students who are not disabled, have few problems accessing post-secondary institutions. They are aware, or should be, of their academic responsibility. They learn this information from guidance and undergraduate counselors, friends, and family members. It is easy for them.
Questions to Consider
Students who are disabled have other concerns and questions they are interested in. Some of the most common are: Does the college have disability services? Are the services appropriate? Will these services meet my needs? What services do I need? Who will pay for these services? What are the procedures for applying for these services? The Disability Services Coordinator can answer these questions for you.
Students who are deaf-blind have to ask even more questions, such as: Will the college or university have support services for me? Will they provide an intervenor? Will they provide an interpreter? How will I access the library or print materials? Will I be able to find the classroom? What kind of support services will they have for me to take exams? How will I write papers, do research or benefit from college/university life?
Craig's Profile: A Journey to Educational Success
I have first hand knowledge that being deaf-blind and attending a college can be an isolating experience. I have spent the last ten years in post secondary education. I attended college from 1989 to 1995, then transferred to university to complete my Bachelor of Arts degree.
When I first decided to go to college, counselors told me that post-secondary would be too hard for me, that I would not be able to complete it. They also predicted that I would not survive the workload, papers and research. I think I took care of that prediction in grand fashion. Continuing for ten years is testimony enough. There were many times that I felt overwhelmed and wanted to quit. This was probably due to not having any real supports that were connected to my deaf-blindness. This being the case, I had to struggle, get low grades and just barely pass. However, after a hiatus, I returned to scholastic pursuits with reckless abound.
Entering university, I realized “Hey, I can do better than this.” I realized that my college years were difficult because there was no acknowledgment of my dual disability and I was given the same supports as the students who were deaf. These supports were inadequate for my visual impairment. The college did not understand what it was like to be me!
Since that semester, I have been focusing my attention on attaining the highest degree of work possible. Through experience I have learned to work more closely with my team, and take advantage of the available supports, including my tutors! I have also slowed things down and I often only take one course at a time. My GAP has increased tremendously from taking this route.
Now I am excited, as I am officially graduated from University! I have a Bachelors of Arts, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Learning Disabilities. I am considering going back to school to get my Masters! There is nothing stopping me!
I am looking forward to a wonderful career as an activist for deaf-blind persons, locally, nationally and internationally.
This website exists to:
[Introduction] [Definitions] [Funding]
[Entering Post Secondary] [Classroom Adaptations] [Resources] [Adaptive Technology]
[Student Profiles] [Adaptive Links]