Disability help in the college setting

Disability help in the college setting

The decisions been made, my daughter is going away to school. She decided on the University of Albany. Actually we could be technical and say State University of New York at Albany. It’s a state school, but it’s a good school. The criminal justice program is the second best program in the entire country. She’ll need a 3.2 to get into the program. She’ll have her work cut out for her, but that’s what she wants.

Mikayla, my daughter, is deaf with bilateral cochlear implants. You would never know looking at her, speaking with her, or hearing her talk. However, in a large room, especially a large classroom setting, hearing can become very difficult. She hears with a 1 to 2 second delay. It is prosthetic hearing. It is like a computer program. It is very easy for her to miss things that are being said. When the cochlear implants are off, she hears nothing.

I spent the day Wednesday making sure her disability paperwork got sent over to their office. Her college now, John Jay, supposedly sent it over Friday via email, yet they never got it. I finally had Mikayla forward her email over to Albany, that’s how they received it. I thought that the disability office at John Jay was going to be good, it truly wasn’t. In the year that my daughter spent at this college, she never even knew her advisor was. She had no help making her schedule for classes. She really, other than getting class notes, had no support from the disability office. Other than the writing and the math resource rooms, she had no other help. Those resource rooms were set up for everyone, not just children with disabilities, so it wasn’t even easy for her to get into. They certainly didn’t understand or have the ability to help children with any type of disability. Mikayla was set up in Albany’s disability office within a day and received an email from her advisor about helping her register for classes in the fall. Because she has a disability, she gets priority registration. The email asked her a few questions of what her goals were besides majoring in criminal justice and asked to set up a phone meeting to make it easier for her to get this done as fast as possible. That was a far cry from the college she’s in right now.

She is very excited. I’m very excited for her. Albany sounds like they have much more support, something that was very lacking at her current school. She’ll be away now for months at a time. Something that neither of us will be use to. The longest Mikayla has ever been away from me is a week to 10 days. She’s 19 years old, that distance will be a big change for both of us. For me, college was the best days. I really hope that this experience proves to be the best for her.

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