Self-advocacy is a key step in becoming an adult. It means looking out for yourself, telling people what you need, and knowing how to take responsibility. No one is born knowing these skills. Everyone has to learn them. Ready to begin learning? Here is some great information that can start you on your way.
Only the ability to drive a vehicle can make unlimited freedom of travel possible. This is particularly true for a person with a disability.
Advances in technology have made private vehicle travel attainable, and even more preferable. More and more, persons with a disability are able to modify their vehicles and obtain an adaptive driver’s license to enhance their independence.
Driving allows persons with a disability to participate in activities when, where and how they want to without having to depend on others for transportation. It basically heightens a person’s ability to live life by his or her own plan.
One of the first things I figured out after I graduated from high school and went to college was that college has a lot more responsibilities and work than high school. In high school, you may have had a whole posse (group of people to support you) behind you, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, etc. In college, you are on your own to find the help you need, even if you do not know what that need is yet. The following is a tip sheet to assist you in your quest for higher education.
You should always be able to have the accommodations you need in school for your disability or health care needs. Sometimes it just takes some extra effort to get what you need. Just because you have a disability it doesn’t mean you can’t do as well as the other kids in school, you have the same rights to succeed. By law every school has a process [a set way] for you to talk to teachers and others about what you need. Sometimes this plan or process is called an Individual Education Plan [IEP], a 504 plan, or sometimes something else.
Step 1: Evaluate what you need
Sit down with your parents and decide what accommodations you need based on your disability. For example, extra time on tests, a note taker, or two sets of books. Only pick accommodations that are necessary for your disability. For example, I knew I didn’t need a program on my computer that read my book to me, so I didn’t ask for it. People with different disabilities need different things.
Traditionally students with disabilities could enroll in any educational institution (community college, junior college, four year college/university), trade school or technical institute that would accept them. Recently, Texas passed legislation (Texas Success Initiative – TSI) designed to help postsecondary institutions determine, if a student is ready for college level coursework.
Unfortunately, Community Resource Coordination Groups (CRCG) are an asset that many parents, state agency staff and the general public are not aware of. A CRCG can provide help and support to many individuals with disabilities and their families while also supporting the efforts of professionals.