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Thread: When to tell prospective college of disability?

  1. #11
    Senior Member canuck's Avatar
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    If she wants to be treated as a equal why are you or she thinking about including the sci stuff in the application?

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by canuck
    If she wants to be treated as a equal why are you or she thinking about including the sci stuff in the application?
    The SCI is a significant experience and could well be used in the admissions essay. How you do that is what is important. It can't be just a medical story. But to incorporate the disability experience to magnify her own personal characteristics can make a very interesting read. And that is the essays that finally after being read by undergrads etc. make it to the top.

    It could be written as a unique and convincing experience without any type of media included. Or become a pathetic type of story.
    Life isn't about getting thru the storm but learning to dance in the rain.

  3. #13
    It's not about "using" her disability. She can and should highlight her achievements and anything else that justly reflects on her abilities and character (as I stated in earlier post). If that in some way includes her sci/dis, than so be it.

    It's not about ..."I have a SCI and (insert inconsequential medical history here)"

    A disability, or having one personally, does not necessarily even need to be mentioned. But if a young person acquired an injury while in grade/high school, yet managed to continue her schoolwork, and even exceed academically, that might better inform admissions officers how bright, determined, driven, focused, and responsible a prospective student may be, with not just some ability/skill in testing well. It may give admissions officers some insight about this person's perseverance and commitment, characteristics necessary to do well and succeed at college. Also, if after some injury, a young person chose (for example) to be a mentor for other youth with disabilities; do public speaking to educate others about safety/drinking & driving/making good choices and taking personal responsibility, etc.; participate in that advocacy efforts (lobbying, fundraising, etc.), and any other experience somehow tied to having the injury, then those experiences should be mentioned, as they are not mere activities. Such activities are service oriented, with implications effecting both individual lives and broader policies. Personal involvement and purpose/motivation as a result of one's own injury, can show personal growth, learning, and applying one's own experiences and lessons learned, to helping others.

    As you noted, Princeton emphasises Opportunities taken advantage of:
    - what opportunities has she (Sarah) taken advantage of, since/as a result of her injury?

    for example:
    • how has she utilized her experiences? what opportunities have been taken advantage of; what opportunities has she created?
      • effecting positive change (how?)
        • educating, serving, helping others.... etc.
      • what has been learned? how has it been put to practice?
        • developing skills - organizational, learning team-work (e.g. organizing fundraisers, lobbying, public speaking and education, etc. )
    Following along what Lindox mentioned, I saw a brief report the other day, about college admissions, and an admissions person from one of the Ivy schools (may have been Princeton, I forget so don't hold me to it!), mentioning the importance of essay's and looking for/finding interest in unique and creative essays that reflect the individual's personality (also without too much parental editing that may inhibit, or not allow that).

    Just a personal tid-bit: I never mentioned having a disability to my schools. Also, I only visited 1 campus (my bad decision and last minute app. submissions), but for grad school (only applied to 2), did write a brief essay which included some of my involvements - including both dis and non-dis related programs/orgs. Assumptions may have been made, but it could have just as easily been assumed I simply had interest in dis-related stuff, as I had interest in disadvantaged kids. Not planning more, before being accepted, required me to spend a LOT of time addressing access issues (being basically only person in w/c) on my own. This can be tiring and distracting, so planning ahead and getting as much info as possible is critical, as you are well aware and are doing. Looks like Sarah's got great support here, and with her accomplishments thus far, I wouldn't be surprised she breezes through to her school of choice.

    Best to you guys!
    Last edited by chick; 10-08-2007 at 08:47 PM.

  4. #14
    Thanks to everyone, here are some things I've learned:

    - No articles or disability centered essays. This is actually good news, for Sarah hates any attention to it and it wouldn't be her nature to promote it at all. But, at the same time, this fact may help in getting into a more competitive institution. If she shares her head and heart in her essay, I think she'll be fine, it is hard for an SCI to not be a part of a persons make-up, if even a small part. Perhaps using the mind set of how she can be an asset to the student body and provide diversity may be good.

    - Don't try to hide the fact of SCI. Get with the Disability Service office during the visiting process to gain a more realistic view of life on campus.

    Scott, thanks for the offer, perhaps I'll pick your brain at some point in the future.

    Chick, your insight is very helpful, thanks for sharing.

    Everyone - This input is exactlly what I was looking for. I'll keep sharing and let you know how we're doing. Perhaps other families will be able to use our experence to draw from.
    Rick

    GO FORWARD! 2 FIGHT! PARALYSIS!

  5. #15
    Senior Member Aly's Avatar
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    I wrote a little about my disability in my essay with my application because of the timing of my accident. Just looking at my activities they were not overwhemingly great but to include I raised my grades after my accident and kept up with my extra curiculars in some way or another ie, (went from playing volleyball to keeping stats and announcing for the games)

    You may really want to check out W&M before making a decision. I felt they had bad accessiability due to the age and historical issues in the area. Curb cut outs were few and far between and also short and steep. Several of the buildings have no elevators and there is a lot of cobble stone if I remeber correctly, (cobble stone hurts my back and sets off my spasms)
    www.cawvsports.org
    The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Don Juan Matus
    We are Virginia Tech… We must laugh again… No one deserves a tragedy… We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid…We are better than we think and not quit what we want to be…We are the Hokies…We will prevail, we will prevail, we will prevail. We ARE Virginia Tech! ~ Nikki Giovanni

  6. #16
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    While Sarah may not want to "play the SCI card" so to speak, it IS part of her make up. And her excellent credentials are even more impressive when considered in light of it. I think the idea of including a mention of it in her essay, is an excellent way of dealing with it. Most of the essays written recently in my family have included something along the lines of "Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken or ethical dilemma and its impact on you." (My oldest graduated with his Masters last year, and I have 2 still in college. My youngest is Sarah's age. The quote was from an essay I still had floating around on this computer.) SHe could take this to what ever level she wants, whether something concerning her sci being the signifigant experience, or simply briefly mentioning it in passing.

    SOmething to consider in regards to accessibility (many of which have been touched on.)

    ADA can not change the terrain. A very hilly campus is going to limit her. As well as one that is very spread out. BU in Boston for example has some buildings almost a mile apart.

    Yes, she can fight for accessibility. The schools SHOULD be accessible and she can fight for it if need be. But a choice that is accessible, and doesn;t need her to be the advocate, would be one less hurdle.

    Consider more than whether classrooms and HER DORM ROOM are accessible. My daughter's dorm is barely accessible, and luckily for me she lives on the 1st floor. There is no elevator. Some of the newer dorms are very accessible, and if Sarah were going there is where she would live. But consider the fact that she wouldn;t be able to visit friends upstairs in my daughter's dorm.

    SHe is in 11th grade. You are just starting down this path, and she has plenty of time. Keep in mind that a lot can change in the next 18 months. ANd make sure she gets the most out of high school .... don't just worry about college. That old adage about the journey being more important than the destination.




    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  7. #17
    Rick,

    How are you and the family? I am the mom of Loretta and Michael, the boy who I must toss frozen marbles in his bed to ensure that he gets up in the morning! We met this summer at KKI. I am excited to read about Sara and her plans for college. I am learning from your questions because we have an 11th grader w/ a SCI appliying to colleges as well. Please give our best to Sara and our congratulations for her outstanding grades. She will go far...
    Take care, Debbie

  8. #18
    Senior Member okwjoe's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Hello,

    I remember you and your daughter. My son and her were injured in 2004 right? You gave me so good advice and now it is now my turn to help you.
    My son is now in 12 th grade and we live in NY. He sounds just like your DD. 10 AP's , 5th in his class , 2190 on SAT's , 97.6 avg. blah blah blah. The only difference between them is, my son is a quad. I just finished helping him in the college application process we are now DONE. He appplied Early action to SUNY's Binghamton Albany. Regular admission to privates Cornell, Columbia. ( both reaches) and early action to Fordham, and Hofstra. l
    You must visit each campus and speak to the disabilty depts. at each school. We have issues pertaining to his ADL's. Your daughter is a para? right. So proboably she don't have as many ADL issues as my son. Still, visiting the schools is the only way to find out if it is a good "fit" for her, rfinding out for real about how big the campus, if it is level enough, if it has wide enough doors, too many inaccessible buildings( despite what they say on the websites).
    In a weird way being disabled may help her in the application part for very selective schools. On the Common Application which Cornell, Stanford, and many liberal art colleges use, on one of the choices for the main essay topic, is " Descibe an event, person, situation that changed your life " Well I know many students in my son's class and many students in general have problems finding topics for these essays, but my son has his topic right there!! As a matter of fact two of my son's friends used my son's relationship with them as their topic. Also there are two scholarships that I think he has a great chance of getting. 1) The Horatio Alger Schlorship and the Chair Scholarship. Both of them are worth between 2,000 and 10,000 /yr.
    You do not have to mention her disabilty at all. They do not used them for admission tools. But again , use them for the essays.
    My son is on the Medicaid waiver program to get his 16 hours/ day care so as per the rules. he can't attend colleges out of state because Medicaid can't cross state lines. (Thank God we live in New York has a plethora of schools)
    The vocab rehab will only pay if college is a stepping stone to get a job. ie. My son is thinking about law school someday, at this time he wants to major in history/ economics , so far they said it is ok but I fear they may say no, so teaching is another intrest he has, so we will going to say he will be a social studies teacher and since he is going to have about 32 AP credits in hand, taking education courses AND the major will not be so bad
    The vocational rehab at least here will pay (in his case because of the severity of his injury) the SUNY ( State University of New York) tuition rate @ any SUNY school or pro-rate it @ private school, all room and board, books, fees, tranportation and for an aide.
    Now since they willl also payfor out of state if that state has a program that New york State does not have. So we found out that the University of Illinois@ Urbana ( the flagship) has an great program for students that are severly disabled require ADL's / w/c they actually have students and staff on campus in a special dorm that provide soup to nuts care for people like my son. plus they have everything right there (PT/OT, SCI Physicians, and also they will teach my son how to self advocate for himself!! ( The best thing the vocab rehab will pick it up
    Anyway your daughter sounds like she is going places and like my son they both are going to reach for the stars and grab a few !! If you have any questions about college apllications let me drop me a line !!

    Joe

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by mom01
    Rick,

    How are you and the family? I am the mom of Loretta and Michael, the boy who I must toss frozen marbles in his bed to ensure that he gets up in the morning! We met this summer at KKI. I am excited to read about Sara and her plans for college. I am learning from your questions because we have an 11th grader w/ a SCI appliying to colleges as well. Please give our best to Sara and our congratulations for her outstanding grades. She will go far...
    Take care, Debbie
    Hi Debbie!

    Great to hear from you, I hope you're far away from all those fires in CA.

    Tell everyone we said hi. Best to all of you.

    Rick
    Rick

    GO FORWARD! 2 FIGHT! PARALYSIS!

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by okwjoe
    Hello,

    I remember you and your daughter. My son and her were injured in 2004 right? You gave me so good advice and now it is now my turn to help you.
    My son is now in 12 th grade and we live in NY. He sounds just like your DD. 10 AP's , 5th in his class , 2190 on SAT's , 97.6 avg. blah blah blah. The only difference between them is, my son is a quad. I just finished helping him in the college application process we are now DONE. He appplied Early action to SUNY's Binghamton Albany. Regular admission to privates Cornell, Columbia. ( both reaches) and early action to Fordham, and Hofstra. l
    You must visit each campus and speak to the disabilty depts. at each school. We have issues pertaining to his ADL's. Your daughter is a para? right. So proboably she don't have as many ADL issues as my son. Still, visiting the schools is the only way to find out if it is a good "fit" for her, rfinding out for real about how big the campus, if it is level enough, if it has wide enough doors, too many inaccessible buildings( despite what they say on the websites).
    In a weird way being disabled may help her in the application part for very selective schools. On the Common Application which Cornell, Stanford, and many liberal art colleges use, on one of the choices for the main essay topic, is " Descibe an event, person, situation that changed your life " Well I know many students in my son's class and many students in general have problems finding topics for these essays, but my son has his topic right there!! As a matter of fact two of my son's friends used my son's relationship with them as their topic. Also there are two scholarships that I think he has a great chance of getting. 1) The Horatio Alger Schlorship and the Chair Scholarship. Both of them are worth between 2,000 and 10,000 /yr.
    You do not have to mention her disabilty at all. They do not used them for admission tools. But again , use them for the essays.
    My son is on the Medicaid waiver program to get his 16 hours/ day care so as per the rules. he can't attend colleges out of state because Medicaid can't cross state lines. (Thank God we live in New York has a plethora of schools)
    The vocab rehab will only pay if college is a stepping stone to get a job. ie. My son is thinking about law school someday, at this time he wants to major in history/ economics , so far they said it is ok but I fear they may say no, so teaching is another intrest he has, so we will going to say he will be a social studies teacher and since he is going to have about 32 AP credits in hand, taking education courses AND the major will not be so bad
    The vocational rehab at least here will pay (in his case because of the severity of his injury) the SUNY ( State University of New York) tuition rate @ any SUNY school or pro-rate it @ private school, all room and board, books, fees, tranportation and for an aide.
    Now since they willl also payfor out of state if that state has a program that New york State does not have. So we found out that the University of Illinois@ Urbana ( the flagship) has an great program for students that are severly disabled require ADL's / w/c they actually have students and staff on campus in a special dorm that provide soup to nuts care for people like my son. plus they have everything right there (PT/OT, SCI Physicians, and also they will teach my son how to self advocate for himself!! ( The best thing the vocab rehab will pick it up
    Anyway your daughter sounds like she is going places and like my son they both are going to reach for the stars and grab a few !! If you have any questions about college apllications let me drop me a line !!

    Joe
    Joe,

    Great to hear how well your son is doing. Man, he's really exceling nicely. Thanks for sharing your experiences and wisdom.

    If I get too confused I let you know.
    Rick

    GO FORWARD! 2 FIGHT! PARALYSIS!

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