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Transition to College; School Life

Once you get to college there really are two aspects of accommodations to think about. You have accommodations for your dorm, then you have your traditional classroom accommodations.

I had decided on a college (NAU) in September of my senior year of high school. And just weeks after I called the universities Disability Resources to start getting my accommodations set up. I had gotten CART, preferential seating, use of my own personal Roger system, and my dorm room accommodations. I had everything squared away for me to start school the following year at NAU!

I had planned every little detail of my accommodations. I used all my past experience with accommodations to figure out what I'd need for my college classes. Well, that didn't quite work out as I had planned. On my first day of school, I had four classes back to back. Each and every class was so drastically different. I went from a 25 person class set up very much like high school was, then had a couple 100-300 person lectures and an 80 person group discussion based class. In just this one day of class I realized that while everything I had learned about accommodations beginning in elementary school was helpful for college but it wasn't necessarily all transferable. I knew what accommodations worked best for me and how to utilize them, but unlike high school, college classes aren't set up in the same ways. They're all different.

I had to adapt, and rather quickly too. I realized after the first week that the accommodations I had set up were not the most suitable for the classes I had. I had never used CART, but I was sure that it would be a necessity for my large lecture classes. It turns out that CART ended up not being helpful to me. And I found ways to optimize preferential seating to be helpful in every class situation. Each class was also different with how, and if I even used my Roger Select.

It took me several weeks to adapt my accommodations to each class and figure out what worked best for me. There was a lot of trial and error and experiments on my part. On the first day of class, I made sure to tell each of my professors that I am deaf and that I had accommodations in place, and that I would be playing around with these to figure what I needed. They were all very supportive in this and were happy to help in anyway I may of needed it!

Freshman year was basically a trial and error year. And semester one was different from semester two, though second semester I was faster to adapt and figure out what I had needed. It wasn't nearly as easy to prepare accommodations for each class months ahead of time. But it made things much easier getting set up with Disability Resources ahead of time and setting up accommodations with them at that time. This made it easy to modify things as I went along.

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