College Transition Booklet Available to Help Students with Paralysis Navigate College

Posted by Reeve Staff in Life After Paralysis on December 02, 2020 # Lifestyle

For many young adults, college provides a chance to dive deeply into academic passions, Navigating and Transitioning to College with paralysisprepare for future careers, and build life-long friendships.

Living with a disability does not need to limit the pursuit of higher education. Students with disabilities account for roughly 19% of the college population across the United States, and experience the same joys and challenges in and outside of the classroom as their peers. While they must juggle unique considerations —including accessibility, accommodations and access to care–there is no reason that students with disabilities can’t thrive at college.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation recently published “Navigating and Transitioning to College with Paralysis," a comprehensive guide to help young adults with mobility impairments plan for college. The booklet tackles a range of subjects, including how to improve independent living skills throughout high school to best prepare for campus life and the key questions to ask about classroom and housing accommodations.

Other topics include:

  • Researching accessibility and support services through campus visits, conversations with the Disability Support Office and outreach to current students with disabilities
  • Determining how location and access to hospitals, specialists and rehab programs will impact medical needs
  • Using outpatient rehabilitation to improve functional skills such as wheelchair transfers, core strengthening and stamina building to increase independence at college
  • Accessing state vocational rehabilitation services to help select schools, identify scholarships, seek accommodations and gain assistive technology for daily life
  • Managing educational decisions if a spinal cord injury occurs during high school or while already in college
  • Weighing practical concerns posed by individual disabilities, from how snowy winters or a hilly campus might impact quality of life to the feasibility of living far from family
  • Hiring a personal care attendant
  • How the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to recreational and campus life

The Reeve Foundation is also offering a limited number of free consultations with Accessible College LLC to families and students interested in transitioning to college with paralysis. Annie Tulkin, MS, Founder and Director of Accessible College, is also the writer of the booklet. A free webinar on this service was offered on Dec. 16, 2020 discussing this service. You may view the webinar recording below.

To receive a copy of this free booklet, please call the Information Specialist team at 800-539-7309, or download it directly from the publications page. Please contact the Information Specialists if you are interested in receiving free consultations from Accessible College related to the same topics mentioned above.

Additional Resources:

September 2020 Webinar Recording and Accessible College/Reeve Foundation Project Overview

United Spinal/New Mobility “Wheels on Campus Guide”-20 Colleges that Create Wheelchair Friendly Campuses and Cultures

This project was supported, in part, by grant number 90PRRC0002, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.