A Student Who is Quadriplegic
Disability description and career possibilities:
This student has no voluntary movement of his legs due to a spinal cord injury. In
addition, he has partial use of his arms, hands, and fingers; making manual keyboarding
and writing fairly slow. He uses a power wheelchair for mobility, and independently
drives a lift-equipped van. Many such individuals routinely attain college degrees
and work as accountants, computer programmers, psychologists, business owners, etc.
Basic access needs for classrooms and lab:
This student may need someone to open the door for him. He may also need to utilize
a small table for note taking or to place materials on. This can be ordered from the
Maintenance Department. In some cases, an aide supplied by the LAP or by the student
may be necessary to assist the student in managing his materials.
Very often, an alternative to conventional note taking methods may be necessary:
- A classmate may need to be located who will be willing to share notes.
- The instructor may be willing to make a copy of his/her lecture notes.
- A tape recorder may be used to record the lecture.
It is likely that the student's problems with writing will make it necessary for him
to take tests outside the classroom, with assistance and with additional time allowed.
We call this Testing Accommodations. When such accommodations are appropriate, the
student will be given a form to present to the instructor. This gives the instructor
control over how the test will be delivered to our office, and other details such
as whether notes, calculators, etc. can be used by the student. In this student's
case, the following may occur:
- In our facility, under continuous supervision, the student may write his own test.
- Under the same conditions, the student may dictate his answers to an LAP staff member
or student worker who will write his answers.
The Learning Assistance Program's Computer and Assistive Technology Lab have resources
that can assist this student. Dictation programs, alternative keyboards, trackballs,
or other input devices can help him develop technology skills that will enhance his
independence as a student and a future employee. Our faculty and staff in the lab
evaluate students' needs and assist them in acquiring the needed skills.
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Graduating high school with honors and realizing I did not have the monetary means to go off to a university like I had always dreamed about felt like a setback. Being at a community college, for my first semester, felt like a detriment to my education. Despite this I began to reach out to other students and was referred by a student to a program called MESA. MESA has shaped my educational career. MESA has provided me with opportunities I would have otherwise missed on my own, an opportunity to work with other like-minded majors who have since become like family. With this kind of strong foundation I have been able to excel in my science, mathematics, and engineering courses.
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