College Life

Some advice by Mark, DO-IT Ambassador

Picture of Mark
DO-IT Ambassador Mark and Instructor Laurie Clark work together on a science lab experiment.

I graduated from high school in spring of 1994 and attended Big Bend Community College this year. I have muscular dystrophy--Duchenne's, use a wheelchair, and have limited use of my hands. So far, I have had no accommodation problems in college. It has been fine academically, though it has been a flop in the social sense.

When those of you who haven't gone yet go, I suggest being aggressive in enjoying the student body activities available. I have basically been sitting around doing absolutely nothing fun, and I don't recommend this course of action. Make yourself available at the campus and hang around as much as possible--this is something I am currently trying to do more of.

Transportation-wise, I have been fortunate in that my cousin and I have taken the same classes, and therefore we drive over together and I have someone to assist me. Make sure, those of you who are physically disabled, that you take advantage of things such as note-takers (on second thought, I guess you can do that if you have any disability). So far, I have done this in one class because my cousin has terrible handwriting.

Actually, I would recommend against full reliance on a single individual, because--at least in my case--instructors tend to lump you and that person together, and this seems to happen with others as well. The college has an obligation to provide you assistance in class. And the State Vocational Rehabilitation can pay for books and adaptive equipment if you don't qualify for other aid.