Transition - The Path to College (English Voice Over)

This video - an English voice-over version of a resource in Spanish - discusses what students with disabilities should know as they transition from high school to college. Students, parents, and college personnel talk about assistive technology advocacy and awareness and provide examples of AT that can help students succeed in post-secondary environments.
 

Transcript: 

- Hi, Julieta. How nice to see you here.

- Hey, Tere. How are you?

- How are you?

- What a pleasure. Come, sit. Let's talk a little.

- Tell me, how's your daughter?

- Good, I was just looking at some pictures of her.

- Look how big she is. I love that your daughter is doing so well. I imagine you're getting ready for the transition to college, right?

- Well, Tere, to tell you the truth, this week I got some papers from the IEP, where they tell me I should start that process, but we are totally lost. I thought we had to start that her senior year of high school.

- Well, you have to start earlier. By law, you have to have a transition plan by 16, and in some states, even as early as 14 years old.

- Bibiana is really interested in going to college, but we don't know where to start.

- My recommendation is that you start a plan specially for assistive technology, because we tend to leave it for last, and when kids go to college, they don't have everything they need.

- But, tell me she'll be using the same assistive technology she's using now when she gets to college?

- No, the services end when she finishes high school. In college, there is no more individualized educational plan.

- Really, there is no more IEP?

- No IEP, nor meetings with teachers nor therapists. It's the kids that have to talk about their disabilities, say how it affects them and ask for adaptations for assistive technology.

- Really? I didn't know any of that.

- That's why you have to start early. The most important thing is to plan, research and take control. But, don't worry, I'll keep you informed of everything I've learned. That's why we're friends. It's a way to help other parents that are in the same situation.

- Thank God I ran into you. Now it will be a little easier.

- The most important thing is to talk people who know more than we do.

- A good assistive technology planning requires the act of participation of parents and students. It's important that they ask the following questions. Which assistive technology is needed in order to reach my goals? For example, a kid that has writing difficulty can use a recorder to record his classes and later, at his leisure, take notes at home. Another important question is Why does the assistive technology you are currently using work so well? The students need to understand their disabilities, understand their strengths and the challenges they face. It is important that the parents help them in the process. During the time that the students are in school, they are under the protection of the IDEA. It's a law for students with disabilities that guarantees access to free and adequate public education as well as assistive technology and adaptations. When students start college, they also have the right under ADA law, to receive assistive technology services. But in order to get the services, it is now important to state their disability and explain what adaptations they need. In college, this process is done through a center for students with disabilities that all universities have. It is a voluntary and private process that is done between the student and the university.

- How are we doing? Is it clear so far?

- Yes, perfect. So all the universities offer the same assistive technology?

- Well, all colleges and universities have a support center for students with disabilities, but they vary greatly in terms of their resources and experience with assistive technology.

- So, what should we do?

- The more specific Bibiana is with regards to her needs, the better.

- Are you talking about the screen reader, more time to finish the test, and being able to record her classes, right?

- Exactly. But remember, if she doesn't ask for it, she won't get it. We are going to have a problem there. Bibiana would not want everyone to know that she has a disability. Remember, she could be labeled. She is not going to like that, and neither would I.

- First of all, it's voluntary and confidential. Many students don't ask for the services, and they don't get to meet their academic goals because they are ashamed or they don't know they exist.

- Now I understand why Bibiana's teacher wanted her to participate in all her IEP meetings and that we include assistive technology in the transition.

- That is why it is good to start early. There are many options, but it is important to know what the universities offer based on your daughter's needs.

- Listen, Tere, the truth is that there are many steps to follow and too many things to consider.

- Yes, but trust me, you won't regret it.

- Three things I recommend all students to keep in mind when they are already attending college is once you know you are accepted, please make an appointment at the student support center to register, so they can be sure they will have the accommodation they'll need. Second, make sure that their file is complete and up to date. This can easily be done by making an appointment with the doctors and counselors currently helping them in high school. And third, be sure of what technologies the university can provide. If the university doesn't have the resources to acquire those devices, the responsibility might fall on the student, and it is good to be prepared for this if it is so.

- Welcome to the accessibility resource center at Eugenio de Hostos Community College. Our goal is to facilitate the students with disabilities access to all the opportunities that our university offers. Here, we coordinate all the academic adjustments and accommodations that will allow the student to have a better performance during their school years and beyond. We focus on assistive technology, smart, high-end technology. Our goal is to make the transition from high school to university run smoothly. But, we don't stop there. Once they're finished with their studies, also make the transition to their jobs or professions run smoothly.

- Access Mentor is a program in which we share a calendar with the student using a smart technology. This way, the students have access to an advisor in real time. Access mentor is assigned for the students with functional deficit and who get frustrated easily, and cannot finish their assignments on time. It consists of transferring the class curriculum to this calendar, and this calendar will send continuous reminders as many times as necessary so that the student starts to work on their composition and indicating the deadline for turning in the assignment. This program has shown great success, especially among students with autism, with ADD, and with psychiatric illness.

- Here at FIU, we work with all the teachers to make sure that all the videos they are using in class already have the caption. We also have a different option for students who like to have sign language interpreters in class. We also have a remote card which is a service in which the teacher has a microphone, and through this microphone, a transcript of the conversation is generated, and the student can read the words that are being spoken.

- The first technology that I used was a smart pen. It is a pen with which I can take notes and also record the class at the same time. It helps me transfer all my notes to my phone or any tablet I have. I can read them on the train, the bus, anywhere. Many of our computers have a text-to-speech software. The most popular one is called Dragon. It is a speech recognition program that the student can use to speak, and the program puts the words on paper or on the program being used so that they can make a report or finish homework or go to a website. With the ebooks, they can read them on programs like Coursewell, or they can manipulate them on the computer with programs that magnifies it. We have equipment that can change the way it is being magnified, or see it in different colors or black and white or in negative, depending on how the student prefers to view the materials.

- We have the case of a student that was going to go to college. He was going to live by himself, and one of the biggest fears the parents had was that he was not going to be able to get up in the morning and not get to school. So, how was the problem solved? With a device that goes between the mattress and the sheets that vibrates in the morning. It's like an alarm. This solved the problem, because the student was able to overcome the first barrier, which was to get to school on time.

- The accommodations that I use is that I get a separate room with additional time for my exams and finals, which relieves me from stress which could trigger my disability.

- My name is Christian Herrera, and I study video game design. The reason why I study this is because I like to draw, and also I like to play video games. Since I have a learning disability, ARC lent me a smart pen that can record what I write. I record the teacher's voice, and I can transfer what I have recorded on the smart pen to my computer.

- My name is Anariela Segura Castillo, my major is Liberal Arts and Science. Reading and writing is difficult for me because I have a learning disability. If I read, I cannot understand myself. Writing is the same as well. The disability office helped me by supporting using a smart pen, computer, extra time, and the support of the community that helps me. Technology helped me with my goals by doing good in school and studying. I want to be a fashion designer or artist.

- My name is Amy Vargas. I recently graduated from Hostos with a major in early childhood education. Now I am working in the accessibility resource center in Hostos. In my last year of high school, I went through a surgery that left me visually impaired. When I began college, I had to begin training myself in using different kinds of technology to help me accomplish my goals of graduation.

- My name is Carlos Martinez. Currently, I use a variation of technologies. For example, one is the BrailleNote Apex, a brand of Braille devices that helped me deliver my works on time during the school year. I also use a laptop with screen readers. I also use scanning machines. I take pictures of a paper, book or anything that I need to read. This helps me to integrate with my classmates in the classroom. I can chat on the internet, I can do searches, use calculators. These are things that cannot be taken for granted. From my point of view, I think that now I am a better student, better son, better brother. To continue in school and pursue my dreams makes me a better person.

- [Counselor] It was a great pleasure. Good luck with everything.

- Everything was fabulous today. It truly was a pleasure seeing you.

- Yes, a very productive meeting. Lot of information we didn't know.

- Well, listen, I hope that we get together in the next meeting. You have my number, okay?

- Okay. And remember, call me if you need any information. I'll give it to you. Take care.

- See ya.

- Say hello to the kids for me.

- Same to yours.