Contact with others
Everybody is different. If you have physical or mental difficulties you are bound to encounter obstacles while studying or in partaking in an internship. In certain situations it is necessary to be creative and persistent.
In addition, you must be able to cope with your environment. This is definitely the case if you have a visible disability or when you are often absent due to your disability or chronic illness. Fellow students and the teachers may ask themselves the reason for this and if this will present problems. Sometimes others will find it difficult to interact with you. In some cases they would prefer not to have you in the group for a group assignment. This is due to a lack of understanding on their part or through their uncertainty on how they should react to/interact with a student with a disability.
Tips for students with a disability
By disclosing information about your disability you will be met with more understanding from others. Here are some tips:
- Do not wait for others to understand your situation. Inform others of the problem. Approach your teacher or fellow student. Talk openly about your disability and do not be self-conscious about it.
- Present yourself as being independent; that way you will be in control.
- Maintain a positive manner. This will come easy to you once you accept yourself for who you are.
- With the right attitude and correct approach you can do away with possible negative images of students with a disability.
- Use humor. This way you will pull down barriers and put people at ease.
How to handle this in a concrete manner
- Disclose and explain your disability or chronic illness; for example at the beginning of the academic year, for your internship or minor programme.
- Be open about the obstacles you encounter and which solutions have been found for these.
- Be open and honest with your Study career counsellor, the teachers and the Student counsellor. Explain the situation to the teachers or ask your Study career counsellor to do this in one go for you within the course programme. This way it will save you having to do this time and time again.
- Partake in the introduction week. This is the ideal opportunity to talk about yourself and also to get to know your fellow students.
- See yourself as a pioneer. You can contribute to creating more understanding for students with a disability within Saxion, which in turn will have a beneficial effect for the students of the future.