Like all high school students, there are number of questions you may be asking yourself before undertaking post-secondary education…
CHOOSING A FIELD OF STUDY
Which field of study will best suit my goals and ambitions?
Focus on what you like to do and look at your strengths. At this stage, it is important to know yourself. Don’t hesitate to speak with a guidance counselor at your school and with people who know you well (parents, teachers, friends).
Is the program I am interested in available in my region?
Many pre-university programs are offered in most Cegeps. Professional and technical programs are frequently only available at certain institutions and in certain regions. Perhaps you have chosen a program that is only offered outside of your region?
If yes, examine the impact of your decision
- Moving to a different location;
- Finding adapted housing that will meet your needs;
- Organizing transportation;
- Organizing home care services;
- Finding financial resources;
- Change in social networks
If these obstacles seem difficult to overcome, consider alternative possibilities. Many careers share remarkable similarities.
For answers to questions regarding your chosen career path, refer to the following:
- Website of the academic institution you are interested in;
- Cegep and professional training guides;
- Visit with the guidance counselor at your school;
CHOOSING AN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION
Before enrolling in a particular institution, you must verify that the environment can respond to your needs. Visit the school, explore.
- Locate the accessible entry ways and toilets;
- Access to upper floors;
- Identify “problematic areas” and discuss them with the Office for Students with Disabilities in order to find solutions;
- If you have to move, look into the possibility of finding housing that meets your needs.
All Cegeps (public colleges) have an Office for Students with Disabilities. Get in touch with them to make sure that all questions you may have are adequately answered, and that the services you may require will be available. Private colleges and professional training establishments generally have someone who is responsible to welcome students. Unlike Cegeps where services are provided by the establishment, services to meet your needs will be entirely covered by Allowance for Special Needs Programs at private colleges. The terms of these programs will be explained later.
I GOT ACCEPTED, WHAT DO I DO NOW?
You should make an appointment with an advisor from the Office for Students with Disabilities in order to establish what your needs will be in terms of:
- Accessible rooms (for students in wheelchairs and students in need of sign language interpretation services);
- Transcription of documents for the beginning of the semester;
- Resource persons (reader, note-taker, transcriber, interpreter, attendant) See: http://www.mesrs.gouv.qc.ca/en/aide-financiere-aux-etudes/other-programs/allowance-for-special-needs-program-adults/types-of-assistance-offered/;
Before the beginning of classes, develop an individualized intervention plan with the Office for Students with Disabilities based on the services provided and the services you will need.
The types of services offered usually include:
- Pre-semester assistance (registration, placement tests, time constraints);
- Note taking;
- Reading and recording of documents;
- Interpretation (Quebec sign language or oral interpreter);
- Accompaniment services (assistance at school, hygiene, nutrition);
- Support writing exams (alternative formatting, additional time allocation, reserved locations);
- Outreach support to inform professors about the presence of students with disabilities in their class.
The terms of services are different when enrolled in a public Cegep, a private college or in a professional training program.
SERVICES are organized by each Cegep and provided to the students.
The cost of photocopies, material resources (specialized software, consumables, computer access device, braille course materials, devices, etc.) and transport are covered by the Allowance for Special Needs Program.
It is best to obtain information from the Office for Students with Disabilities at your institution to find out about which services they offer.