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check out your Disability Resource Centre

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  • check out your Disability Resource Centre

    When I was half way through my third year of my undergrad, I became really sick, got diagnosed with IC, and had to drop out of the rest of the term. I thought there was absolutely no way I could finish the year, let alone the degree. I was incredibly discouraged and frustrated, and became very depressed. Until....I met the people at the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) at my university.

    I went for academic advising shortly after I dropped out of the term, and the advisor insisted I visit two university resources...the DRC, and the Women's Resource Centre for counseling. Both were incredible places, with amazing people that have helped me to get where I am today.

    At first, I didn't think that I belonged at a "disability" centre, but I soon realized that the word "disability" has a much broader definition and context than people may think.

    At the DRC, I met with a student advisor for an initial "in-take" meeting. There I had to explain my situation, and found out what the DRC could offer me in terms of support and academic accommodations. I had to go back to my doctor for documentation that I had IC, and they put in on my file.

    The DRC not only offered emotional support when I most needed it, but offered academic accommodations as well. A letter was sent to all of my professors saying that I was registered with them and outlining the accommodations. It did NOT go into any details about my illness. The DRC acted as a liaison and advocate between my professors and I. So, if a professor didn't believe me (or something like that), and one history professor didn't, they would support me and in a sense protect me.

    I also got a tutor, and a note taker, who would attend my classes and take notes if I was too sick to attend. I actually didn't use these two things often, but I felt better knowing that it was an option if I needed it. I also got a special parking pass so I could park closer to where my classes were. I also took my exams at an alternate location, in their offices, right next to the bathroom!

    But most importantly, they were wonderful and caring people who supported me at a time when I was falling apart. I didn't even use all of my accommodations -- but the actual accommodation didn't even matter to me. It was the fact that they were there to support me and act as an advocate for me with my instructors at a time when I couldn't.

    I hope everyone will check out their DRC (it might be under a different name), and see how they can support you, and see what academic concessions they can make.

    Good luck! [img]smile.gif[/img]
    My story of healing and hope http://www.ic-network.com/patientstories/alexa.html

  • #2
    Hi Alexa, I am from Ontario and just thought I'd say hi! That is fabulous that your school helped you!!! It's nice to know that the resources are out there if you need them. I can no longer work and was thinking about college and was worried about all those things you mentioned..thanks for posting that, you have made me hopeful and good luck with everything!

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    • #3
      Hi Lainie!

      Welcome to the ICN! [img]smile.gif[/img]

      I'm glad the information was helpful to you. I just wanted to share my story about how wonderful and supportive the DRC was to me...and to show that it is possible to go to university/college even though you have IC. There are lots of great resources out there, it's just a matter of find out about them, and using them.

      Thanks for your post! and welcome again [img]smile.gif[/img]

      Warm hugs,
      Alexa
      My story of healing and hope http://www.ic-network.com/patientstories/alexa.html

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