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Accommodations and Technology
It’s common to need a little extra help when you’re going back to school after a traumatic brain injury. You may need extra time to complete exams or homework assignments. Perhaps you want to record lectures so that you can listen to them a second time. Maybe you have some mobility challenges that make it hard for you to get across campus in between classes. It’s important to know what kinds of accommodations you can expect, the types of technology aids that are available, where you can go to ask for the help you need to succeed.
Adam shares his experience of returning to school twice, the second time equipped with strategies and tools to help with his brain injury. "The experiences were night and day," he says.
"I look back at my years in college and graduate school and think, wow, if I had just used disability services, my life would have been a lot easier," says Kelli Gary, PhD.
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Karen Gross, who served as a senior policy advisor to the US Department of Education in Washington, DC, writes about the opportunities and challenges facing returning veterans when
If extra time on a test or memory aids can make life easier during college, why not use them? Adam talks about moving past the "stigma" of using disability services and getting the help you need to succeed in college.
For service members and veterans with ongoing symptoms from a traumatic brain injury, going back to school can come with its own set of challenges. This guide will help.
Adam talks about how easy it is to set up the accommodations you may need when in college with a TBI or PTSD by first getting documentation from your doctor.
From taking notes on a laptop during class to using a voice recorder to tape a lecture to review later, technology can help veterans with brain injury succeed in college. Adam shares his first-hand knowledge.
Adam knows from experience that using any accommodations in college for brain injury or other injuries is always confidential, so veterans returning to college need not worry.
In 1990, Kelli Gary fell asleep at the wheel and sustained a severe brain injury. Along a bumpy but ultimately successful path, Dr. Gary earned her bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and a PhD.
In college after her brain injury, Kelli Gary, PhD determined her major then worked diligently and resourcefully to succeed in getting her degree.
Speaking from personal experience, Kelli Gary, PhD knows how difficult and frustrating it can be to have to learn to study and think in entirely different ways. "But don't give up," she says. "It can be done!"
After five months in acute rehab following her car crash, Kelli Gary, PhD returned to college and tried to do what she had always done. Within two months, she was flunking out. She needed a new plan.
Even today, after earning her PhD and two masters degrees, Kelli Gary, PhD knows that, with a TBI, sometimes you have to take one step back in order to take two steps forward.
For Kelli Gary, PhD, one of the hardest lessons she learned was that she had accept the slow process of rebuilding her skills after brain injury in order to ultimately succeed at college.
Army vet Timm Lovitt finds that reaching out to help other vets is his own best medicine.
Kelli Gary talks about deciding to go back to school after her traumatic brain injury and her mom who supported her even when school didn't work out the first time.
"I never gave up. I knew it was harder. Things were more difficult. It would take more time. But I never gave up."
Kelli Gary talks about the compensatory strategies that she found through her own experience worked for her — like recording herself reading her text books to better prepare for class and tests.
Technologies to help people after brain injury.
Learn how assistive technology can make life easier for someone with a TBI.
Availability of assistive technologies for people with disabililities is different in the K-12 environment versus college. Know what to ask.