College Survival Tip #2

There are things that professors do not always understand. I may look perfectly healthy, but I am not.  They cannot understand the countless appointments, days where you cannot get out of bed, the days the medications just do not work, etc.  The list is simply endless.  Because of that we have decided to write an open letter to all professors so they can better understand what we go through on a day to day basis.

Dear Professor,

I am one of your many students.  However, I am different than my peers.  I have a chronic illness and / or disability.  That means that I have limits, and I know them.  It means that I cannot always work at the pace that my peers do.  I go to more doctor appointments than you can imagine, I practically live in the hospital, and can singularly keep a pharmacy in business.  Please understand that I want more than anything to attend, and show up to your class.  However, that may not always happen.  This can be for a number of reasons, including the above three.  In addition, there are days where I cannot get out of bed. There are days that the side effects from medication immobilize me.

I realize that I have limits, but I want more than anything to have a life. To have this life I need my accommodations, they are my lifeline.  When you hear that I can have extra absences, or extended time for assignments you tend to think of ways that I can cheat the system.  I have these because I NEED them.  I may be rushed to the hospital, or be stuck in a clinic visit during class.  Because of this I may be unable to attend class, and by extension complete assignments. I have gone to class when I probably should have stayed home, and I have written papers in the hospital, but that is not always a possibility. My accommodations are ALWAYS my last option.

I am use to having the odds stacked against me.  I have been told by many people around me that I would never make it this far. I intend to prove them wrong.  I will work hard to do well in your class, but there are always obstacles.  I thank you ahead of time for understanding what is happening in my life.  I know that it is complicated, and confusing to you because to this day it is complicated and confusing to me, but if you work with me I will be the most determined student you have ever seen.

Thank you so much,

Nemo and Tremors

Tips to writing to your teacher
  1. Advance notice of your accommodations can give them time to prepare.
  2. Know that for any new professors there will be a learning curve.
  3. Use disability services
  4. Know your rights as an individual with a disability
    1. You do not have to disclose your disability
    2. Your professor is not allowed to tell anybody about your disability
    3. Your professor is not allowed to ask what your disability is
  5. If your professors are not giving you your accommodations go back to disability services, they should help you



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