No comments yet

Ataxia and I: studying to take my place

Dear reader!
Thank you for your warm welcome of my first article I, really, really appreciate it! I can not personally answer all your comments, but I will try to answer some of your questions through my next few blogs!! In this sense, ready for a second round and, above all, ready to follow me in my adventures, in my handicap reality? I hope so because I am impatient!

The subject of the day: post-secondary education for a disabled person, a different person …

For, indeed, a disabled person is a different being, but a human being above all else. With the same basic needs therefore, the same feelings. We have the same dreams and the same will to prove our self. To do this, we will either turn to the labor market or to post high school education.

As I was only fifteen when I was diagnosed with FA, I was already seeing my future darken at the dawn of my adult life. But I wanted to live, enjoy and prove my worth. Prove that I had a place under the sun like everyone else and that this condition did not define me! I had to illustrate myself in a field where I could compete; it had then led me to the path of higher education.

I took this path for seventeen years! It’s a long time for self-improvement and achievements but, well, thinking about it: I never really liked school, it’s the worst!! Remembering stuff that was imposed on me. I was very curious, it just had to be at my own pace ( rather fast) and on topics that interested me.

That’s why I enjoyed my university career so much: you could choose your courses there. It was fantastic to be able to target what I would learn.  After a Diploma in natural science in college ( 3 years ), I obtained a bachelor’s degree in biological science ( 4 years )s and a master’s degree in genetic research ( 3 years) to understand my disease. And recently, I completed a second degree in French language literature to perfect my writing style and better communicate!

In addition, academic circles are increasingly performing to best supervise students with disabilities at the technological, material and even in terms of support. Most schools have a small department to manage this type of accommodation.

As for the financial aspect, if you have a major functional disability recognized by a health specialist – such as Ataxia – with the Quebec government, the “Loan and Bursary” payments from the Ministère de l’Éducation are automatically transformed into a bursary ( But for the first request, see the department dealing with students with disabilities in your institution mentioned in the previous paragraph! Also, there is a panoply of additional scholarships applying depending on the case!

In short, all this to say that your disability does not have to put a damper on your desire to learn. I am the living proof, it just requires more effort and organization because the pitfalls are many!

For our next meeting, I thought I would describe some of these pitfalls and their solution, what do you say?

Keywords: Ataxia, Friedreich, studies, postsecondary, scholarship

Post a comment