Being a Disabled Student in Saudi Arabia
Being a disabled student had always made it difficult for my parents to find the ideal school for me. There was only one learning institution in my city, Saudi Arabia, that had physically challenged-friendly facilities. Given this, my parents have invested a considerable amount of money on special education for me since I was a child.
The Impact of Inadequate Special Education
The educational institution where I went from elementary to high school, on the other hand, was available to all. Since it did not have the required special learning, I did not receive the best education from middle to high school. The school provided a better elementary education than my previous learning facility because it was accompanied by good international teachers. The educational establishment, however, did not provide proper special classes which affected the quality of education I received. The school manager put me in a small distinctive class designed for the deaf and those with hearing challenges since elementary school.
The Flaws of the Education System
As I progressed from elementary to high school, I was the top in the class with the highest grade. This rating, however, was an attribute to the easy test that the teachers prepared for students which influenced the quality of education we received in our class. Further, the lecturers themselves were not trained and had been brought to school to spend there certain time since schooling was free. There were no permanent and qualified teachers to teach the disabled children. The untrained educators did not achieve much in their job as they did not have the required experience. Teaching students with a disability require more efforts compared to educating a group of people with less or no disability. For me the classes were easy, hence they further made me lazy. On the other hand, studying in the United States of America has been a serious struggle from middle school to high.
Transitioning to Gallaudet University
When I first arrived in the United States, I went to Gallaudet University, a special institution for the deaf and hard of hearing students where the education is run using the America Sign Language. My parents heard of the school and provided my transfer in the institution. It was said, that the education in school was not quite the same as in other universities despite it being the only educational establishment for the deaf and hard of hearing in the United States. At the start of spring, I felt that the institution was not right for me as I had not achieved as much learning as I wanted. I felt the quality of my education was not as competitive as I had expected. The only progress I made was advancing my learning in the American Sign Language but I felt that the English department was not a great match for an international student who wanted to major in poetry.
Challenges and Triumphs
Therefore, the experience in learning the American Sign Language remains one of the most challenging struggles I have endured. This process involved a lot of frustration from failing trial test and assignments. All the procedure continued for several weeks before I got assistance from my roommate Joe. He will remain forever in my heart for the much-needed help offered to me throughout the time at the institution. It was combined with the challenging environment I encountered in my English classes. All these circumstances left me behind in my program which worried my professors. It was with Joe's help and working hard day and night that I finally was able to take my examinations successfully. After passing all the necessary levels at school, I felt the need to transfer out of the institution. Luckily, a friend of mine with the same disability whom I have known for a long period of time offered to help me in transferring to the UMBC. I succeeded in entering this educational establishment as the year progressed.
A Positive Learning Environment at UMBC
After the transfer, the quality of education I received tremendously grew although it was not perfect. I had a lot to do to be on par with my fellow students. The college community at UMBC has also been an essential part in the growth of my education due to their positive receptiveness to disabled students. The professors offer technical teaching that is easier to learn and understand. The administration has also been helpful in providing the necessary learning materials such as note-takers to assist in the learning process. The lecturers allow flexibility in time and also provide learning materials to students.
Achievements at UMBC
The experience I have gained at the institution is different and better than in all other schools that I have attended. The students' rights in the institution are respected without regard to gender, sexual orientation, or race. This concept provides an essential conducive environment for educating. I have also managed to learn two new sign languages with the addition to the lesson content and cultures. The school has greatly enabled me to improve my learning process. This experience has been by far one of the greatest achievements in my life. The school has been a success and I am grateful for joining such a vibrant institution.
In conclusion, the challenge of obtaining quality education has been a struggle throughout my life. It has sometimes taken a toll on my education and my social life, leaving me traumatized. I have, however, sworn to give my best in all I do as I aspire to achieve greater heights in my learning.