Shaunda Shaw & Shineil Taylor
Brianna Ebony Simpson
Childhood seizures made it so difficult for Chris Wesley to focus for any length of time that he was educated in a homebound education program. The seizures, which affect his ability to grasp concepts involving space and time, decreased as he got older. But going to college still seemed impossible for someone who couldn’t do simple math without a calculator. At Georgia Perimeter College, Wesley majored in history, soared past his disability, and graduated from the GPC Honors Program. His next conquest is to complete his bachelor’s degree at Oglethorpe University on academic scholarship.
When Wesley first enrolled at GPC, he just wanted to get through a few classes. “I didn’t think an associate degree was even possible. I knew my severe disability might hamper me from completing a full associate degree,” Wesley said.
At GPC, Wesley began to see how far he could go and realized that he could accomplish anything if he took small steps. The GPC Center for Disability Services assessed his needs and provided him with tools to help him navigate and succeed in the college’s environment.
During his years at GPC, he was given a note taker when needed, extended time on exams and the approval to write long essays on a computer. “The accommodations helped me tackle the challenges of college without taking away any of my responsibility or accountability to get the work done,” he explained.
Wesley found that GPC has a great support system for students with disabilities. He also said GPC professors really want to help and want to see students do well. His advice, “Go to the Center for Disability Services at the beginning of each semester; don’t wait until midterms to ask for help.”