The thought of starting college was both nerve-racking and exciting for me. Being visually
impaired, I was not sure what to expect. For all my schooling, I attended Perkins School for the
Blind, a private school in Watertown, Mass. Every day for about 19 years, I commuted from my
home in Quincy to Perkins. It takes about an hour each way with traffic. Starting college would
be a very different experience.
As someone who has lived in Quincy my whole life, I had no idea ENC existed. It was an afternoon in August 2016 when I first heard of ENC. I was sitting at my
grandmother’s kitchen table, eating lunch, and my grandmother was giving directions to my
grandfather. I heard her say something along the lines of, “oh, it’s up by the college over there.” I was
planning to graduate from Perkins the following year and was immediately interested. I asked
her what college it was, and she told me that it was Eastern Nazarene College. I looked it up
online and liked what I saw. In October 2016, I toured ENC and knew it was for me. The
campus was a good size, and everyone was so friendly. I knew it was the college for me
as soon as I walked through the door. In February 2017, I was accepted into ENC and graduated from Perkins in June. At that time, I started researching ENC, so I would know what to expect upon arrival.
I must say that my experience thus far has been excellent. According to the American Foundation for the Blind, there are 26.9 million adults in the United States with visual impairments. According to the National Federation of the Blind, only 15 percent of visually impaired students earn a bachelor’s degree. Knowing this, I hoped I could be successful at ENC, and I am happy with how things have worked out so far.
ENC has useful services for students who are visually impaired. One of the main ones is the
Center For Academic Success, located in the basement of the library. The ability to take exams there is
very helpful, and they can give it to you in the format that works best for you. I have been able to take
all of my exams there, and I did well on most of them.
Also, I would say that the professors want to see you succeed. They really do care and are
willing to work with the students. I know it has made a big difference in my education, and I am
not sure if my experience at another college could be this good.
ENC could do a few things to improve the experience for visually impaired students. The first is Braille classroom numbers. Braille classroom plates would help a lot when trying to find a new classroom. I would also love to see ENC put the menus for the various places to get food online. I think this would help everyone know what they want to get before they arrive and help visually impaired students enjoy a meal in the cafeteria. These things aside, ENC has done a great job.
ENC is a good fit for a visually impaired student. From the day I toured, I knew I found the
college for me. Now, whenever any of my visually impaired friends talk about going to college, I
always suggest that they give ENC a look. With any luck, the sounds of tapping canes will be a
normal sound on campus.