UIndy Student Seeks to Break Stereotypes

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Leaving home for college is a big transition in any young person’s life. But for Megan, 18, the move from her home in Martinsville to the University of Indianapolis last fall was a little trickier than for most.

Megan has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, a condition that affects her entire body. She cannot walk and requires assistance with most independent activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, transferring from her wheelchair, transportation, meal preparation, etc.

“I wanted to break the stereotype and show that people with cerebral palsy can get an education. Plus, I just like learning,” Megan said.

Living on campus required some careful planning. Megan was approved for a home health aide for four hours each morning and evening to attend to her physical needs. She also receives three hours of companion care during the day to help her transition between classes.

Megan is in her second semester at UIndy, but she recently changed her major from music education to elementary education.

“Academically, my first semester went pretty well,” she said. “But the National Association for Schools of Music is pretty insistent about majors taking piano, which doesn’t work with my disability. So I switched to elementary education, which still allows me to work with kids.”

“One of the reasons I chose this school is because the class sizes here are small and everyone is really nice. Sometimes I have to get the teacher’s attention or I have to ask, ‘Hey, can you get this out of my backpack?’ People here are always willing to help,” she said.

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