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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Blind Nursing Student On Next Step To Life-Long Dream
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 20, 2005

GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK--Melissa Resnick has been admitted as a nursing student to the Nursing Department at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York.

That should not be surprising when one considers that Ms. Resnick has already graduated with honors with a Bachelor's degree in biology from the State University of New York, at Albany, and a Master's of Science in biopsychology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and holds a Healthcare Provider CPR/AED Certification from the American Heart Association.

Even with those accomplishments, however, the NCC nursing school at first did not want to admit Resnick to the program because she is blind.

It was "deja-vu all over again" for Resnick, who ran into the same problem earlier at SUNY.

In a statement released Thursday, the National Federation of the Blind told of how they helped NCC, one of the largest community colleges in the country, to see how Resnick and other students have used alternative, non-sighted techniques to complete their medical and other healthcare studies.

"It has been my lifelong dream to become a nurse and I have worked very hard to get here," said Resnick, who has been blind since birth. "I purposely took difficult courses in school and volunteered at a hospital just to be overqualified for nursing school. I am confident that I will succeed and I thank Nassau Community College for giving me this opportunity."

Resnick has been a student at NCC since June 2003. She applied to the nursing program in October of last year. After considering the information provided by the NFB, the nursing school decided to admit her as its first blind student.

Dr. Sean A. Fanelli, President of NCC, said: "NCC, through its Center for Students with Disabilities, which assists 1,000 disabled students each semester, has a solid record of working to expand educational opportunities for disabled students. We look forward to working with Ms. Resnick to help her realize her dream."

Resnick's efforts should make it easier for students with vision-related and other disabilities to be considered for such programs at the school on the basis of their abilities rather than their disabilities.


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