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      Disabled students confront challenges after graduation

      Sasha Rangel relies on her dog to lead her around due to her small space of vision.

      Despite the disability, Rangel is a double major, a career woman and a fighter against misperception. "If you are considered disabled, that somehow allows people to believe that you are unable to accomplish anything," said Rangel. At the Region One Transition Conference for disabled high school students in Edinburg, Rangel is spreading her success. She convinces students they too can have life after high school. "A lot of times having students with multiple disabilities or just one disability, there may be more support systems out there than people are initially aware of," said Rangel. Graduation forces disabled students to leave behind helpful teachers and school owned disability equipment. For some parents, it may leave them feeling as if they have nowhere to turn. "We have a tendency to feel that we may be by ourselves, or we may be the only parent of this child and they may be the only child in this area," said Rangel. At the conference in Edinburg, hundreds will walk away with new connections and a plan that allows disabled students to grow into extraordinary adults. Demand for this type of learning opportunity is so high, that organizers said they already filled up for this weekend. Organizers do plan to have more conferences and ask that anyone interested should talk with the special education director at their school.