Program Schedule

The Virtual College & Career Fair for anyone who wants to ask questions and talk openly about learning disabilities, mental health and the future with college and career professionals committed to helping all students achieve success

Saturday, September 24, 2022
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

Adulting Is Coming

The Different Choices 2022 Virtual College & Career Fair offers students, families, caregivers and educators a wealth of resources for students making a successful transition from high school to young adulthood, along with a chance to explore programs and colleges that can support your goals — and your needs!

Come gain insights into applying to college, undertaking an apprenticeship or finding a job. 

Learn about opportunities you might not have heard about. We offer a full afternoon of workshops, panel discussions and a virtual exhibitor fair where you can connect with career and college representatives dedicated to supporting student aspirations. Free!

The Different Choices 2022 program includes:

  • Opportunities to meet one-on-one with college and career reps and explore their virtual booths
  • Presentations and panel conversations, including stories from young adults who’ve successfully navigated their own disabilities through college and career
  • Small workshops led by experts to assist you with practical next steps, such as learning more about completing financial aid forms and writing the college essay
  • Private support and assessments from skilled service providers at their virtual booths
  • A menu of prerecorded films and presentations curated by the Different Choices team
  • Access to valuable academic, financial and training resources both during and after the Fair
  • Prizes! You could be the lucky winner of a resource kit!


Back by popular demand — three Different Choices online panel discussions that have been audience favorites.


Saturday, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET

Panel discussion.

Daring to Succeed Anyway: Students Share Their Stories

Hearing from others who have faced similar challenges in charting their way forward can help you get a sense of what’s ahead. How can you turn feelings of fear into focus on your goals? Can you have a social life in college? Can you stay organized and on top of your work? What happens when you need help?

This panel features students currently attending two- or four-year colleges, as well as others who are involved in apprenticeship programs or other work-related programs or starting off in careers. They’ll share their personal stories and take your questions. You’ll hear about some of the unexpected discoveries they made as young adults and share in some of their victories. Prepare to be inspired by their unique journeys!


Saturday, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

Panel discussion.

If you’ve had an IEP or relied on another support framework, you already know your options for accommodations and services start to change when you reach age 18, go to college or start a career. It can become challenging to find ways to access what you need. 

Only about 1 in 5 students with disabilities seek out needed accommodations in college, contributing to depression and dissatisfaction with the college experience. But understanding how to ask for the accommodations you need and who to ask can make a big difference. 

Many colleges and employers are ready to step in and assist—they want you to succeed. This very practical presentation, which includes students ready to share their stories, will give you the confidence and guidance you need to self-advocate and ask for accommodations, help you decide when  to disclose a disability, and evaluate options for accessing services you may need. 

Moderated by Katelyn Reinke, Assoc. Dir. of College Transition Programs, Beacon College


Saturday, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET

Panel discussion.

Here’s your chance to hear directly from college admissions and college prep professionals and learn how they approach applications from students with disabilities and support the aspirations of these students over the course of their education. The fact is more than 20 percent of all college students have some sort of learning or mental health disability—and colleges know this and have developed services, curricula, and supports that help all students find success.

This panel will include admissions representatives from a variety of colleges and college prep programs. Bring your questions and get good answers before you embark on your own college adventure.

Moderated by Leslie Thatcher, Director, College Success, Perkins School for the Blind


Saturday, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

ABLE to Save for Your Financial Future

Do you have an ABLE account yet? ABLE accounts part of a relatively new federal program that can help you save for the future and build financial independence—tax-free! Individuals and families can use these accounts to save and invest money to support the college and/or career goals of disabled people — from college payments to car payments and from down payments on homes to job training and programs — in addition to their Social Security and disability benefits.

You can learn more from this video.

You will also be able to schedule a private 10-minute one-on-one meeting at the ABLE booth to find out how ABLE can work for you. You can even sign up for an account at the Fair.

Presented by Brian Ingram, National Disability Institute


Saturday, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

Who Will You Become? Go One-on-One with an Experienced Life Coach

Choosing a major, internship, or career that matches your interests and abilities takes time, effort, and reflection. The good news is that there are some excellent tools that can help guide you through this process.

Sign up here to take the self-assessment. You can then set up a one-on-one meeting with a life coach who understands the needs of students with disabilities to discuss your assessment and some careers or majors that would be good for you. You’ll come away with a better understanding of what it takes to get to where you want to go—and the beginning of a solid plan for getting there. 

Presented by the Different Choices Life-Coaching team



Saturday, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

Panel discussion

Nearly 60 percent of admissions counselors say the college essay plays a critical role in admission decisions — more than grades and coursework, test scores, recommendations, and interviews. Learn how to write an essay that shows colleges who you are, and make your application stand out.

This will be a fun and interactive workshop for current students. Bring your drafts and your questions. One of our most popular sessions from previous fairs! Spaces are limited!

Presented by Lisa Graf, from Chandler Admissions Advisors (Bedminster, NJ)



Saturday, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

Panel discussion

Planning your financial future is not just about saving for college. Planning includes saving on the cost of college and expenses for those just starting out on a career. 

This workshop offers insights, resources, and advice from popular financial experts on the best ways for college- and career-bound teens and their families to find, save and keep more of their money.  You might think that financial planning is a complex topic, but a few simple principles will help you apply effective strategies to create a plan that meets your needs and starts you on the road to financial independence. Our experts will also provide answers in real-time to your questions and provide answers to questions that you didn’t even know you had.

 Presented by the Moody Street Group