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I'm legally blind. Will discussing my disability and how I've overcome obstacles ultimately hurt me? How well do colleges view people with disabilities? Should I avoid discussing it at all?

Colleges are impressed by students who have succeeded despite a physical disability, and it's not uncommon to see such students on the campuses of the top schools. As long as you are academically qualified for a particular institution, most will appreciate knowing about your blindness so that they can put your application into the right perspective. In general, it can only help you.

One thing to keep in mind is that you do not want to appear as if you're trying to use your blindess to tug at the heartstrings or gain the sympathy of the committee. It's also important to stay positive and to avoid clichés about your disability. Keep the focus on your strengths, and how you've conquered your challenges.

However, you may have a specific reason why you want to keep quiet about your blindness. If so, rest assured that you're not legally required to mention it.

This essay from shows how one student wrote about her deformed finger. It may give you some ideas.

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