Students with disabilities accommodated by universities can often find that the transition is difficult.
At Valparaiso University, director of disability support services Zebadiah Hill wants to ensure that regardless of disability, the transition to college life is a smooth one for each student. For any student, the transition is a significant challenge, but it can be especially daunting for those who have physical or learning disabilities.
At Ivy Tech Community College in Northwest Indiana, going beyond the legally required accommodations is important. “Ivy Tech is dedicated to providing an inclusive and fully accessible environment to all students,” says Sandra Senatore-Roberts, director of disability support services.
The school provides assistive equipment, including screen reading software, screen magnification software, and large print/color contrast keyboards. Closed circuit television and videophones assist students with hearing difficulties, and there is a small keyboard designed for students who have no use of one hand.
In addition, students with a documented learning disability can take advantage of audio exams, note taking assistance, extra testing time, and testing areas with reduced distractions.
“In addition to the accommodations, services and equipment provided by the Office of Disability Support Services, students have access to free tutoring, writing and math labs, supplemental instruction, office hours with instructors and individual advising,” Senatore-Roberts says.