Disability Resource Center adapts during campus closure
Abby Epstein – News Writer
It is still open for business and helping students through this difficult time — the Disability Resource Center has moved online and is still available for students who uses its resources.
The center has added technology, so they are still able to receive and respond to students who call the office.
“If our main line and individual extensions are called, we can answer and respond to calls,” said Disability Resource Center Director Goldie Adele.
They have not lost any of their services offered to students.
“We continue to host weekly appts, intake meetings, math tutorials via teams video link etcetera. We have created a seamless process, where all services we provided have continued,” said Adele.
He said the students who he has heard from are doing okay and are being connected to the right resources.
“The disability resource center did reach out to me and offered support,” said social work major, Isabel Rosario, a sophomore.
Film major, Jonathan Meyers, a junior is one student who said he has not had much success with the Disability Resource Center reaching out to him.
“The DRC has not helped me yet, though I am waiting to hear back from them,” said Meyers.
The Disability Resource Center did have faculty members go through a training during spring break on how to teach online and it did include accessibility.
“We sent an email to faculty reminding them that applicable accommodations are valid,” said Adele. “We are open to address their concerns and encouraging them to be flexible with students.”
Meyers, however, said he has been adjusting to his classes, but it is not the same because it is hard for him to communicate with professors over email.
“Since most of them are using zoom I can still get the ‘full’ experience,” said Meyers.
The biggest challenge the disability center has faced is losing face-to-face contact. While they still reach students over Teams and WebEx, Adele mentions it is not the same.
“It’s different for students and us. Students usually enjoy stopping by our office to chat,” said Adele.
The center has been in contact with the dean of students finding ways to stay pro-active in reaching faculty and students.
“We understand it’s a difficult transition and new to all of us, but we are trying to be pro-active and collaborate with other offices like counseling services, so students get the right supports,” said Adele.
Rosario said she decided to drop her classes and retake them in the fall due personal reasons despite attempting to do classes for a week and half before deciding to drop them.
“The platform that the school was using was very accessible,” said Rosario.
The Disability Resource Center is also a part of the Board of Regents accessibility council. This council is made up of disability service offices at all community colleges and universities.
“We meet each week to share ideas and updates on how we are accommodating our students, trends we are seeing, and problem-solve,” said Adele.
At the end of the day, Adele said he wants to make sure all the students are receiving the help they need.
“Granted we have lost the personal contact with students,” he said, “but we have done our best to continue services.”