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The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Counseling Center raises awareness for disabilities

Counseling+Center+raises+awareness+for+disabilities
Emerson Collins

  The ULM Self-Development, Counseling, and Special Accommodations Center honored Developmental Disability Awareness Month by holding a workshop last Wednesday. The “Understanding Special Accommodations” workshop explained the Counseling Center’s policies and mission statements.  

 Special Accommodations Coordinator Kimberly Storm led the workshop due to her expertise. She discussed why events like these are held throughout campus and the year.  

 “The purpose of these events is to inform and educate the campus community on disability-related topics, concerns and services,” Storm said.  

 Attendees learned how to register with the Special Accommodations office to receive services and what qualifies as a “reasonable accommodation.” Storm defined reasonable accommodations as anything that is not a direct threat to one’s safety, a financial burden to the university or a substantial change to essential curriculum elements in classes. A few reasonable accommodations include extended exam times, braille exams, closed captions, screen reading technology and extended deadlines. 

 According to Storm, a doctor must diagnose the student with an impairment significantly impacting one or more major life activities. Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, hearing loss and visual impairments qualify for special accommodations.

 Students receiving services and those interested were taught how to enroll with the center. First, the student must initiate the process. Once they do, they are required to show medical documentation showing what impairments they might have and complete special needs forms and a release of information form.  

Decisions will be made on a case-to-case basis. Approved students are encouraged to meet with professors to discuss aid in their classes. 

 Storm suggested that the stigma around special accommodations will be erased by spreading awareness about disabilities.  

 “Knowledge is power, and celebration starts with acceptance,” Storm said.

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