By NVC Student Kimberly Redgate
Do you know how the Access Office at Northwest Vista College can help students?
“Creating Equal Opportunities for Students with Disabilities” is the mission statement of NVC’s Access Office, which specializes in providing services to students who have physical, learning, mental, and psychological disabilities. The Access Office serves students with these disabilities by providing accommodations to help achieve academic standards in the classroom.
Sharon Dresser, Special Services manager of the Access Office, said the most commonly used accommodations are to allow students more time for exams, use a volunteer note taker or use a recording device. Depending on the specific disability, other services may be included in accommodating the student, such as a sign language interpreter, larger chairs or screen-reading software for those who are visually impaired.
Sharon said that not all of the estimated 700 students on campus who have confirmed disabilities come to the Access Office each semester to request accommodations. She believes some of the major reasons why this occurs are because students may be too embarrassed, in denial or don’t realize they have a disability.
Sharon recommends that students with disabilities visit the Access Office’s webpage to see what services are offered.
Based on the results of a recent Access Office survey, the majority of students who sought help from the Access Office ranged in age from 17-25 with the ratio of males to females being about even. They reported their experience to be very good in regards to how friendly the staff was, how helpful their services were, and how well their needs were met. In addition, their accommodations contributed greatly towards their learning, desire to continue college, and goal to graduate.