Our week 5 coursework was enlightening regarding the adversities faced by students with disabilities within the collegiate environment. With consideration to the topics introduced in this week’s lecture, I was ignorant to the laws and policies in place to address the academic needs of students with disabilities. As a former member of the university housing team of a large institution, I am well versed in the policies and procedures regarding on-campus housing accommodations for students with registered disabilities.
Currently, I serve as a member of the student life team at a small institution. Therefore, I interface with students and parents frequently; many of those interactions are regarding the fulfillment of their student’s accommodation letters. Additional knowledge of the laws and institutional policies regarding students with disabilities, would allow me to better serve my institutional community. I could potentially element the “chilly environment” that many students with disabilities face entering post-secondary institutions.
The story of Temple Grandin truly resonated with me, as it illustrated the importance of understanding and community. In order for a student to be successful within the collegiate environment, they must be supported by their campus community. Student affairs professional can learn a value lesson from Grandin’s story. We have to be innovative in the approaches we employ to address the needs of students, especially those with disabilities.
I routinely meet with departmental leadership to discuss the potential needs of incoming students. However, I have never discussed the potential or current needs of students with disabilities. This week’s text and videos emphasized the importance of community in aiding students with disabilities in succeeding in the collegiate environment, as this is a growing population of students. Moving forward, I will propose that the Office of Student Life and the Office of Disability Resources meet to discuss the potential and current needs of students with disabilities.