This article is part of our Campus Made Clear series. You can read the whole series here.
Transylvania offers a variety of accommodations for students with physical and learning disabilities.
According to Disability Services Director Amber Morgan, who cited federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, “a student with a disability is defined as anyone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, or learning, as well as many others.”
Accommodations may include classroom preferences, anonymous note-taking sources, and connecting students with off-campus organizations to obtain accommodations Transylvania is not authorized to provide. Transylvania also offers testing accommodations, including a quiet, intimate environment that is limited to six students per testing session.
Morgan, the director of Title IX and Disability Services at Transylvania, says that self-advocacy and independence are things she highly encourages students with disabilities to work towards.
“Self-advocacy is an essential life skill we all must learn, but self-advocacy becomes particularly important for those who have disabilities, as they have unique needs,” Morgan said. “I also refer students to resources within the community that can assist them in developing this skill.”
The work of Disability Services is crucial to Transylvania’s campus environment. Students with disabilities sometimes have issues that are overlooked, such as the inability to access second or third story floors for classes or to get through construction sites on campus.
“Everyone from administration to faculty to staff are being as accommodating as possible and always support students with disabilities,” Morgan said. She indicated a new hire will soon be working with Disability Services.
“Laura Scroggins will be part of the Learning Skills department. Laura will work primarily with Greg Strouse. However, as part of her responsibilities, she will manage the Testing Center and will be available to provide academic coaching to students registered with the Disability Services. Her office will be located in the basement of the library with ACE, the Writing Center, and Learning Skills.”
Many colleges strive to achieve equity within the student body. A large part of inclusivity and equity on college campuses is accommodating students with disabilities. This can help to put them in good stead when it comes to looking for a job, as they will have a better idea about what they could need to help them in their workplace. As well as this, attending a college that helps to achieve equality and can help you to look for something like a “disability insurance individual plan”, so you are prepared when it comes to protecting your source of income in the near future. Having these types of resources available to people with a disability now will only prove to be beneficial to them in later life. “To me, this is the ultimate way to achieve equality. It’s all about kindness and acceptance,” Morgan said.
She added, “I would love to see students create a group on campus made up of students with and without disabilities that focuses on the issues students with disabilities face that we, as a department, may overlook.”
Morgan can be reached by email at email@example.com or by calling (859) 233-8502. Her office is in Old Morrison 110.