Disability Services relocated, offers more space


Exam rooms were added to the new location at College Park.

Kendra Clark and Kendra Clark

With bigger spaces but a farther location from central campus, Disability Services was moved from South Hall to College Park Office Building during winter break of 2013.

Disability Services Specialist Stacy Patnode said the space is much more welcoming.

“It’s nice and quiet,” she said. “There is much more space here.”

Lea Anne Kessler, assistant director, said she has heard a lot of positive feedback about the new location.

“We have lockers now where students can put their things and coats,” she said. “A lot of students like having that.”

Disability Services serve students with both mental and physical disabilities, ranging from issues such as mobility impairment to autism to “hidden disabilities” like attention deficit disorder.

They help students who need extra time on exams, need tests read out loud, need an alternate format of a test and help with housing accommodations.

Kessler said one bigger change was the extra exam rooms they have for students who need to take tests at the center. They went from four small and one medium room in South Hall to seven small and one large room at the new location.

Besides the need for more space, Disability Services needed to relocate because of the renovation of South Hall.

“They looked around for a space and identified an open space here at College Park],” she said.

Patnode said South Hall was very dark and she is very happy with the new space.

“It’s very welcoming and quiet here,” she said. “People feel good about coming here.”

Kessler said there are 752 students registered in their office this semester.

On average, she said Disability Services proctors about 2,000 exams in an academic year. In September 2013, they proctored 164. This year, they proctored 198 in September.

“The numbers are always increasing,” she said.

Freshman Taylor McFarland uses Disability Services because of a walking disorder. Even though she didn’t get a chance to see the center in South Hall, she likes the services she receives.

“They are very nice,” she said.

However, because she lives in Founders, she finds the walk to the new location out of the way and inconvenient.

Kessler said students can use the shuttle to get to College Park, but McFarland hadn’t thought of that option.

“It’s hard to get there because of my walking disability, but now that I know there is a shuttle it will be easier.”