Resources for Disabled Students

Welcome to Resources for Disabled Students (RDS)!


Location:  100 General Services Building
Phone:  (970) 491-6385 (V/TDD)

Photo of Students in Front of Administration BuildingRDS provides support for students with both permanent and temporary limitations and chronic illness/health conditions (physical and mental health).  Limitations include, but are not limited to, mobility, hearing, seeing, and learning.  Chronic illness/health conditions include, but are not limited to, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, celiac, and concussion.

What's with the Name of the Office?

Welcome to all new and continuing students!  

Announcements/Events

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Disability Dialogues

RDS sponsored a new program during Spring semester as a means of bringing Disability into the discourse of every day activities.  As a first time program, it appears it was successful. Topics covered: Disability in the Media, Disability and Identity, Disability and People of Color, Disability and Other Cultures, Disability and the GLBTQ+ Community, Disability and Gender, Disability and Chronic Illness, Disability and Mental Health, Disability in the Military, Disability and Sexual Violence. Disability and Disclosure, Reframing Disability and Disability Pride.

This semester's topics are:

Disability: In the Media (September 12, 4:00 pm, LSC 226-28)
Disability: In Athletics (September 26, 4:00 pm, LSC 226-28)
Disability: In the Workplace (October 10, 4:00 pm, LSC 226-28)
Disability: At Halloween (Is Disability a Halloween Costume?) (October 24, 4:00 pm, LSC 223)

Disability: Is it an Identity? (November 7, 4:00 pm, LSC 226-28)
Disability: On Campus (What Students See and Experience) (November 28, 4:00 pm, LSC 226-28)

October is National Employment Disability Month!

Colorado State University is proud to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme is #InclusionWorks.

To celebrate National Employment Disability Month, the Office of Equal Opportunity has partnered with the Assistive Technology Resource Center, the Center for Community Partnerships, the Department of Occupational Therapy, the Career Center, Resources for Disabled Students, and Ram Events to provide programming for the campus community throughout the month. Below is a list of confirmed events, and an additional event is anticipated.  This list of events will be updated if another event is added.  Please mark your calendars to attend these informative programs.

Disability Dialogues (See above schedule)

The Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA Amendments Act: Information for Supervisors

10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 11, 2016, in the Lory Student Center, room 312

This presentation provides an overview of the ADA and the ADA Amendments Act, protections extended by the Acts, a supervisor’s responsibilities with regard to the Acts, guidance on how to interact with an employee with a disability, and information in the reasonable accommodation process as well as new state legislation regarding requests for accommodations by pregnant employees.  Though the target audience is any supervisor at CSU, this free presentation is open to all students, staff, and faculty.  This event is presented by the Office of Equal Opportunity.

Accommodations for Pregnancy and Employees with Disabilities

2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 12, 2016, in the Lory Student Center, room 372-74

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Friday, October 21, 2016, in the Lory Student Center, room 308-10

This presentation provides an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, and provides an overview of the accommodation process at CSU, including definitions and terms.  This presentation will also provide information on the recently passed Colorado House Bill 16-1438 (commonly referred to as the Colorado Pregnancy Accommodation Bill) relating to accommodations for pregnant employees and how it differs from ADA and ADAAA requirements. This event is presented by the Office of Equal Opportunity, is free, and is open to all students, staff, and faculty.

Electronic Curb Cuts:  A New Policy with New Requirements

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Thursday, October 13, 2016, in the Lory Student Center, room 304-06

On May 24, 2016, CSU enacted a new policy: the Accessibility of Electronic Information and Technologies.  As an institute that values diversity and inclusion, the “University is committed to supporting an electronic and information technology (EIT) environment that is accessible to all, including individuals with disabilities.” Come learn why creating accessible material and information is important and get the resources and training to assist you with the process. Think about how much business is conducted electronically.  What if you couldn’t access that information?  Performing your job duties would become extremely difficult.  Creating accessible electronic material is vital to creating a culture of inclusion where all users can access and benefit from the electronic information. However, it will generally benefit all users in the end. This event is presented by the Assistive Technology Resource Center, is free, and is open to all students, staff, and faculty.

Individuals with Disabilities: Transitioning from Student to Employee

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Thursday, October 13, 2016, in the Career Center Classroom, Lory Student Center Room 120

The primary audience for this free discussion is CSU students and alumni but it is also open to all staff and faculty. This discussion will include information on available job resources for individuals with disabilities, how and when to self-identify as an individual with a disability in the employment context, differences in obtaining accommodations as a student versus as an employee, and how to request accommodation for a job interview. This discussion will also provide helpful information for students with disabilities applying to the Workforce Recruitment Program (www.wrp.gov). This event is presented by the Career Center in collaboration with the Office of Equal Opportunity. Although the target audience for this session is students, it is free, and open to all students, staff, and faculty.

What does your cell phone have to do with diversity? 

10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 18, 2016, in the Lory Student Center, room 312

How would your life be different if you couldn’t use your cell phone? Open the door to your classroom? See the writing in your textbooks? People face these kinds of challenges every day when the places and objects in their lives aren’t designed in a way that gives them equivalent access. This session challenges the audience to consider how the places we live, work and play, and the tools we use every day can be designed in a way that considers all types of people/ users.  Universal design (UD) promotes the accessibility and usability of products, services, and environments. This presentation will highlight the 7 Principles of UD, and attendees will understand UD as it applies to an everyday technology – their smart phones.  Ideally, attendees will understand that UD is good design, and think about how they can apply the principles in their everyday lives.  Bring your smart phone! This event is presented by the Assistive Technology Resource Center, is free, and is open to all students, staff, and faculty.

Hands-On Assistive Technology Exhibit

12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 18, 2016, in the Morgan Library main floor lobby

Come learn about the Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) and experience assistive technology that can benefit you or others with whom you work.  ATRC staff and Occupational Therapy students will be available for demonstrations and support you as you try out items that help you stay organized, keep up with meeting notes, see your computer screen better, support your reading and writing tasks, and tools that are already built in to your computer! This exhibit is presented by the Assistive Technology Resource Center and the Department of Occupational Therapy.  It is free, and open to all students, staff, and faculty.

Breaking Barriers to Employment through the Power of One

3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 18, 2016, in the Lory Student Center, room 312

Approximately 12% of students attending CSU have self-identified as having some type of disability and, most likely, many more remain anonymous. As students come to the close of their academic degree program many typically face a new challenge, how to build a meaningful and prosperous career.  This path can be difficult for anyone; but, even more so for those with the extra challenge of a disability that presents either a real or perceived barrier to employment.  This presentation offers a brief historical overview of the state of employment and people with disabilities in the US and primarily focuses on the opportunity to hear from a panel of individuals who will share their experiences with disability-related obstacles to employment and the steps they took to overcome those obstacles; ultimately, leading to employment success. This program is free, open to all students, staff, and faculty, and is presented by Cynthia Tate and Deb Spotts, Center for Community Partnerships, and panel members.  

Understanding Anxiety in the Workplace and Strategies to Support Health

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 19, 2016, in the Lory Student Center, room 308-10

Anxiety is becoming one of the most prominent mental health concerns in the United States today, affecting approximately 18% of the US population. For individuals with disabilities, the likelihood of having an anxiety disorder or experiencing anxiety at some point in their lives is even greater. During this interactive session, we will discuss how individuals experiencing anxiety can manage the disorder at work by exploring coping strategies that are appropriate for an employment setting. We will also discuss strategies the employer and co-workers can utilize to help alleviate and decrease anxiety related issues in the work place.  This event is presented by Cindy Sharpe and Sara Freeman, Employment Consultants at Center for Community Partnerships, is free, and open to all students, staff, and faculty.

Assistive Technology: A Platform for Inclusion

2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 19, 2016, in the Lory Student Center, room 308-10

Inclusion of diverse populations includes individuals with varied abilities. Over time, there has been great advances in creating environments that are usable by many individuals. Changes in legislation and cultural attitudes towards people with disabilities have supported these changes, recognizing that disability may be something that resides in the environment rather than within the person.  When seen this way, barriers can be identified and removed or reduced. Assistive technologies (AT) may provide a means to reduce disparities and to level the playing field.  AT may include things like screen magnification to enlarge print and images on a screen, speech recognition software to allow a user to speak commands for computer control or to transcribe text without using the keyboard, ergonomic keyboards such as a contoured keyboard, and many more.

Currently, there are approximately 18.5 million individuals in the workforce who have a disability. In the course of one’s life span, it is likely that everyone will experience some kind of disability.  Within the work setting, it is important to find ways to promote each person’s desire to participate and engage in the world around them.  The Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) on campus provides assessments, trials, and training on assistive technology for CSU employees.  Learn how the ATRC is fostering a culture of inclusion on campus and the wide variety of AT available to promote participation in work related tasks. This event is presented by the Assistive Technology Resource Center.  It is free, and open to all students, staff, and faculty

Disability Awareness and Enhancing the Workforce through Inclusive Practice

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 26, 2016, in the Lory Student Center, room 308-10

More than 1 in 5 adults in the US have a disability; many of whom are productive, capable employees or business owners.  Still, many people are left behind and their talents go unrealized.  This presentation will include simulated, experiential disability awareness activities and provide insight into how individuals, communities and businesses can best foster full inclusion for all people in the workforce and in so doing, reinvigorate work environments to the benefit of all. This event is presented by Cynthia Tate, Center for Community Partnerships, and Anna Walker, Assistive Technology Resource Center.  This program is free, and open to all students, staff, and faculty.

RDS is going paperless!

We are instituting a new process for students to schedule their exams with us.  If you are a student who uses testing accommodations or if you are a faculty member who has students with disabilities who use testing accommodations, please click on the Scheduling an Exam tab on the left side menu.  Instructions are available as to how to use this new process that will streamline our scheduling of exams.

Don't Forget TILT!

The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) offers a variety of workshops and seminars to improve your academic success.  Check often at the TILT website for resources that may help you become the student you were meant to be!  Tutoring, academic coaching, and critical thinking are only a few of the supports and skills you may wish to improve or enhance.

Students with Chronic Physical/Mental Health Conditions

In combination with ASCSU, a program to provide more support for students with chronic physical/mental health conditions will be continuing in the next school year.  The support is in the form of a peer mentor who can help in the process of managing the effects of a chronic health condition.  If you are a student who would like to be paired with one, please see Rhondda in the RDS office.  She can be reached at 491-6385 or Rhondda.Walker@colostate.edu.

RDS Express (satellite) in the LSC

RDS Express (satellite) will be staffed during normal business hours, generally from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  However, the lounge area will remain open to students until 7:00 pm, even if the lights are out.

Remember, students are encouraged to stop in, have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, check in with a specialist or other staff member, or simply take a break and relax.  The lounge area offers television so you might be able to catch your favorite daytime show.  Or you may simply want a quiet place to contemplate life or maybe even study after staff have gone!  RDS Express is primarily a place for students so we hope you use it!

Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society

The Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society will once again be soliciting applications for membership in the fall.  Be on the look out for the invitation to apply.

Billie and Dean Crouse Acacia Scholarship (aka Crouse Scholarship)

Billie Crouse knows what it is like to have a learning disability, and is determined to help others who are struggling to earn their college degree.  At age five, Billie contracted Scarlett fever and remembers this event as a pivotal time in her life.  Surrounded by other children who had polio, she told her mother that she wanted to be a social worker someday.  By the time she was in third grade, however, she could not read very well and school was difficult.  She had dyslexia but it wasn’t something that was diagnosed in those days.

In high school, not only was Billie running with a crowd her mother disapproved of, she was also considered by school counselor not to be college material.  Her mother did not agree and sent her to live with her father in England where she eventually attended an American school established for American military and government civilians.  Upon returning to the US, Billie then attended an all-girl college prep school.  But she had to repeat her junior year as the school said they could not make her college material in one year.  With diligence, she made it through high school and when it came time for college, she picked Colorado State University.

Originally majoring in home economics, Billie switched to English as a junior due to her love of literature and creative writing.  School was still a struggle; she failed German and Chemistry and consequently had to increase her credit load several quarters to make them up.  Even without tutorial help, she was able to graduate on time and received her BA in English plus a teaching certificate in 1962.

She went on to get her Master’s in Special Education from the University of Illinois Urbana and another Master’s in Human Services and Counseling at DePaul University in Chicago.  She met her husband, Dean, while teaching English in Chicago.  After moving to New Mexico, she and Dean established Acacia Counseling.

When Billie’s niece Tambralyn, whom also had learning disabilities, shared with her the struggles she had while earning her degree at CSU, it solidified Billie and Dean’s to create The Billie and Dean Crouse Acacia Scholarship Fund to provide financial and tutorial support for struggling students.  The scholarship is $1,000.

Announcement of this scholarship will go out to students who utilized RDS during Fall semester, 2015 and continue to use accommodations this Fall (2016) semester.  

Opportunities to be involved: 

Committee for Disabled Students Accessibility is always seeking new members.  Contact Rose Kreston, CDSA advisor for more details (Rose.Kreston@colostate.edu)

The Ability Club is another opportunity for students to get to know one another.  Those who are interested in Sign Language might find the Sign Club of interest.  Please call the office at 491-6385 for more information about these two other opportunities.

Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society will be inducting new members in the fall.  If you attain a GPA of 3.2 or better, you may be invited to join!  For more information, contact RDS.

Additional Information related to students with disabilities

For information on the Opportunities for Postsecondary Success (OPS), a program that works individually with students with autism spectrum disorders (autism, asperger's, etc) and/or tramatic brain injury (TBI), please visit the OPS website.

For information concerning computer technology access, please visit the website of the Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC).  Assessments for assistive technology are generated by a referral from RDS.

For information on Universal Design for the classroom, please visit the Access Project website.

RDS is now on Facebook!  Look for us and stay connected!

Visit our Disability Awareness page to increase your knowledge about disability.  Check out the websites!

What's in a name?

RDS operates under the philosophy that 'disability' is part of the human condition.  People have different strengths and limitations, different talents and challenges. When the limitations or challenges stem from a physical, emotional, and/or cognitive difference, due either to a temporary or permanent condition, the person may experience a disabling effect when attempting to function in expected, or normative, ways. In particular, when a student's limitations are more challenging in this academic environment, the student may be eligible for accommodations according to non-discriminatory mandates based on disability.  A student becomes 'disabled' in an environment that was not designed to be inclusive of human differences that result from physical, emotional and/or cognitive differences.  Accommodations become one way by which we attempt to modify the environment to ensure a student is able to participate and/or benefit from this educational environment

RDS recognizes the stigma associated with the term 'disabled'.  However, in our context, the term is merely a descriptor of the group of students who work with us.  Much like the category of African American, or Native American, the word is used as a signifier, and not as a label, and reinforces the political nature of the focus of what we do (civil rights).  We do not require a student identify as a 'disabled' person, but when accommodations are needed, a student will need to identify as HAVING a 'disability' which is defined broadly to include a range of conditions that affect a person's ability, including chronic mental/other health conditions.

 

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