5C Student Disability Resources Center to Open in Fall 2014

Posted: October 29, 2013

The Claremont Colleges will combine resources over the next year to open a centralized Student Disability Resources Center (SDRC). The center, scheduled to open in fall 2014, will augment services and resources currently available on each of the campuses and will be located in the Robert E. Tranquada Student Services Center.

The primary responsibilities of the SRDC will include supporting assessments and accommodations provided by students’ home campuses; advocating for and providing social and cultural support for students with disabilities; establishing cross-campus disability accommodation procedures, an inventory of shared resources and a disability resource website; and creating centralized, distraction-free and reduced distraction spaces for test proctoring and other accommodations.

The center will also advise the Disability, Illness and Difference Alliance (DIDA) student group. “I’m excited disabled students will finally have a physical space on campus we can claim as our own,” says Maddy Ruvolo ’14, president of DIDA. “I hope the SDRC will run programs that strengthen disability culture on campus and increase awareness of the disability experience for all students.

“Having conversations with other disabled folks has helped me get rid of the shame and stigma I associated with my disability, and has inspired me to advocate for myself and others,” she adds. “It’s been a long process to get to this point, though, and if there had been a SDRC when I arrived on campus, a space to promote such discussions and personal growth, I would have felt much less isolated as a first-year student.”

According to Denise Hayes, CUC’s vice president of Student Affairs, the process to create the SDRC began with the Student Deans Committee, in consultation with the CUC Council of Presidents, commissioning a study of the disability services and resources available to students at each of the Claremont Colleges. The recommendation from the consultants was the addition of a centralized disability service to the campus-specific disability coordinators.

Approximately six percent or more than 400 students at the Claremont Colleges have self-identified as having a disability, which mirrors the rate nationally for college students.

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