Disability Support Services continues to provide accommodations with virtual access

Disability+support+services+is+located+in+North+Foundation+Hall.+

Emily Morris

Disability support services is located in North Foundation Hall.

Lauren Reid, Staff Reporter

Disability Support Services (DSS) continue to offer the same pre-pandemic services with the added option of virtual meetings. Individualized accommodations are available from interpreting services to extended testing time. 

Even with the shift in learning, DSS has continued to provide all of the services to students that would typically be available,” DSS Coordinator Christie Gough said via email. 

DSS is continuing to assist students with pre-existing accommodations and meeting with those who are seeking accommodations. These students can schedule an appointment with DSS, where they can receive an individualized accommodation plan based on documentation and how their disability affects their day to day. 

“We will continue to provide all accommodations that are approved for each student,” DSS Director Sarah Guadalupe said via email. “Accommodations are based on a student’s individualized need which is determined through an interactive process, whereby, we meet with the student, review their medical documentation and discuss what prior accommodations may have worked for them in the past.” 

As the upcoming fall semester is projected to be predominantly online and/or hybrid, Guadalupe mentioned many services and accommodations can be utilized online. For example, professors and faculty can make adjustments in Moodle to allow for extended testing time, as mentioned by Guadalupe. 

Additionally, DSS has introduced a remote interpreting service. 

“For students that may have vision or hearing loss and have been approved for accommodations through our office can receive interpreting services, which are able to be provided remotely,” Guadalupe said. “We began using remote interpreting services last spring when classes moved to a remote format and had great success.” 

As far as additional services, according to their website, DSS offers alternate forms of textbooks, alternative furniture, door openers, note takers, assistive technology such as visual mapping software and speech recognition systems, among others to accommodate students and help to provide a fulfilling college experience.  

DSS also supports housing accommodations and assists students with food allergies and dietary needs. 

As Oakland University heads into a unique and unparalleled semester, Guadalupe ensured DSS is an unwavering source of support for students. 

“Our door is always open to assist [students] throughout the semester,” Guadalupe said. “We are happy to meet with students to discuss their concerns or assist them with resources. One of our most rewarding tasks is advocating for students and [helping them meet their] goals for achieving a successful and rewarding educational experience at OU.” 

She also believes communication is a key component to success. 

“I would strongly encourage students to build collaborative relationships with their faculty and peers in the virtual setting,” Guadalupe said. “Communication is extremely important and students should know that the faculty and staff at OU will continue to be present and available, even though a course is being offered online. We are here to support and advocate for [students].” 

To schedule an appointment with DSS, visit OU Disability Support Services or call 248-370-4327. To take a look at various offered accommodations, visit DSS student resources.