Center helps disabled

By Ana Lapite

HIGH TECH

By Ana Lapite

Ramps, scribes, interpreters and elevators.

These are some of the accommodations made for disabled students at Riverside Community College. Some might think this is all that is available, but fortunately it is not.

“There is a TTY, a tele-device system for the deaf, on campus,” said Kjersti Berry, the front desk worker of the Disabled Student office.

A TTY, or tele-typwriter, is a device that allows the deaf to communicate using a phone. The person puts the phone on the TTY and types out what needs to be said.

“We also have wheelchairs and canes available to students,” Berry said. “There is a handbook we give faculty which are guidelines if they get a disabled student in their class.”

The Disabled Students Services have programs that are geared towards helping disabled students receive a good education and provide the same opportunities given to other students.

One program is for students with brain injuries, visual and health impairments who can use the high tech center and work force training that is provided.

There are other programs available to students with learning disabilities. RCC students can be tested for a learning disability and there are courses offered for these students throughout the year.

Different tools are available, like tutoring, counseling, test accommodations, recordings for the blind and Dyslexic which are on tape, and special classes for reading, writing, spelling and language.

The High Tech Center is also an option for disabled students.

“We’ve got specialized programs I train students to use,” said Garth Schultz, the adaptive specialist in the High Tech Center.

The center trains students to use adaptive technologies that enable students to gain access to college level course work.

“It gives students access to things they might not have access to,” Schultz said.

The programs include voice recognition, in which a computer can act on its own when spoken to. This program can be used by students who have no use of their arms and hands, or cannot use them effectively. JAWS and Open Book are other computer programs that help students who have poor reading skills for blind students. The program reads to the students what is on the computer screen. There is also a special keyboard for the blind that helps them access the computer. Books can be scanned and the student can arrange the text for easier reading.

Students can also listen to textbooks on CD-ROM or on an MP3 Player. There are also a number of testing rooms if students need to take tests and adjustable tables for students with wheel chairs.

“The classroom is also accessible (for wheelchairs),” said Mark Ford a disabled graduate student. “Not being able to walk is a disability, but you don’t let it stop you.”

The Disabled Students Services allow students like Ford to get a good education. All students with disabilities who are enrolled in RCC are accepted. They must provide written documentation of a qualifying condition signed by a physician.