By Anetti Bullock
By Anetti Bullock
Accessibility, empowerment, education and opportunity describe the vision of the Office of Disabled Student Programs and Services at the Riverside Community College District.
Disabled students who desire to obtain a college education at the undergraduate level can access this office which provides products and services to accomplish that academic goal.
“It is our responsibility to support disabled students and facilitate all aspects of their campus involvement,” said Career Development Specialist Leigh Cordery. “As a staff member on the Riverside Campus, it is my desire to assist each student that wants to pursue an education at our school.”
Prior to taking a class at RCC a disabled student is encouraged to set an academic counseling appointment with any one of the counselors on staff to meet their individual academic needs.
As students enter the office of Disabled Student Programs and Services, they are asked to sign in and wait to be seen by that counselor for their scheduled appointment. The academic adviser comes out and addresses the students by name and invites them into the office for their scheduled session.
After an introductory and orientation conversation between the students and the adviser is completed the individual educational plan for the student is devised. This individual plan includes the estimated time of completion of academic goals and objectives, classes to be taken and a list of accommodations specifically designed to meet the needs of the individual students.
The students are given instructions on how to maneuver around the campus, given directions on where the Bookstore, Admissions and Records, Health Services, the cafeteria and parking services are located.
Documented in the RCCD Disabled Students Handbook the accommodations and support services may include priority registration, academic advising, translation services for the hearing impaired, disability related counseling and referral sources, career counseling, note taking, test accommodations, books on tape, tutoring, accessible parking and short distance-on-campus transportation.
Located across the hall from disabled student services is the disabled student computer lab. This lab provides academic assistance in adaptive computer technology which includes state of the art computer equipment specifically designed to meet the needs and challenges of the disabled student.
“As a new student accessing this computer lab it is advised that you schedule an assessment appointment first,” said Adaptive Technology Specialist Garth Schultz. “The results will determine adaptability needs and accommodations specifically tailored to the individual student.”
There are two staff members serving in the computer lab available to assist each student as they become computer efficient.
The Disabled Student Services has partnered with the State of California Department of Rehabilitation to enable disabled students to achieve an optimum education by providing individualized rehabilitation, academic and employment counseling.
The services provided by the Department of Rehabilitation are designed to meet the individual needs of each client. Students within Riverside and surrounding areas and clients of the department of rehabilitation find there is an opportunity for academic advancement on numerous levels.
Services provided by the department of rehabilitation may include individualized academic counseling, financial assistance for achieving academic goals, transportation assistance, housing referral assistance, rehabilitation counseling and referral and much more.
A day in the life of a RCC disabled student can be an adventure full of discovery, excitement, rejuvenation and an opportunity for academic success.
The Disabled Student Programs and Services office is located in the front of the campus and is accessible with ample disabled persons parking.
For disabled students with a dream to obtain academic success against all odds RCC is the college to attend.
The Office of Disabled Student Programs and Services Agency provides an aesthetic individualized educationally nurturing environment to keep the students academic dream alive.