The Disability Resource Center (DRC) covers the needs of those with learning, mental and physical disabilities. Creating awareness is one of the components this center strives to achieve.
“I think for a lot of students – they aren’t comfortable with disclosing their disability,” says Director Candida Darling. This is one reason that awareness is important, so that students feel comfortable requesting accommodations from their instructors.
If one has a disability and needs assistance, the first thing to do is to visit the DRC. One of the advisors will assess the disability and, if it meets certain requirements, they will determine which accommodations the person needs.
Students may require note-takers, extended time on tests and/or assistive technology.
“The DRC helped me get books-on-tape, note-takers, as well as extra time on tests,” says Juliet Taaffe, a student with a learning disability who uses DRC services.
She also received tremendous assistance from Advisor Steven Lewis.
“He’s a nut, but a great guy to work with,” says Taaffe. “The DRC is a great place to get help. The people are great to work with. I would recommend anyone with a disability to go there.”
There are varying types of disabilities, with some hard to pinpoint.
“If someone uses a wheelchair, it is easy to know their disability. Learning disabilities are hidden so they are much more difficult to identify,” says Darling. When students are willing to disclose their disability to an advisor, especially if it’s a learning disability, they will be able to succeed better in school.
There are some students on-campus who have never been introduced to the DRC.
Student Becci Combs did not know the DRC even existed at Salt Lake Community College until her first day of school.
“I know professors have mentioned it in class,” says Combs.
Presently, the DRC is working on establishing a student club organization for students with disabilities. The plan is to raise awareness of disabilities at SLCC and in the community. The students involved will work on service projects and participate in social events.
If a student has a learning disability, there is a process involved with getting help from the DRC. S/he will need documentation from either a doctor or other specialist. The DRC will take whatever history this student can provide. The next step is to meet with an advisor to discuss options. The advisor will let the student know if any additional necessity is required. Once the student is approved for services, s/he will need to give an accommodation letter to his/her professors each semester.