Friday, April 11, 2008

Disability Services holds open house

By Courtney Westlake

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The 11th annual Disability Awareness Week at UIS came to a close on Friday with an Open House at the Office of Disability Services on campus, located in Human Resources Building 80.

"I think the week went wonderfully well; we've had lots of people attend the events, even those from outside our campus community," said Suzanne Woods, director of disability services.

Disability services at UIS provides academic accommodations to students with documented disabilities. Through inclusion, advocacy and support, the office strives to provide higher education and accommodation to all students by offering an environment that enriches their educational experience.

During the open house, the disability services staff gave tours of the office and showcased the various adaptive technology and services available through office.

"We are at the historic end of campus, and sometimes poeple don't come over here like they go to the library or the PAC," Woods said. "We wanted them to see where we are. We also wanted them to see our lab, where we have assistive technology, we have computers, and we have quiet rooms where students can come to take tests. And we wanted to see them in our own environment and see what a good place this is to come and work if you need a quiet place."

Woods said she was pleased with turnout from not only people from campus but the surrounding community as well during the Disability Awareness Week events. The office had a steady stream of people come through the open house between 12 and 2 p.m.

Woods thanked the campus for all its support this week and wants to leave Disability Awareness Week with the reminder that people can acquire a disability at any time due to an illness or accident.

"We just want people to be aware that people with disabilities are, first and foremost, people," Woods said.

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