University of Texas at AustinDivision of Diversity and Community Engagement

Disability Advocate

SSD is excited to introduce Sarah Vahle as the newest member of the SSD Team! Although Sarah is new to Austin, she is not new to the world of Disability Services in higher education.  Sarah grew up in Southern Maryland and attended college in Northern Virginia.  After spending a year abroad, she accepted a position in disability services and was hooked.  She has a passion for seeing students succeed and assisting them in working towards their goals.

In her free time, Sarah loves traveling, exploring Austin for the best vegetarian restaurants, and running outside to acclimate to the Texas heat.

Welcome, Sarah!Headshot of Sarah Vahle

 

 

Sing on door reading :"Interview in progress" SSD would like to invite you to participate in interviews and provide your feedback on two candidates that are being brought to campus to interview for the Disabilities Services Coordinator position within Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD).

The interview dates are June 3rd and June 4th, and the scheduled times/locations are below. Students, faculty, and other campus stakeholders are welcome to attend an open interview session. Copies of the applicants’ materials will be available at all sessions as well as a form upon which you can provide feedback.  We truly value your support and input in this process.

The times and locations for each of the interview sessions are below.

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 – Candidate #1
11:00-11:45 am, SSB 4.212, Open interview session for Students, Faculty, and Stakeholders

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 – Candidate #2
10:15-11:00 am, SSB 4.212, Open interview session for Students, Faculty, and Stakeholders

We hope you are able to attend and help us select a new member of the SSD staff!

Black Desk clock reading In Appreciation Services for Students with Disabiliites

This spring we received 33 nominations for Appreciation Awards! We are glad so many SSD students had great experiences with faculty and staff this semester and took the time to send in their nominations.

Here are some excerpts from students’ nominations:

[My professor] is the only professor who opened my accommodation and read it in front of me. She then asked me questions for clarification. After reading my letter [my professor] asked if their was anything else she could do assist with my learning in her class. She told me about the undergraduate writing center, which has been very helpful. I was able to succeed in her class because of the extra time she took to learn about my learning needs.

[My professor] helped form the course requirements around my needs with the best attitude I’ve seen from a professor. With other professors I can feel like they’re put off by having to, or shouldn’t even have to, accommodate for my needs, but [my professor] made it feel so normal and welcome by altering a few deadlines around my doctor’s appointments or re-arranging office hours to meet with me several times during the year to hear me voice my concerns. I really appreciate how much extra effort she put into helping me, especially when she helped me not feel like I had fallen off track and lost my way when I missed a major assignment. Her grace, kind words, and attitude of normality around my needs were a rock for my semester.

This is the first semester where I have had a professor not only know what my accommodations letter was and meant but was proactive enough to tell me that not only did he understand it was right for me not to share specifics but offered aid at a level…that set him above the rest…He empowered me because he treated me professionally and kept the choices and tactics in my hands while letting me know that he was available should I feel the need to call in a mediator. He acknowledged there was a difference, but he didn’t treat me as that difference and that meant the world to me.

She’s worked with me to accommodate my many health issues, using technology to help me allow me to participate in class when it would have otherwise been impossible. She’s been patient, understanding, and kind through the whole process. Because of her actions, I was able to truly do the best I could in her class.

To see the full list of nominees click on the following link: Clock Award List Spring 2014.

You can also see the past lists of nominees under the Clock Award section of our website.

Congratulations and thank you to all our our award winners! We appreciate your efforts to make campus a more accessible, inclusive and supportive environment for students with disabilities!

Box labeled "feedback" with slot on top for papersEach spring Services for Students with Disabilities turns to students registered with our office for feedback. We’re interested in knowing more about your experiences with our office as well as on campus and in the classroom.We take your feedback seriously and what to know what is working for students and where there are areas for improvement.

We request no identifying information on the survey, allowing you to respond anonymously and openly. Please take about 15 minutes to complete the survey linked here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SSDstudentsurvey2014. The survey will remain open until Friday, May 23rd.

                                          Thank you for your time and for sharing your experiences!

SSD Welcomes Jean Johnson as Administrative Associate!

March 18, 2014

Students, faculty and staff who have come through the front doors of SSD may have noticed a new face sitting at the front desk. SSD is excited to have Jean Johnson as part of the team helping to manage the front desk. Jean comes to SSD after working as an Administrative Assistant at a local… Read more. SSD Welcomes Jean Johnson as Administrative Associate!

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Feb. 25th and March 5th: ADA Student Forums

February 18, 2014

The ADA Student Forums are a place for students to share their concerns and suggestions about campus accessibility and provide  feedback on their experiences as a student with a disability at UT. The campus ADA Coordinator and SSD staff will be in attendance and pizza will be provided by the Student Government-Students with Disabilities Agency.… Read more. Feb. 25th and March 5th: ADA Student Forums

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Hot Off the Press: SSD’s Spring 2014 Insider Newsletter

February 10, 2014

Want to know what’s new in SSD for the spring semester? Curious about upcoming events and opportunities for students with disabilities? Then take a few moments and read through the Spring 2014 Insider Newsletter. You can also read newsletters from past semesters on our Newsletter page.    

Read the full article →

Feb 4th and 6th: Americans with Disabilities Accessibility Forums

January 27, 2014

Voice Your Concerns at the Americans with Disabilities Accessibility Forums to be held February 4, 2014 from 4:00pm-5:00pm in NOA 3rd floor Austin Room and February 6, 2014 from 12:00pm-1:00pm in NOA 4.106. A message from the University ADA Coordinator: The University created a standing committee, the ADA Accessibility Committee, to address institution-wide, systemic issues… Read more. Feb 4th and 6th: Americans with Disabilities Accessibility Forums

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Introducing Heather Kaplan as SSD’s new Disabilities Services Coordinator

January 9, 2014

Services for Students with Disabilities is excited to announce that Heather Kaplan has been selected as a Disabilities Services Coordinator at SSD. Many UT students and staff will recognize Heather because of her four years working and co-running the front office of as Administrative Associate with SSD.  Heather considers her time managing the many responsibilities… Read more. Introducing Heather Kaplan as SSD’s new Disabilities Services Coordinator

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Congratulations to the Fall 2013 Appreciation Award Nominees!

January 6, 2014

This fall we received 47 nominations for Appreciation Awards! We are glad so many SSD students had great experiences with faculty and staff this semester and took the time to send in their nominations. Here are some excerpts from students’ nominations:  …when I finally did sit down to talk with [my professor]  she made me… Read more. Congratulations to the Fall 2013 Appreciation Award Nominees!

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