SSD Students

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: The survey will remain open until Friday, May 23rd.

                                          Thank you for your time and for sharing your experiences!

SSD is Accepting Nominations for Faculty and Staff Appreciation Awards!

April 30, 2014

It’s time to nominate faculty and staff for SSD’s End of the Semester Faculty/Staff Appreciation Awards! Have you had a particularly great experience with a faculty or staff member this semester?  If so, this is an excellent opportunity to show your appreciation. Your anonymous nominations will result in SSD generating letters of thanks along with a desk… Read more. SSD is Accepting Nominations for Faculty and Staff Appreciation Awards!

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Accommodations for Commencement Ceremonies

April 15, 2014

This information is for students who will be participating in graduation/commencement ceremonies in May. If you will not be participating in these ceremonies the information will not apply to you (yet!).  Please be aware that commencement ceremonies often require graduates to stand for long periods and/or use stairs to access the stage where you will… Read more. Accommodations for Commencement Ceremonies

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April 14th: Priority Registration

March 28, 2014

This information is for current UNDERGRADUATE students who registered with SSD prior to March 18, 2014 and are approved for Priority Registration as an accommodation. Priority registration time for the summer/fall 2014 semester is Monday, April 14, from 2 pm to midnight.  Your Registration Information Sheet (RIS) will not be updated with your registration time until April… Read more. April 14th: Priority Registration

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March 26th: Students on the Spectrum

March 21, 2014

 SSD will be hosting an event  that will give students with Asperger’s Syndrome or other autism-spectrum diagnoses a chance to connect with each other to share experiences and offer ideas and resources while enjoying pizza and drinks. Wednesday March 26th at 5:30pm in the SSD office (SSB 4.206) Several students have requested an opportunity to help… Read more. March 26th: Students on the Spectrum

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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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March 7th: Deadline to Reserve Testing Space at SSD

March 5, 2014

If you have extended testing time, and the instructor cannot accommodate you for finals testing, please submit your test request form for Spring 2014 by Friday, March 7th at 5:00pm. This includes end of semester testing and finals.  Since we have limited space for testing, please contact your instructor first to see if they can… Read more. March 7th: Deadline to Reserve Testing Space at SSD

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