Department Spotlight: Accessibility Services

Accessibility
September 7, 2021

How can students find you or get a hold of you? 

Tricia Simon's office is located in the Northway Building of the SCTCC campus in 1-454 near Lot A, Door 4 by the Accuplacer Testing Center. She also can be reached at tricia.simon@sctcc.edu or by calling 320-308-5064. Dean Wulfekuhle, Accessibility Specialist, is located in the Accessibility Services Test Center in 1-452 near my office. Dean can be reached at acc@sctcc.edu or 320-308-5757.

Who can students expect to help them when they contact your department?  

When you contact Accessibility Services you may reach Dean or Tricia for assistance. As the Accessibility Services Coordinator, Tricia is here to assist students with developing their Accommodation Plan for their disability and to navigate questions and concerns from students and instructors on implementing accommodations in a variety of settings – lab, on-line, in-person, etc. to ensure the student’s learning is meeting their needs. Dean assists students with general questions about Accessibility Services and what we do, schedules appointments, and arranges students’ accommodations for extra test time or having books loaded into Kurzweil so they are read to you. Dean sources text-to-read versions of books for students from numerous publishing resources and helps students load them into Kurzweil. Dean will also have a copy of your test/quiz ready for you when you need to take a test/quiz in our Test Center. 

What does your department do to help students?

 In the same way that we don’t all drive the same vehicle, despite mass assembly lines, because one vehicle would not meet our differing needs, those of us in education recognize that not all students learn the best in the same way. Whether a student just needs temporary accommodations due to an accident or injury (broken hand for example) or long-term accommodations for a documented disability (learning disability, physical disability, mental health) diagnosed by a doctor or if a student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan from high school, students will work with Tricia in an interactive process to establish accommodations to help remove or mitigate barriers in the learning environment. The goal is to provide accessible instruction and service models to improve SCTCC students‘ experiences and learning outcomes.

What services does your department offer to students?

We look for creative solutions so students can achieve. Students can receive a variety of accommodations in the classroom including: priority seating, access to Kurzweil, a text-to-speech, program, exam location with less distractions, exams in Kurzweil where they are read out loud to you, a variety of assistive technology (Kurzweil for reading, FM systems or Williams Sound for hearing, smart pens for writing), audio recording of lectures, priority registration, extended test time, sign language interpreters, note-taking services, scribe/speech where a testing proctor writes as a student dictates the answers on an exam, or the use of a service animal. 

Do you have any signature events throughout the year that students should know about?

You will see us at all major college outreach events. Thanks to those who stopped by during Cyclone Alley! Our door is always open, so please stop by at your convenience.

What are some frequently asked questions you get from students?

What kind of documentation do I need or what can I do if I don’t have documentation? Contact Accessibility Services and let’s discuss your situation and potential options. 

What is one tip you can give students related to your department? 

Don’t hesitate to call and ask a question.  We would like to talk to you early in the semester so you have time to utilize your accommodations and positively impact your grades and overall experience at SCTCC.

Kate Wallace
Posted in News, spotlights