New office name, same great service for UT students with disabilities
Hello! This is my first foray into the UT “blogosphere”, and I appreciate the opportunity to reach out to you on this important topic.
As University auditor, one of my responsibilities is to ensure institutional compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is one of many resources UT uses to maximize the student and patient experience within our diverse customer base.
You should know that the entire UT community is highly committed to serving those in the University community with disabilities. This good work is coordinated by Wendy Wiitala – you may have read her blogs on this topic in the recent past.
Perhaps the people that most directly serve our students with disabilities are in our Office of Academic Access, led by Toni Howard. In October, I welcomed Toni and her team as they joined the auditor’s office. Toni leads a very dedicated and student-centered team of professionals that work directly with students and faculty to provide accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. The office’s student handbook details information about accommodation processes.
In an attempt to clarify the roles and responsibilities of this group, I am announcing that we are beginning the process of changing the name of this office to Student Disability Services. We understand that the name Office of Academic Access was confusing to some and we believe Student Disability Services more directly communicates the mission of this office. The scope and commitment of the office will remain unchanged, and you should expect the same level of high-quality student-centeredness that has been delivered for years.
We will be rolling out this name change during the course of this semester, and will solely use the name Student Disability Services at the beginning of the fall semester.
Thanks for your support and your efforts to serve our students regardless of need. Go Rockets!