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Monday, Sep 22, 2014

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Disability Services moving to Baker University Center July 18

Office joins University College


The Ohio University Office of Disability Services will be relocating to Baker University Center Suite 348 on Monday, July 18.

On July 1, the office also became the newest addition to University College. For the past several years, it was part of the Office of Diversity, Access and Equity (DAE), which is led by Brian Bridges, vice provost for diversity, access and equity.

David Descutner, dean of University College, said he was excited to add Disability Services to his college and thinks it will be a good fit. He said the change was presented to him by Bridges and Executive Director of Institutional Equity Laura Myers.

"Laura and Brian had the good idea that Student Disability Services would fit well within University College where our focus is student success and the academic services that contribute directly to student success," Descutner said.

"I very much appreciate Laura and Brian's innovative thinking and the great collegiality that the Disability Services staff, Carey Busch and Abby Webb, has displayed as we begin this transition."

Descutner said the move is important given the University's commitment to providing students with exemplary academic and support services, which is one of its Four Fundamentals.

Disability Services will join several other University College student support areas, including the Allen Student Help Center, Academic Advancement Center, Learning Communities and Veterans' Academic Services.

"I know that all of us in University College will do our best to ensure that Disability Services continues its commendable record of superior performance," Descutner added.

Despite the move, Bridges said the DAE office will still maintain a working relationship with Disability Services.

"We will still help them accomplish the advocacy function of their office," Bridges said. "We will continue to work together to promote equal rights for people with disabilities."

Busch, assistant director of disability services, said the move benefits Disability Services in many ways, including placing them in a building that is more accessible to the population we serve than Crewson House.

"Baker is a more accessible building and the space better fits our office's functionality," Busch said. "It also finishes our separation from Institutional Equity, an area that we have shared a building with for quite some time. We both also used to report to Bill Smith, executive assistant to the president for institutional equity, before he retired in 2007."

Webb, interim assistant director of disability services, added that the new location in Baker will increase the office's visibility on campus.

"The move will give us more of a presence on campus and make us more integrated with the other student services offices in the building," Webb said. 

Disability Services provides accommodations and services to students with documented disabilities to give them equal access to educational programs and services in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. During the 2010-11 academic year, Disability Services served almost 900 students.