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SXU's Center for Accessibility Resources leaves lasting impact on students


A university's success is dependent on the character and integrity of its departments. Saint Xavier University (SXU) is fortunate to have departments made up of caring individuals who consistently strive for student achievement. One department that plays a key role in shaping the lives of many students on campus is the Center for Accessibility Resources, formerly Disability Services, which is located in room L-108 of the Warde Academic Center (WAC).

Open to all currently enrolled SXU students, the Center for Accessibility Resources is available to assist students with documented disabilities such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), blind and low vision, chronic health impairments, deaf or hard of hearing, dyslexia, mobility impairments and even psychiatric disabilities such as anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Working on a case-by-case basis, the center offers students the chance to request reasonable academic accommodations that will improve their overall learning while still maintaining course requirements.

"Accommodations are designed to meet the needs of students without fundamentally altering the nature of the University's instructional programs," said department director Margaret Rose McDonnell. "The accommodations process is an interactive partnership between students, faculty and the Center for Accessibility Resources."

Through the center, students become self-advocates. They work with their professors to discuss ways their classroom experience can be improved. All accommodations are coordinated through the center and can include extended time for exams, a distraction-reduced testing environment, priority registration, books in an alternative format and permission to record lectures to supplement note-taking, among many others.

"It is important for students to have a place in which they can feel a sense of belonging and to meet with and work with their classmates," said McDonnell. "This area also offers greater opportunities for students to engage in educational partnerships with their fellow peers when studying."

When students receive this crucial assistance through the Center for Accessibility Resources they are able to fully enjoy all that comes with being a student at SXU. By making small adjustments to the way students with disabilities are learning, SXU makes a profound difference for the academic future of the students on campus.

To learn more about the Center for Accessibility Resources, please contact Margaret Rose McDonnell, director, at 773-298-3308 or mcdonnellFREESXU or Melanie Senerchia, office coordinator, at 773-298-3956 or senerchiaFREESXU.