Disability Awareness Week Begins at Texas Tech
This week begins Texas Tech University's annual Disability Awareness Week to highlight the importance of an inclusive, diverse and accessible campus with events occurring daily throughout the week.
Hosted by Student Disability Services along with other Texas Tech departments and organizations, the week will offer a variety of events, including movie screenings, games, a disabilities panel and an appearance by Jeremy Poincenot, a blind professional golfer and inspirational speaker.
A kickoff event will begin Disability Awareness Week at 11 a.m. today (Oct. 24) at the Student Union Building (SUB) North Plaza. The event will include an appearance of the Texas Tech Masked Rider along with giveaways and free T-shirts.
“Generating awareness for students with disabilities ultimately creates a more inclusive and accessible environment for everyone,” said Larry Phillippe, director of Student Disability Services.
Texas Tech's Student Disability Services works to enhance each student's learning through programs and services for students with disabilities. The department's goal is to help students succeed with their academic, career and personal goals regardless of any physical, learning, psychological or other documented disability a student might have.
Its services include:
- Course, classroom and testing accommodations
- Working with instructors
- Accessibility and service/resource information
- Disability awareness education
- Sign language interpreter services
- Coordination of support programs and services with campus departments
- Consulting, counseling and assistance in resolving problems
- Leadership and interpersonal skills development opportunities
- Loaning of some assistive devices
- Drop-in tutoring and more
“Student Disability Services provides services for students with disabilities as well as support for faculty and staff who work with students with disabilities,” said Tamara Mancini, senior assistant director of SDS. “We are fortunate to have great support from administrators who help us have the necessary resources to assist the 2,400-plus students registered with our office.
“These vast resources allow Student Disability Services to help students on many levels. Not only do we facilitate the individual classroom accommodations students need to succeed, but we also are able to coach students on ways to advocate for themselves.”
Another program that helps students with disabilities is the university's TECHniques Center, which provides one-on-one tutoring for students with documented learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) and/or autism spectrum disorders, as well as academic counseling services to provide individualized services and structures to help students succeed academically.
They also provide supplemental academic and career advising, referrals to campus resources and services and co-curricular involvement opportunities.
“The TECHniques Center is an important asset to Texas Tech and its students,” said Brandi Schreiber, program director of the TECHniques Center. “It is the only program of its kind in Texas, in which peer tutors are trained to tutor undergraduate students with documented evidence of a learning disability. Many students choose to attend Texas Tech because they want to be a part of this program.”
In the past 10 years, the TECHniques Center has had an average retention rate of 97-99 percent and provides 85-90 job opportunities for students each semester to be tutors. Students who work as tutors at the center receive extensive training for tutoring and working with students who learn differently. They also can earn a College Reading and Learning Association tutor certification as well as an Association for the Tutoring Profession individual tutor certification.
Through Student Disability Services and the TECHniques Center, the university provides assistance to help students succeed while earning their college education but beyond that as well.
To show support for Disability Awareness Week, the Texas Tech community can pick up a wristband at events occurring at the SUB and wear it throughout the week. Students also can attend events and share experiences with the #TTUDAW16 hashtag. Student Disability Services will give out door prizes at events for the week.
To see the full list of events during Disability Awareness Week, visit its website.