March marks Disability Awareness Month. Disability Services and Alliance for Disability Awareness along with other cosponsors are coordinating events throughout the month to bring attention to disability issues. Stephanie Amador, DN File
Disability Services at Ball State Ranked No. 1 Nationally
Ball State University’s Disability Services is being nationally recognized.
College Magazine ranked the campus No. 1 for their services for physically disabled students. Courtney Jarrett, the Director of Disability Services, is honored to have a big recognition.
“While we don’t do the work we do for recognition, it’s nice when outsiders see what Ball State is doing,” Jarrett said.
The department works closely with a variety or departments on campus to give the students the appropriate accommodations. Each student with a disability registers with the department. Some of the specific accommodations include dinning plans and housing options. There are also various accommodations in the classroom. Jarrett believes the magazine article really recognized the campus for being accessible.
“Our campus is really flat, and our facilities folks do an amazing job with the snow removal and keeping debris out of the way,” Jarrett said. “This allows our sidewalks to be in really good shape and accessible.”
Jarrett enjoys being able to not only help students, but also see them break stereotypes.
“People with disabilities in general are told they can’t do things for whatever reason,” Jarrett said. “What’s great about the folks that registered with my office is that they defy that stereotype every single day.”
Lexi Westerfield is just one of the 1,000 students who works closely with the department. She came to Ball State in the fall of 2016 dealing with visual impairment. Now, she says her condition has worsened. She uses a wheelchair and is extremely thankful for everything the department has done.
“They have supported me and continue to support me through a condition that we don’t know much about,” Westerfield said.
Jarrett says Ball State has a long tradition of being known as a physically accessible university. If you would like more information about the Department of Disability Services at Ball State, click here.