March is National Disability Awareness Month, but every day should include awareness of diversity, inclusion, and belonging for all people.
People with disabilities have faced bias, discrimination, misunderstanding of barriers and stereotypes, misconceptions, lack of opportunities, and assumptions, especially when those disabilities are not visible to others.
Around 49 million Americans and one billion people worldwide have a disability in some regard. When misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding disabilities are brought to the forefront, attitudes and behaviors become more positive and impactful. Through self-education, we can create change and begin to better accept differences and disabilities throughout all areas of society.
Here at Ivy Tech, we embrace all individuals and strive to ensure an environment of belonging and support. The Disability Support Services Office (DSS) is just one factor in spreading awareness and acceptance towards disabilities that others cannot see, as well as those disabilities that are visible to others. Students may be struggling with Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Trauma, Mood Disorders, Chronic Illnesses, physical disorders, disabilities that impact a person’s sight, ability to hear, ability to speak, learning disabilities in areas of reading, writing, expressive and incoming language processing, mobility struggles that may or may not require equipment such as walkers, crutches, chairs and so much more.
Not every student with a disability will need academic accommodations. Still, for those who do need accommodation, the DSS office staff are always ready to help discuss options that can help ensure equal access to materials, learning, and college-supported experiences.
Ivy Tech students are supported through accommodations, instructor support, testing support, special programs, academic learning supports, universal design aspects within courses, accessibility actions, and more.
Instructors can receive disability-related consultation services through DSS at any time.
Not all students with the same disability have all the same barriers, so it is important to remember that each student is uniquely themselves, with their own strengths and support needs.
Never assume and reach out for help when needed.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.