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Home Spotlight Student Support Spotlight: Disability Services

Student Support Spotlight: Disability Services

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Image courtesy of UHWO Staff

Welcome to a series that highlights the services the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu offers to help our students succeed. Student Support Spotlight will profile the wide-ranging services that are important for our students and campus. The series has so far featured profiles on Advising, Admissions, the Behavior Intervention Team, the Bookstore, Campus Security, Career Services, and Mental Health Services.

Name of service: Disability Services

Where we are: Campus Center, C-241

Who we are:

  • Tom Hirsbrunner, ADA/504 Coordinator

  • Monique Sylva, ADA Student Success Lead

  • Yarilee Martinez, ADA Student Success Support

  • Nicasia Paulo, ADA Student Success Support

What services we provide: Our office provides support services to students with disabilities. Some of our students have disabilities that impact their academic performance, and we work with them to provide support for removing barriers to their success as best we can. Students with disabilities often receive academic accommodations, which are adjustments to our policies/procedures that help the student succeed but do not diminish our academic integrity. The first step in starting the process is for interested students to complete our online intake form, which can be found on our website. Our office also provides support to faculty in making sure their classroom materials are accessible to students with disabilities.

What we’re excited about: Our staff is currently working on supporting students and faculty in the new teaching modalities that have been developed for the Fall 2020 semester in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Many classes will have synchronous online/in-person instruction and we worked with students and faculty in pilot programs in Summer 2020.

What’s special about us: The students we work with have challenges that other students do not face. Student success is our top priority, and we love seeing our students overcome these challenges, graduate, and then go to the workforce or graduate school. As we work with students with disabilities, we often learn from them about how disabilities affect student learning. Students often contact our office to request letters of recommendation or to just let us know what they are doing after graduation.

What’s special about you: One of the great beauties of Hawaiʻi is the breadth of diversity. We look at disability as another type of diversity to be respected and celebrated.

Contact: Tom Hirsbrunner, ADA/504 Coordinator. 689-2935, hirsbrun@hawaii.edu

Image courtesy of UHWO Staff