Student Disability Services: New Name, Same Mission

UT’s Office of Disability Services has been renamed Student Disability Services.

The mission of SDS is to partner with the campus community in creating equitable access to eligible students while promoting disability-inclusive diversity.

“The name change is designed to better communicate the office’s mission and reflects the population that we serve—students with disabilities,” said Annazette Houston, Director of SDS.

About 1,500 students with documented disabilities are registered to receive services through SDS. In addition to working with student with learning, visual, hearing, chronic health, psychological and mobility disabilities, SDS also serves students with temporary injuries or medical conditions. SDS provides a variety of accommodations including note taking, testing, sign language interpreting, transcribing, and alternate media services.

SDS is in 100 Dunford Hall. Recently certified by the National Collegiate Testing Association, the SDS Testing Center proctors an average of 4000 exams per academic year. SDS also houses a computer lab, conference room, training space, and lounge areas.

Further, SDS offers scholarships for students with disabilities and has a chapter of Delta Alpha Pi, International Honor Society for high achieving students with disabilities.

Academic accommodations make up 99% of services provided by SDS. For this reason, SDS serves as a resource for faculty members striving to make their classrooms accessible and adopting universal design. Faculty can seek guidance from SDS on appropriate accommodations for students in their class or refer a student to SDS as needed.

“Changing the name of the office is an important milestone. This will aid prospective students, parents, and the general campus community to understand the scope of our office,” Houston said.