In the Public Interest

What is the ODS

todayMarch 5, 2013 47

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Andrea Rodriguez

The Office of Disability Service serves students with a number of disabilities including: learning disabilities, all types of physical disabilities, chronic health issues, students who are deaf and hard of hearing, visual impairment, attention deficit disorder, and that’s not exhausted list by any means. According to Texas State University’s Office of Disability Services mission, their goal is to “ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to all university programs and activities.”

In order to accomplish this mission they provide different types of services that accommodates each individual student’s disability need.  General Disability Specialist, Bruce Coonce, serves students with visual impairment, all types of physical disabilities, chronic health issues such as cancer, lupus, multiple sclerosis and psychological disabilities.


 “Basically we provide academic accommodations. We review student’s documentation and then determine appropriate accommodations, and that would vary depending on what the disability is and what the needs of the students are.”


In order to be considered a qualified student for accommodations at Texas State, Coonce says a student would need to provide documentation to the Office of Disability Services provided later with a follow up to fill out intake forms for contact information.

“They may meet with us for initial consultation if they wish to talk about what their needing, then we review the documentation and then we contact them for a follow up appointment to go over the accommodations their eligible for, and that time we provide a letter for them to take to the instructors if they have academic accommodations in the classroom.”


Mass Communications Senior, Vanessa Garcia, use ODS for academic accommodations. She is diagnosed with inattentive ADHD which makes it difficult for her at times to pay attention to her professors lectures.


“I also get easily distracted by any little noise, it could be someone walking in and out of class, someone texting next to me, someone surfing the web in front of me, or someone clicking their pen. I use the Office of Disability to take my exams, class assignments, essays, and quizzes where I’m placed in a distraction- reduced location free from beeping cell phones, conversations, and pen clicking. I’m so glad the university has this fantastic service or else I wouldn’t have made it past my freshmen year. By using this service I have never thought of it as something I should be embarrassed about. I’m proud to share my struggles with anyone… they have made me into the person I am today.”


The Office of Disability Services provides all students with disabilities the opportunity to achieve their goals by promoting a supportive and embracive educational environment.  For more information you can visit their website at

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