Students with disabilities have places to go

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

SDSU’s Office of Disability Services has strived to achieve the best possible services for students who have disabilities.

“SDSU provides multiple services for students who have a disability of any kind,” said Nancy Hartenhoff-Crooks, coordinator at the Office of Disabilities.

The Office of Disabilities provides services for not just students on Brookings’ main campus, but also for students all across the state. They are also in places such as Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Pierre, explained Hartenhoff-Crooks.

The Academic Evaluation and Assessment Office is another place on campus that has services for students with disabilities.

The Academic Evaluation and Assessment Office provides special testing accommodations for students who have a disability. This may include a quiet room to take the test, a longer amount of testing time or the student having the test read to them.

For those students who are mobility impaired, the university provides scribes to fill out the test for them.

The Academic Evaluation and Assessment Office is located at 920 9th St. in the old foundation building. All of the services that the office provides to students are of no extra cost to them.

“We really enjoy getting to know our students that come in throughout the four years they are here,” said Jo Ann Sckerl, director at the Academic Evaluation and Assessment Office.

The University also offers alternative format textbooks for students who have print disabilities. Students with print disabilities have the opportunity to use technology to aid in helping see the text.

“This is one really positive part of technology,” said Hartenhoff-Crooks.

For students who are deaf or hearing impaired, SDSU has a sign language interpreter available for their use.

Residential Life provides accommodations for students with disabilities who live in the residence halls. Caldwell, Berg, Bailey, Binnewies, Young and Hansen Hall are all wheelchair accessible on certain floors.

“Caldwell Hall is a great example of our best accommodations for students who are in wheelchairs,” said Peggy Spinski, assignments coordinator for Residential Life.

Caldwell Hall is wheelchair accessible on every floor and has special suites available for students who are in wheelchairs. The wheelchair accessible rooms include larger bathrooms that have roll-in showers, and the bath tubs have handicapped grab bars in them.

For the safety of hearing impaired students, every room in Caldwell Hall includes strobe lights when the fire alarm sounds.

Binnewies and Young Halls are handicap accessible on the first floor only, but the reserved handicapped rooms also include strobe lights with the fire alarm. However, in these halls, only the reserved rooms have strobe lights.

Binnewies and Young Halls are attached to the Larson Commons, which has an elevator that allows students in wheelchairs to get to the second floor for dining, said Spinski.

As of this school year, Hansen Hall has also become handicap accessible on the first floor.

For students who may receive a temporary injury during the school year, such as a broken leg, there is one room on every wing on first floor of every residence hall that is reserved for students who may be unable to climb the stairs at some point in the school year.

If a student needs to move to one of the health reserved rooms at some point during the year, it is of no extra cost to them.

“All they need to do is contact us [at Residential Life], and we are more than willing to help them,” said Spinski.

The University Police Department is allowed to issue handicapped parking passes for mobility impaired students.

Student Health and Counseling Services, located in West Hall, provides counseling to students who may have emotional or psychological issues. This can be a great help to those students, said Sckerl.

For students who just need extra help with classes, there is a math help center and a writing center that are available for any student’s use.

Information about Residential Life, Dining Services, Student Health and Counseling Services or the Academic Evaluation and Assessment Office can all be found at SDSU’s Web site,

#1.882558:1012508435.jpg:disabilities_JN.jpg:Handicapped access buttons like this one, which opens a door on the Union, are installed on all handicapped accessible buildings on SDSU’s campus. SDSU provides several accomodations for disabled students such as elevators in campus buildings, scribes for mobility-impaired students and longer test periods for qualifying students – all offered at no additional cost.: