CSU’s Resources for Disabled Students works through CDSA to enhance accessibility

Audrey Weiss

Colorado State University’s Committee for Disabled Student Accessibility wants to hear more proposals from disabled students.

CSU’s Resources for Disabled Students main office can be found in Room 100, inside of the General Service Building; their satellite office can be found in Room 223 in the Lory Student Center. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

According to Joe Tiner, a member of CDSA, any student can submit a proposal with the intent to create a more accessible environment for disabled students on campus.

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“I would say the majority of the proposals come internally,” Tiner said. “Some of that comes from a lack of awareness about that committee.”

CDSA helps to promote the goals set forth by RDS by distributing funds to different projects on campus that enhance access for disabled students, according to Tiner. Tiner said that if RDS is seeking financial support, they have to get approval and confirmation from the students in CDSA.

The CDSA receives $0.50 a semester per CSU student, which is allocated to them through student fees, according to the RDS website.

“It was actually an ASCSU referendum to establish 50 cents per student per semester to go towards enhancing the accessibility on campus,” said Rose Kreston, the director of RDS and CDSA advisor.

Tiner said funds are dispersed based on proposals submitted to the committee, but because of their lack of proposals, there have not been many recent updates. The last proposal that CDSA approved was spring 2017, which supported the Leadership, Experience and Development, or LEAD, conference, offered as a professional development opportunity for second year students.

Kreston said because students with disabilities were targeted, LEAD organizers thought to ask CDSA for financial support, so CDSA contributed a small grant to assist in funding the conference.

“The CDSA grant created opportunity for students but also resulted in a more accessible conference for future years,” Kreston said. 

In addition to these sorts of proposals, Tiner said CDSA also funds opportunities for awareness on campus.

“We’ve funded some awareness campaigns—things to change attitudes about disability by creating awareness on campus,” Tiner said.

We’re here to make sure students are accommodated in their classes and have access to anything on campus that any other student has,” Rose Kreston, director of Resources for Disabled Students

Established in 1977, RDS has worked on the CSU campus to provide an inclusive experience for students with disabilities, which translates to their main goals of accommodation, advocacy and awareness as stated on their website.

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According to Kreston, in regards to advocacy, RDS represents CSU students with disabilities in order to make sure policies and practices are not detrimental to them. For instance, RDS works with faculty to determine what works best for disabled students on campus if their needs are not being met.

“We’re here to make sure students are accommodated in their classes and have access to anything on campus that any other student has,” Kreston said.

As of now, Kreston said there are 12 students on CDSA, comprised of undergraduates and graduates. However, any student that identifies as disabled and has contact with the office can join the committee.

“We’re here to support each other,” Kreston said. “We’re the advocates to make sure discrimination doesn’t happen.”

This summer, the office is to be renamed the Student Disability Center and will move from the General Services Building on campus to The Institute for Learning and Teaching building. The department will also update their website to accommodate these changes, according to Kreston.

Collegian reporter Audrey Weiss can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Audkward.