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Student disability office provides COVID-19 accommodations

The Colorado State University Student Disability Center made significant changes in the ways they support students due to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the 2020 fall semester. 

All CSU students have access to the SDC and will be provided with personal assistance specific to their needs, according to the SDC website. 

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“Professors have been super understanding, and it was nice that, since I went through the program for accommodation, they knew me, and I felt more comfortable reaching out.” -Autumn Graham, Colorado State University junior

“The goal of the SDC is to normalize disability, including chronic health conditions, as part of the culture of diversity on campus,” the website reads. “The characteristic of having a disability or chronic health condition simply provides the basis of the support that is available to students. The goal is to ensure students with disabilities or chronic health conditions have the opportunity to be as successful as they have the capability to be.” 

With consideration to the many problems that CSU students face due to the pandemic, the SDC has created a COVID-19-specific list of modifications made for the circumstances this year. These COVID-19 adjustments can be found on the SDC website under “FAQs Fall 2020.”

These new policies include the option to take classes fully online for students who have a compromised immune system.

Immunocompromised people are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website on COVID-19 guidelines.

Students who would like to take online courses for reasons not based on a disability need to work with their academic adviser, the FAQ said.

Whenever possible, work with your academic adviser to identify online courses that satisfy your program requirements to allow you to limit physical contact with students, faculty and staff,” the FAQ said.

The FAQ also entails financial support that can be provided for students with disabilities affected by the pandemic and housing options for students who feel unsafe living in the dormitories.

Junior Autumn Graham described the office as a place where she was “incredibly comfortable going” and where she always felt supported.

“Professors have been super understanding, and it was nice that, since I went through the program for accommodation, they knew me, and I felt more comfortable reaching out,” Graham said. 

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There are some accommodations that the school cannot provide for everyone, for example, an online lecture as a replacement for an in-person class. As stated by the SDC website, there are not enough resources to provide an online lecture option for every class, so if a student cannot attend due to varying reasons, they should contact an adviser to find a fully online course. 

If students have situations or questions that are not covered by the Student Disability Center’s fall 2020 accommodations page, then they may call the office and be directed to a specialist who can provide answers in accordance to the SDC homepage. 

For more information on accommodations provided by the SDC, visit their website.

Molly O’Shea can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Molly_O23.

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