DRS can help students with disabilities reach their goals


Krista Olson-Lehman/Clarion

The setting sun makes for a picturesque setting behind the Health Education Building at the end of the first day of classes on Sept. 3.

Vernon Ziegler, Staff Writer

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a piece of legislation signed nearly 30 years ago that expanded civil rights for Americans living with a disability. This crucial legislation allows the nearly 60 million Americans who live with a disability to be included in both public life and the workplace.

Madison College provides Disability Resources Services (DRS) that are available on all campuses with the goal to support students with disabilities to pursue their college goals and eventual career paths. 

Mary Cartier is the Senior Disability Resource Specialist at the Truax Campus and is an example of the professional success that can be obtained with a disability.

Cartier outlined the individualized services and accommodations available to students who wish to access the curriculum at Madison College.

Common accommodations include but are not limited to testing alone in the testing center with extra time, technology to record lectures, assistive technological literacy of textbooks and notetaking in class.

Notetaking is provided by paid volunteers whom DRS are always looking for and is a productive way to support students with disabilities in our community.    

Nearly 900 Madison College students were provided services by DRS last year and some of their comments pointed out the fact that not every disability is obvious. Experiences of self-consciousness and a desire to establish their independence can prevent some students from seeking out the support offered by DRS.

However, one student who had suffered a traumatic brain injury said that DRS had made a huge difference in their college experience and was instrumental in achieving their career goals.

Cartier stressed that although utilizing assistive technology may make it look a little different, all students do the same work at college level, and that graduating students have a degree that means just as much as if a student had not used DRS services.

Under the privacy act all services are confidential and are based on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) from high school or documentation of a disability diagnosis from a licensed professional.

To contact DRS, please email at [email protected], call at 608-246-6716 or fax at 608-246-6691.