Disability Support Services moves location

Dr. Mary Bowers, disability support specialist, showså off the new office space that The Office of Disability Support Services recently moved into.

Disability Support Services has moved offices in order to better serve the needs of university students, said Vice President of Student Affairs David Shields.

“This move allows for adequate and accessible office space for all of the DSS staff,” said Lynne Martin, associate director of University Health Services for Student Counseling and Disability Support Services. “More importantly, this move locates all DSS services in the center of campus, providing for improved student access.”

According to Martin, the DSS office has now moved to GUC room 112, where the Department of Housing was previously located, and also combines other rooms into the office such as part of GUC 110 and 111.

Shields said the new office is better suited for the staff of DSS and will allow more testing and in-house consultations for students. The old office was a third of the space that the new offices are, he said.

“Our desire is to promote the best services for students.” Shields said. “The idea is to provide the resources, support and tools students need to be successful.”

The move to a more centrally located area won’t just help students, according to Martin.

“This new setup is much more efficient for the DSS staff, students and for UNA faculty and staff,” Martin said. “All of DSS services will now be at this ‘one-stop’ central campus location to benefit not only the students currently served, but also any future or incoming students and their guardians who routinely seek out the DSS office for consultation.”

Martin and Shields both encourage students to stop by the new office and use the new space. Shields said coming to the DSS office is in no way a case of “I can’t make it.”

Shields said DSS does not in any way give students who use the service an advantage. He said DSS just “levels the playing field.”

“Any student who thinks they qualify should visit the office,” Shields said.

Shields and Martin said the new office is even better situated to give students all the privacy dictated by federal standards.

“The offices in the new area are very private settings in which students can discuss issues of a confidential nature with the professional DSS staff members,” Martin said. “Confidential record keeping has always been a priority, and the new space adds a very secure area in which to continue that priority.”

The true heroes of DSS are the staff of the office, Shields said. Shields said he believes that Dr. Mary Bowers, direct service provider for DSS, is one of those heroes.

Bowers said the new office space is all about inclusiveness and respecting diversity, which is the primary mission of DSS.

“I would encourage any student who has a history of having used accommodations at other educational levels or institutions to set an appointment in the DSS office, to at least discuss whether they should seek accommodations for their academic work while at UNA,” Martin said.

For more information, contact DSS at 256-765-4214.