Loyola Marymount University’s dedication to providing excellent education includes students with physical, perceptual, learning, ADHD and psychiatric disabilities. The university established the Disability Support Services office to provide specialized assistance and resources for students with disabilities.
“My goal is that every DSS student receives the same experience and opportunities as any other student,” said Priscilla F. Levine, director of DSS.
The disability services office arranges accommodations and services for students with special needs, such as offering specialized technology for the reading impaired, properly equipping a dorm room for a hearing-impaired student and providing a room for a seeing-eye dog. All services are free and registration is on voluntary, self-identifying basis.
“Students with disabilities would otherwise be at a disadvantage but DSS helps put all students on a level playing field. Some students are especially attracted to our program because it is so small and the fact that they will receive one-on-one attention,” Levine said.
One of the biggest challenges for the DSS office is dispelling myths about students with disabilities. “DSS students are not remedial students. They are just as bright as any other student. We are not giving our students special advantages, but managing the services they need to achieve their full potential,” Levine said.
DSS currently serves 165 students, a 26-percent increase since Levine stepped in as the director two years ago. Future goals for the program include increasing outreach and making a DSS presentation mandatory during orientation for freshman and transfer students.
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