Coming to college can be challenging for many students — in making that transition, some feel like they need help but can’t ask for it. Here at Kent State, students have the opportunity to work with Student Accessibility Services, or SAS.
SAS Director Amanda Feaster explains that the definition of “disability” has changed in recent years. According to the American Psychological Association, over 40% of college students suffer from anxiety — as mental health has become a growing concern, SAS ensures that students have the ability to seek help.
“If mental health, physical health, or any type of learning disability or anything like that is interfering with a student’s ability to be successful in school, we can talk with them about providing accommodations and helping them to have an equitable chance of being successful in college,” says Feaster.
Nearly 2,000 students across all of Kent State’s campuses work with SAS — they experience a wide spectrum of disabilities that present unique but surmountable obstacles.
“The idea of what disability is has really changed a lot, especially in the college setting — so in college, a disability can be anything from ADHD or a learning disability, or something that is a newer diagnosis like an anxiety or depression disorder,” says Feaster. “We work with students who have chronic medical conditions like diabetes as well as students with a psychiatric diagnosis.”
SAS is also there to help students with temporary disabilities as well. For instance, you slip on ice and break your wrist - they can help you get access to a disability parking pass, free transportation to and from classes, and work with your professors to ensure you’re able to take care of your work and yourself.
Feaster says nearly 85% of students they work with have invisible disabilities, so SAS encourages any student who is struggling to speak with one of their specialists.
“If you put a lot of work into going to school, we want to maximize that. So if there are ways that our office can help to support that by removing barriers related to a disability, we want to maximize the effort that students are putting in,” says Feaster.
To connect with SAS, visit their website at www.kent.edu/sas.
Maddy Haberberger is a TV2 reporter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.