The number of students seeking services from the Disability Resource Center has more than doubled since 2013, yet only one learning specialist has since been added to the center’s staff, according to The Alligator.
Learning specialists serve as consultants and primary points of contact for students seeking disability-related accommodations. These specialists meet with students individually to analyze their unique situations and tailor accommodation plans specific to their needs. Further, learning specialists serve in a supportive role and are guiding hands for many students who seek services from the DRC as they navigate college.
Currently, learning specialists are responsible for around 600 students each; and, because of this, students seeking accommodations often have to wait weeks at a time before meeting with a specialist, often leaving them in limbo regarding resources and services that are imperative for their success in college. As a “Top 10 Public University” that champions words like diversity and inclusivity, this is inexcusable.
The number of learning specialists should correlate with the ever-increasing number of students who choose to register with the DRC. This isn’t something that can be put off or pushed aside — every delay in allocating the necessary funding prevents another cohort of students from adequately accessing necessary resources for their academic success in a timely manner.
No student should have to fear being unable to arrange a meeting with a learning specialist in time to receive proper accommodations. No student should have to worry about being able to utilize the accommodations they already qualify for because of a lack of availability within the DRC due to space constraints. No student should be left without timely access to the resources they need for academic success.
To support Gators with a wide-range of disabilities and help advocate for the funding concerns within the UF’s Disability Resource Center, contact Student Government Sen. Keith Saint (Graduate, Inspire) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keith Saint is a Student Government Senator. (Graduate, Inspire.)