The Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) of the Claremont Colleges, located in the Tranquada Student Services Center, opened its doors Sept. 18 with a grand opening celebration. The SDRC will offer centralized disability services for students, faculty and staff of the Claremont Colleges.
Among the services available through the SDRC are disability awareness training and workshops, instructional support for faculty, testing and study space, and digital and online disability education resources, according to Claremont University Consortium’s website.
Tammy Tucker Green will be the inaugural director of the center. The search to fill the director position began in September 2013, ending with Green’s appointment in March 2014. Green said that her main role is to work with the disability coordinators of the individual colleges.
“Across each of the campuses there are disability coordinators,” Green said. “Students with disabilities would inquire with their coordinators, and that’s how they would be eligible to be registered for services with the SDRC and thus be able to get the accommodations that they need. My role is to serve as a consultative nature to the coordinators of the campuses to make sure they’re doing the best job possible in providing the necessary resources to students with disabilities across the Claremont Colleges.”
Green said that all students with any form or level of disability will have access to resources at the SDRC at little to no cost.
“There are a number of things that a person could be diagnosed with that could qualify as a disability, [including] any major impairment that limits a student’s life activity,” Green said. “We think of mental health disorders, physical disorders, chronic systemic disorders, communicative disorders, learning disabilities, mobility issues … On respective campuses, each campus has to vet that request from the student to determine what they would be able to do [to help].”
Last semester, Pitzer College announced that its students would not be using the center, as the college was hiring a staff member to help its students with disabilities. Now, however, Associate Dean and Director of Academic Support Services Jill Hawthorne said that Pitzer has decided to join the rest of the Claremont Colleges in using the SDRC, following strong student support.
The center’s opening was attended by staff, faculty and students from all seven colleges. Electra Chong SC ’15, who attended the opening ceremony, said that she was excited about the new resource on campus.
“I think it does serve a critical need,” Chong said. “I personally know people who are struggling with disabilities, and [this center] not only provides material support but is a symbol to know that people are aware of them and that they are not just struggling individually and invisibly.”