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Spring 1999 UCLA
UCLA Office for Students with Disabilities
by Kathy Molini, Director, Office for Students with Disabilities
It is hard to believe that we are getting close to the time of year that our thinking and planning turns to summer. Some of us make plans to travel and others look for summer employment. For those of you who are thinking about traveling, and could use some tips on travel for persons with disabilities, check out "Kathy's Corner" in the Spring 1998 issue of New Horizons by going to our web site (www.osd.ucla.edu).
For those of you who plan to work over the summer, I thought it would be worth resurrecting the very informative article by Cynthia Thompson of UCLA's Career Center. The article offers many important pointers, and can be found on page 5 of this issue.
Whatever you end up doing, have a great time!
Articles in this Issue
by Fanny Shwartz
Fanny is a Proctor in the OSD Resource Room
On February 9, 1999, I and 21 others set out on a visit to Cuba. We represented the Friendship Force, an organization dedicated to meeting and sharing knowledge and understanding with the people of other countries. We were to be the guests of the Council of Churches in Havana and had received State Department permission to enter the country. However, because there is an American embargo against Cuba, we had to fly to Cancun, Mexico and cross the border from there.
We were all aware that we were visiting a country with a socialist system of government that has existed for forty years under the leadership of Fidel Castro. We were eager to meet the people and learn first hand how they were doing. The director of the Council of Churches had divided us up into pairs and assigned us to hosts who had volunteered their homes and their hospitality.
Phyllis, a friend, and I became the guests of Guillermo and Isabella Hernandez who lived about forty minutes outside of Havana. This turned out to be an advantage. We experienced a rural life style with roosters, hens and pigs outside our bedroom window. I can attest to roosters crowing much before dawn and to pigs oinking at odd hours. Sleeplessness notwithstanding, we managed to start the day with a cold shower (no hot water available) and eat a nourishing breakfast of juice, bread, cheese, eggs and a delicious Cuban coffee.
After breakfast we were driven through sugar cane fields, vegetable gardens, lanes of banyan trees and acres of greenery. All the participants congregated at the Council of Churches to start our days of sight seeing, visiting historical places, shopping at flea markets, eating at local restaurants, touring museums and walking through Old Havana. We were driven in pre-Castro American Chevys and Fords that dated back to the fifties. The newer cars had come from Russia. All were in sad states of disrepair but managed to clink along. Best of all we were always in the company of Cubans who were eager to show us their country and were proud of many of their achievements. They spoke highly of their educational, medical and social progress. They voiced dissatisfaction with the embargo that kept them from getting needed supplies, medicines, and material necessities. While we saw no homeless or hungry, we saw a society that was struggling to maintain itself. Buildings are in a state of decay and there is no money for repairs.
Cuba is in a state of flux with an uncertain future. The most impressive part was the people. The Cubans are friendly, warm, communicative, enthusiastic and hospitable. They have a sense of humor and a positive attitude. They're family oriented and value community. We joined them in songfests, danced with them to Latin music and learned that "mañana" is good enough. We parted with hugs and kisses and promises to return.
by Ed McCloskey, Mobility Assistance Program Coordinator
Many persons at UCLA may not know of ways to avoid some hills or inclement weather while traversing the campus. For students who use wheelchairs or crutches the following short cuts may be of great value.
To ease the incline near the Northeast part of campus, use the AGSM (Andersen Graduate School of Management) and Parking Structure 5. The fourth floor of the AGSM leads to the sixth level of structure 5, which leads to the patio area between the North Campus Eatery and the north end of Rolfe. There are four elevators in the AGSM but none in Lot 5.
To avoid a greater part of the incline on Bruin Walk between the Residence Halls and Westwood Plaza use the elevator at the LATC (Los Angeles Tennis Center). This means using the top level of the Tennis Center seating area.
To avoid some of the slope of Bruin Walk between Powell and Westwood Plaza use the elevators in Ackerman to the connecting bridge between level 1 of Akermann and the second floor of Kerchoff to the patio between Moore and Powell.
If you know of any other handy shortcuts let us know so we can pass them on to our readers.
Please remember to let the OSD know each time you change your address in order to continue to receive the newsletter and other important mailings regarding priority enrollment, proctoring, van transportation, etc.
Changing your address with the Registrar's Office DOES NOT change your address with OSD records. You can call the office, e-mail us or come in and fill out a "change of address" slip to ensure that you receive office information and notifications.
The bold portion of a phone number is the on-campus extension number.
Get to know other students in the Learning Disabilities Program. Share success strategies, concerns and solutions!
Put these dates on your calendar!
Wednesday, April 14 4:00-5:30, Murphy Hall 151
We need your participation. Volunteer to become a peer-mentor to a Fall '99 new student.
Pizza - Soda - Good Company
To RSVP or for information, call Arline - (310) 825-1501.
Applications are now being accepted for the Bill Tainter Public Service Internship with the County of Los Angeles. The internship was created in memory of Bill Tainter, a nationally recognized leader and role model in the disability community. It is awarded each year to a disabled person who exhibits the same intense pride and belief in the independent living movement as the internship's namesake.
The internship is for six months and includes a cash award. College students with an interest in disabilities issues are encouraged to apply. Computer skills are helpful. Duties may include: data entry, limited research, letter composition, public referrals, attending Commission and County Board of Supervisors meetings, and other related duties.
For more information and applications, contact Michael Castillo at the LA County Commission on Disabilities at (213) 974-1053. The application deadline is September 24, 1999.
A major campus-wide project was begun late Winter Quarter. It involves upgrading and expanding electrical capabilities of many buildings on campus. A primary part of this project is digging and trenching near many buildings. In early April the north end of the Court of Sciences will be impacted.
Haines Hall is closed for the next two to three years for seismic upgrades and extensive remodeling. Many of the offices in Haines have been relocated to Hershey Hall and the B level of Murphy Hall. Please call the Office you wish to visit first to ascertain the exact location.
Construction continues for the Westwood Office Building, located at the corner of Westwood and Strathmore directly adjacent to Parking Structure 8. All Parking and Commuter Services are open during the remodel and addition. However, the sidewalk along the construction corner is closed.
The additions to Wooden and Morgan continue as well. Even though there is a great deal of fencing in the area, both of these buildings are accessible.
Construction is progressing along for the Janns Auto Court. This underground parking facility is attached to Lot 4 between the Men's Gym and Dance Buildings.
The DeNeve Plaza Project continues with little impact to pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the Residence Hall area.
The small parking lot east of Knudsen Hall remains closed because it is a staging area for the interior remodel of Knudsen.
Please call the OSD Campus Construction Information Hotline at 206-2737 or the OSD at 825-1501 for daily specifics and more information.
The OSD's newly redesigned web page will soon be available. The site will be a complete source of information about OSD services, policies, procedures and staff. OSD publications including the new student handbook, service guidelines and New Horizons will be online.
George Auletta has been working hard to make the new web page complete and easy to use. Be sure to check it out!
The ADA & 504 Compliance Office:
The Compliance Office is located in Murphy Hall, Room A-239. For more information please contact: (Voice) 310-825-2242, (TTY) 310-206-3349, (FAX) 310-825-3688
by Cynthia Thomas, Counselor, Supervisor, UCLA Career Center
* (adapted from a guide by the same title, written by Cynthia Thomas and Catherine Schmitt formerly Career Counselor and Workability Counselor respectively at Cal Poly Pomona)
In presenting workshops on resume writing, interviewing, and other job search strategies, I am encountering an increased number of inquiries from students regarding how they should or could talk about their disabilities during the various stages of the employment process. "Do I need to indicate on my resume that I am hearing impaired even though I read lips well and don't need an interpreter?" one student asked. Another student, who used crutches said, When I go for the interview, they can see that I have a disability, so I never even mention it. Is that okay?" Confused and worried, another student admitted, "I have no idea what I should say about my learning disability."
The American Disabilities Act (ADA) provides for the protection from discrimination of qualified candidates with disabilities who can, with or without reasonable accommodation, perform the essential functions of the position. Under the ADA, the employer only has the obligation to make "reasonable accommodations" for known disabilities.
Maybe you have not thought about the issue of disclosing before or perhaps you have agonized about it for many hours. Either way, the goal of this article is to acquaint you with some of the key issues surrounding this matter and to encourage you to seek more information.
Whether or not you should disclose information about your disability in the employment process varies from situation to situation. There is no one right answer. Even though it depends on the individual circumstances of the case, there are some important considerations for you to keep in mind when you make the decision.
The following chart addresses some of the differences in impact of disclosing at various stages of the process.
The bottom line question should be: Does disclosing this information at this time and in this way bring me closer to getting the job offer and getting the appropriate accommodation(s) I need to perform the essential functions of the job?
If your disability has any bearing on your ability to do the job or needing an accommodation in the workplace, it is advisable to mention it at some point in the job search process. This is extremely important because under the ADA guidelines, employers only have to make reasonable accommodations for known disabilities.
If your disability is visible, you might think that you don't have to mention the disability because it is apparent to the potential employer and shouldn't make any difference. That's true to some extent; however, it is important for you to realize that even though employers are prohibited from asking you about your disability, they may be curious or even a little uncomfortable about your disability. Your disclosing appropriate information eases any misgivings or nagging doubts and also answers unspoken questions which the potential employer may have about your ability to perform the job. In addition, especially if you have a hidden disability, disclosing appropriate information may give you a sense of openness, honesty and peace of mind.
If you have a hidden disability, the most obvious disadvantage of disclosing your disability in the interview is that it may bring up all the preconceived notions and/or stereotypes that the employer has about that disability. If you are not well prepared when you disclose, the result may be a negative impression on the employer. Therefore, it is your responsibility to discuss your disability in a clear, non-threatening and concise manner.
Depending on your disability, you determine when to disclose. Honesty and openness are important, however you may not need to disclose in the first interview or ever. Some considerations include: your need for reasonable accommodation(s), company's hiring practices, unexpected barriers, and a realistic time frame.
To learn more about these critical questions, pick up a copy of the guide Disclosing Your Disability in the Employment Process and/or review the related books located in the Career Center library.
Cynthia Thomas can be reached by email at email@example.com
The Resume Database for Persons with Disabilities is a free service for individuals with disabilities who hold two or four year degrees or are expecting to graduate this year. The web address is www.business-disability.com
The Resume Database for Persons with Disabilities is a service of the National Business & Disability Council.
This Winter quarter Guido Grimaldi of the Disabilities and Computing Program bid farewell to UCLA after over 8 years of service. Guido helped introduce OSD staff and students to the wonderful world of assistive technology. We will be eternally grateful to Guido for teaching OSD and its student clientele how assistive technology can play such a vital role in our school, work and personal lives.
His expertise and intervention was applied in crisis situations and in long-term planning. There were so many times that a computer glitch would happen right in the middle of an exam and Guido would drop everything and come running, or OSD would consult with Guido prior to making purchases. We will miss you Guido, but wish you the best in your new position.
The Purpose of this caucus is to provide a forum for addressing issues pertaining to disabilities curriculum, students with disabilities, peer support, and access issues on the UCLA campus.
Our objectives include advocacy, education, resource management and referral, support, curriculum development, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, and representation of students with physical, emotional, and learning disabilities to faculty, administration, Office for Students with Disabilities, Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Disabilities and the UCLA student government bodies.
An excellent source of financial assistance is a book called "Financial Aid for the Disabled and Their Families" by Gail Ann Schlachter and R. David Weber. This resource book lists information regarding: scholarships, fellowships, loans, grants-in-aid, awards, and internships designed primarily or exclusively for persons with disabilities and their families. The OSD has a copy in the lobby for student use. Additional scholarship information received by the office will be posted on the OSD bulletin board or the OSD web site when possible. Students should also make it a point to contact the Scholarship Resource Center at 233 Covel Commons ((310) 206-2875). The SRC specializes in finding all types of scholarships not only those related to disabilities.
Two scholarships that may be of interest are:
Nadia Powers Award
This scholarship will be awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student for the most meritorious projects which furthers the understanding and study of disability issues. Faculty-sponsored projects may include a research paper, fieled study and architectural or three-dimensional model/design. Possible subjects may include any of a wide variety of issues which relate to those with disabilities such as behavior, care, interactions, potential, access issues, political power, etc. For more information, please contact Doug Gerow at (310) 825-1501.
Nancy Diane Orford Scholarship
Established by Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Orford in memory of their daughter Nancy Diane. The Nancy D. Orford Scholarship Fund was initially established for students diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. However, due to family wishes, the scholarship has been extended to all students with disabilities, who are in good academic standing and currently enrolled. For information contact the Scholarship Resource Center, 233 Covel Commons, (310) 206-2875.
Whether you are a new or continuing student, the OSD is here to assist you. There are many academic support services that the OSD has to offer regularly enrolled UCLA students with documented permanent and temporary disabilities. These disability-based services include:
Technology Resources for Students with Disabilities
The Office for Students with Disabilities maintains a close working relationship with the Disabilities and Computing Program which researches and field tests adaptive technology as it comes out and makes recommendations to students and campus departments. Students can receive training on the software and advice on the most useful software for their individual needs. Students may contact this program on their own or be referred by the Office for Students with Disabilities.
Priority Enrollment/ Registration Assistance
On-Campus Van Service
Students without DMV disability plates or placards must have a Disability Verification Form completed by a health care professional in order to apply for parking. This form can be obtained from the OSD. Parking is granted only if a disability-based need is stated in the documentation.
The Mobility Assistance Coordinator will authorize appropriate parking. The application then needs to be taken to Parking Services for payment, processing and issuance of a permit and gate key.
The Learning Disabilities Program serves students with documented specific learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, acquired brain injury, and students with psychological disabilities. Based on their disability-related needs, students may receive extended time for exams, notetakers, tutorial services, textbooks on tape, adaptive technology, alternative testing format, disability-related counseling and may participate in learning strategies workshops, support groups and the peer mentor program.
Technology for Students with Learning Disabilities
Bookwise Reading Program: Bookwise is a "friendly" reading program that uses a voice synthesizer to read aloud to students. Popular features of this software include a dictionary to define unfamiliar vocabulary, easily adjustable reading rates and a selection of computer voices. You can readily edit your papers by turning on the computer voice.
Openbook: Openbook is a "scan n read" computer program. It will scan a full page in less than 15 seconds and read aloud to students. Text can also be saved on disk for reading at a later time.
Please contact a Learning Disability Specialist to determine your eligibility to use this assistive technology, and for a demonstration.
Other Services offered by this office include: Housing Assistance, Tutorial Referrals, Disability Management Counseling and Information and Referral, among others.
by Sally E. Shaywitz, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine
Reprinted with permissiion
Mirror writing is a symptom of Dyslexia. In fact, backwards writing and reversals of letters and words are common in the early stages of writing development among dyslexic and non-dyslexic children alike. Dyslexic children have problems in naming letters but not in copying letters.
Eye training is a treatment for dyslexia. More than two decades of research have shown that dyslexia reflects a linguistic deficit. There is no evidence that eye training alleviates the disorder.
More boys than girls are dyslexic. Boys' reading disabilities are indeed identified more often than girls', but studies indicate that such identification is biased. The actual prevalence of the disorder is nearly identical in the two sexes.
Dyslexia can be outgrown. Yearly monitoring of phonological skills from first through 12th grade shows that the disability persists into adulthood. Even though many dyslexics learn to read accurately, they continue to read slowly and not automatically.
Smart people cannot be dyslexic. Intelligence is in no way related to phonological processing, as there are scores of brilliant and accomplished dyslexics-among them William Butler Yeats, Albert Einstein, George Patton and John Irving.
For More Information on Dyslexia:
The International Dyslexia Association:
National Center for Learning Disabilities:
Association on Higher Education (AHEAD):
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic:
National Institute for Literacy:
Learning Disabilities Association:
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder:
Wilson Language Training Center:
Plans are currently be being drawn up to extensively remodel the OSD offices in Murphy. The office will have a completely new look! The renovations should take place over the summer break.
During construction OSD will likely operate from the Resource Room at 181 Powell Library. The impact on services should be minimal since the plan is to be back in the new offices by the beginning of the Fall Quarter.
Watch for more information about construction dates and our location for the summer months.
The OSD provides a wide variety of services for graduates and their guests at all Commencement Ceremonies. Beginning Monday, May 3, 1999 persons can call the OSD to make their requests.
One of the most popular services is proximate parking for elderly and guests with disabilities. The OSD and Parking Services have reserved areas close to many of the Commencement venues. Guests without DMV plates or placards must have a UCLA parking permit in addition to the identification card available through our Office. The OSD provides loaner wheelchairs to those who have made reservations. We also offer pushes in our wheelchairs from parking areas to graduation sites.
Guests and graduates who are deaf or hard of hearing can call Dan Levitt at 825-1501 for services.
Students who need accommodations for graduation due to a disability or medical condition should call the OSD to make arrangements.
The mission of the Union of Students with Disabilities is to ensure full accessibility of educational opportunity for students with disabilities at UCLA. The USD also offers disabled peer support and plans programs and events aimed at raising the campus consciousness about disability-related issues. If interested in becoming involved, please contact chairperson Laura V. Herrera via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the OSD for more information.
New Horizons is available in Braille, on tape cassette and on the OSD web site. Contact the OSD to request a copy in an alternative format.
The CACD was established in 1982 as an advisory group by the Chancellor to create and maintain a more accessible campus environment. The CACD is comprised of student, faculty, staff, alumni, community, and ex-officio members. The Committee's charge is to analyze and identify problems, propose solutions, and make recommendations on matters of particular concern to persons with disabilities. Meeting Times: The 2nd Tuesday of each month (except August and December) 2-4 p.m. at the Faculty Center. For more information contact the ADA & 504 Compliance Office (310) 825-2242 (Voice) or (310) 206-3349 (TTY)
The College Library (Powell Library) offers research clinics to help with tips in using the Library for your research. The Research Clinics are 30 minutes long, and participants must make appointments 48 hours in advance. Just go to the Reference Desk in Powell and sign up for the Spring quarter! Call Esther Grassian, the Instructional Services Coordinator at 825-2138 for more info.
Doug Gerow began as the new Notetaker Coordinator during February. Doug has worked for OSD for about two years, beginning part time as a proctor in the Resource Room. Then during the Fall quarter 1998 he became the Payroll Administrator for OSD.
"I'm looking forward to my new responsibilities. I've been around OSD for two years and know the office and most of the students. I think there be a smooth transition in the notetaking service."
Doug takes over from Thabi Moloi who left OSD in January. Until a new payroll administrator is hired, Deb Owen, OSD Budget Analyst, will be handling the payroll duties.
New Horizons is published quarterly by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). The views expressed in this newsletter by individual contributors are not necessarily the views of the OSD. The OSD welcomes material submitted for publication which may be of interest to its readers such as brief articles, essays, or poetry. We reserve the right to edit the material as needed. Contact the OSD for deadline information.
Doug Gerow, Editor
UCLA Office for Students with Disabilities AB33