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Resources for Students with Disabilities at MSSU

Curtis Almeter

Missouri Southern State University is committed to providing equal access and opportunity for students with disabilities. As a current student or someone considering MSSU, you might be wondering about how the university works towards accommodating these students. This article discusses some resources and services offered to help students with disabilities succeed in their academic goals.

When accommodating students with disabilities, MSSU takes an individualized approach. Different services are offered to students depending on what their disability requires to ensure that they have the same access and opportunities as their peers. Common accommodations include students being able to receive course material in alternative formats, special forms of equipment being offered to students that assist them with their disability, and academic aides who convey lectures to students or take notes for them.

MSSU requires documentation to be able to provide disability services for its students. Students have to contact the department of disabilities and undergo a formal process to receive accommodations. Furthermore, there are some accommodations the school is not able to provide. This includes students having personal care attendants, academic expectations for students being lowered in comparison to their classmates, and disability-only tutoring programs.

Brett Winingar, a Biomedical Sciences major at MSSU with type 1 diabetes, has faced challenges in going to school with his condition. When asked about his biggest challenge, he claims that it is when his “blood sugar becomes low at night, and [he is] not able to wake up to get food, leaving [him] tired for [his] morning classes.” He claims that his professors and the office of disability services have assisted him greatly by offering testing accommodations and allowing him to take exams at a later time if his blood sugar is low. Furthermore, he is able to enroll for courses early to ensure that his classes fit in his schedule.

MSSU’s office of disability services is a helpful tool for anyone looking to see what the school can offer for their specific disability. The office of disability services is temporarily located in Spiva Library room 422, until it regains its location in Hearnes Hall. It is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached at 417-659-3725. Students looking for more information can also contact Lori Musser, the coordinator of student disability services, through email at [email protected] or the department at [email protected].

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