May 25, 2020

Services for students with disabilities fly under radar

Though most, if not all, professors include some information regarding Services for Students with Disabilities in their syllabi, not nearly as many students take notice, or advantage, of the services.

Weldon Percy, a quadriplegic for all of his adult life, founded and directed the Services for Students with Disabilities in 1974. The office has relocated since it’s founding and can be found in the Henry Madden Library, downstairs in suite 1202. Services for Students with Disabilities partners with other services provided on campus, such as Academic Support Services and the Health Center, to further meet students’ needs.

Services for Students with Disabilities provides many services which include counseling, registration assistance, blue curb parking and orientations. There are nine private rooms within the office to allow testing as needed by students. SSD can aid students with learning disabilities and can also assist those with temporary needs, like a student with a broken leg for instance.

“Over two-thirds of the students we service have a hidden disability,” Janice Brown, the director of Services for Students with Disabilities, said. Hidden disabilities can include, but are not limited to, ADD, ADHD, chronic illnesses, Asperger’s Disorder or any other type of learning disability.

In addition to on-campus resources, Services for Students with Disabilities works closely with Resources for Independence, Central Valley. Resources for Independence is available to students as a shortcut to specific answers, instead of having to work through longer methods, like the Social Security Office.

The Services for Students with Disabilities continually looks for help from other students, as well. Volunteer note-takers are invaluable and quite often needed. Students can even receive credit through the 101 Community Service class for their time.

“I took notes in my Music 74 class, made a copy of them at home and then turned them into my teacher at our next class,” kinesiology major and volunteer note-taker Jessica Gray said.“The notes were always a day behind, but I think it was helpful.”

A more noticeable form of help that the SSD provides for students is transportation for those who may be in need of temporary help. One of the services offered is transportation from one class to the next on the golf carts that are used by campus staff.

“After I broke my foot, I heard about the ways the Services for Students with Disabilities could help me from friends of mine that had previously been on crutches,” political science major Caleb Pauls said.

There are currently 530 active students that utilize the different services offered by SSD and 128 pending applicants. Services for Students with Disabilities also reaches out in advance to students at nearby community colleges that will be transferring to Fresno State. The students can meet with counselors ahead of time to establish relationships before officially becoming a Bulldog.

To be a part of Services for Students with Disabilities, a student needs to fill out an application and provide written verification of their diagnosis and prognosis from a professional. Complete guidelines can be found at the SSD website,, under their policies and procedures.

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