Recently, Ball State University gained recognition from College Magazine with the #6 ranking in their article, “Top Ten Universities for Students with Disabilities.” Additionally, Ball State was listed as one of the top 10 “wheelchair friendly” campuses by New Mobility Magazine’s “Wheels on Campus” edition. Details about both rankings can be found on the Disability Services’ website: www.bsu.edu/disabilityservices
The role of Disability Services (DS) is to coordinate services and accommodations for students with disabilities. DS is currently assisting an ever-growing record number of students, with approximately 3,200 students registered this year. We want to continue our long-standing tradition of accessibility and remain a university that is committed to accommodating students with all kinds of disabilities.
In addition to coordinating accommodations for our growing student population, Disability Services also strives to provide strong programming to help students develop important skills to facilitate life-long success, such as speakers and events hosted during Disability Awareness Month in March. Contributions to the Harris Fund via One Ball State Day gifts make this work possible. Two of our more sizable projects are our Faculty Mentorship Program and our brand-new Summer Bridge Program, which will run its first session in August 2023. You can read about both programs below.
The Faculty Mentorship Program matches brand new first-time fall semester freshmen with faculty mentors in their chosen major/field. These faculty mentors are trained to work with students with a variety of disabilities and meet with their students as often as mutually agreed upon. Students who participate in this program are retained at a higher rate than the students with disabilities in their cohort who choose not to participate. The DS office continually strives to help students with disabilities stay at BSU and graduate at the same rate as their peers without disabilities. Your support on One Ball State Day allows us to do just that.
Contributions will also support our brand new Summer Bridge Program through the Office of Student Life. Summer Bridge Programs at Ball State provide incoming freshmen students with the opportunity to move in a few days early and participate in co-curricular, skills building workshops of all kinds before the Fall Semester begins. New this year, Disability Services will be hosting our own Summer Bridge Program available to students who will have registered early with our office. This program will assist students with disabilities who are excited to come to college but concerned about their adjustment to life on-campus and college-level coursework by providing them additional time to adjust and early access to campus support and resources. Participating students will work on developing a strong sense of belonging and community, an understanding of their role and responsibilities as a student, and building strong self-advocacy tools. Other universities with similar transitional programs have found that their participating students gain an inside knowledge of themselves as college students, and tend to thrive academically and socially using these newly-sharpened skills.
Ball State Disability Services is dedicated to providing students with disabilities opportunities and experiences to help them grow academically, socially, and prepare them for life after Ball State. Your One Ball State Day gift will allow us to continue this important programmatic work for current and future Cardinals. Chirp Chirp!
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