New Disability Resources staff, along with innovative accommodation technology, will arrive in the Center for Student Success this academic year.
The Center for Student Success offers students a range of academic support services and comprises Disability Resources, Health Promotion for Students, and Student Academic Success Programs. Each program area is led by staff who provide targeted programs, services, and events that support and empower students.
This year, the center hired two new staff members in Disability Resources, is working to implement new accommodation technology, and will launch a new peer leadership program.
Eric Wagenfeld began his new role as the director of disability resources in July. With a long career in promoting education access, he most recently was a faculty member and worked in Disability Services at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.
Wagenfeld sees great opportunities for improving access at Oberlin, but he wants to begin his appointment by directly interfacing with those on campus and learning about their needs.
“I want to begin by listening to students and faculty and really get to know Oberlin,” says Wagenfeld.
Chiefly, his priorities include implementing a new piece of technology called Accessible Information Management (AIM). This online tool will streamline the accommodation application process for students and take what’s been a paper-based, multi-step process and shift it to a secure electronic records management system.
Through AIM, students will be able to apply online for accommodations, confidentially request appointments, and send faculty their accommodation letters electronically. Wagenfeld says the new technology will be a boon for both students and faculty. The technology is slated for a full rollout later this year.
In addition to implementing new programs, Wagenfeld is committed to learning about current policies and other Disability Resources processes so he can improve institutional efficiency and better serve students and faculty.
Along with a new director, the center added another position. María Zoraida Maclay '17 will move from a part-time role into a full-time position as Disability Resources Coordinator. In addition to working with advising and assistive technologies, Maclay will provide administrative support to students who are participating in the pilot of a new peer leadership program through Disability Resources during the fall semester. During this initial pilot semester, students will have the opportunity to give feedback on how the peer program can best serve the campus.
The new peer leadership program at Disability Resources is made possible through the generosity of former Oberlin parents Michael and Bettina Klein, in honor of their daughter Rebecca Klein who graduated in 2018 and was a student accessibility advocate.