Administration News

Center for DisABILITIES requests no additional funds from SFAC

During its Friday unit presentation before the Student Fees Advisory Committee, Cheryl Amoruso, director of the Center for Students with DisABILITIES, said the center will request the same budget as approved for 2016-2017.

In total, the CSD is requesting $442,220 from SFAC for the upcoming fiscal year. This request is equal to the projected Student Service Fees base request of the current fiscal year.

“We’ve done well to really keep costs low,” Amoruso said. “We run a bare-bones budget.”

CSD is working to provide more interpreters and an additional scholarship for disabled students, Amoruso said. Beyond efforts to provide direct services for students, CSD is also in the process of updating required documents for students to receive disability accommodations and renewal requirements for those documents.

According to the presentation, 515 students scheduled new intake appointments — a 42 percent increase over 2015-16. CSD also reported that in one year, over quadruple as many faculty and staff participated in disability awareness trainings.

The Justin Dart Jr. Center for Students with DisABILITIES is the only facility of its kind at a Texas university, complete with a lobby, computer lab for student use as well as an exam and conference room.

Over the course of the upcoming year, Amoruso said the CSD plans to implement a new online accommodation form for students in Spring 2017 and increase the UH community’s understanding of disability-related issues, among other initiatives.

“By far, the greatest challenge has been meeting the needs of our students in a timely manner,” Amoruso said. “Especially since we lost two full-time staff this year.”

Amoruso said CSD plans to hire interns as one way of rectifying staffing issues that lead to time delays for students.

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