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Open house highlights Office of AccessAbility Services

Published on March 21, 2024

Open house highlights Office of AccessAbility Services

OAS staff
The Office of AccessAbility Services Staff

The Office of AccessAbility Services (OAS) at Eastern Connecticut State University recently welcomed students and faculty to an open house to learn more about the services the OAS provides to students. Attendees were also able to meet with graduate assistants, student workers and Brooks Scavone, director of the OAS. 

Much of the OAS is centered around helping students succeed academically. Graduate assistants help those who need to upload documentation of their disability and accommodation needs from the OAS website. Rooms where students can take tests that meet their needs — without distractions or with extended time limits — are available for students on request. 

“We are looking to enhance the student experience,” Scavone said. They noted the many ways that disabled students have historically — and currently — faced systemic barriers. For example, they pointed out that “a person can’t worry about showing up to class prepared to learn if they aren’t able to get into the building.” 

Disability Cultural Center

A student works in the "OAS How Do I? Lab."

OAS open house

OAS open house

OAS open house

Space for students to feel pride for their disabilities can be found at the OAS as well. A room with sensory objects is open for students to use to soothe themselves or engage with their senses in a safe space. Students can also visit the Disability Cultural Center to meet new people and celebrate the lives of themselves and others.  

The goal, Scavone said, is to help students to accept their disability and to understand the power they have in changing the world or pursuing their goals. Around the OAS office, students can read about the history of disabilities in the United States, featuring notable disabled figures and dates of progress for the disabled community.  

For those struggling with the transition into college, the OAS offers the Eastern Student Support Program. The program is based on discussions that help develop academic and social skills, such as stress management, test anxiety and recognizing social cues. Depending on the student’s needs, OAS workers assist in any way they can. 

Scavone emphasized that “access is empowering and leads to success.” 

Written by Marcus Grant