Services for Students with Disabilities

Message from the Director

As another academic year ends and a new one begins it gives the staff at Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) time to reflect on the past and prepare for the year ahead. It has again been an historic year for SSD. As of July 1, 2015 we had 2,474 students registered with our office and this year we registered over 700 new students. Not only are more students registering, but they also appear to be graduating in record numbers. This year, almost 1,000 students registered with SSD graduated from the University. The exact reasons for these numbers are unclear, but they do reflect the University’s commitment to diversity, treatment advances allowing individuals previously excluded from post-secondary education to thrive in competitive educational environments, earlier diagnosis of certain conditions, better communication and awareness among the health care field and educational systems as to what conditions may be eligible for services, and the increasing number of students who do not get diagnosed with a disability until arriving on campus. Whatever the reasons, the trend continues to go upward and there is no indication that it will slow down. SSD’s biggest increase has been with students with mental health or chronic health conditions. The office continues to collaborate with all the various resources on campus related to physical and mental health.

As director and one who has been with the University since 1980 I know that change is inevitable, but it is still difficult for me even when the change is for the good. This year SSD will say goodbye to long time staff member and academic coach Virginia Grubaugh. She has assisted many of our students to achieve incredible success in reaching their goals. Virginia will be missed. On behalf of our students and staff we thank her for a job well done and wish her a long and healthy retirement. Academic coaching has become an integral part of the services SSD provides, and we are fortunate to have found a very capable and competent replacement for Virginia. It is my pleasure and honor to introduce Charlotte O’Connor as our new academic coach. Charlotte comes to us with extensive experience doing similar work at both Schoolcraft and Washtenaw Community Colleges.

While there are many accomplishments in the report I want to highlight the following:

   *Registered 727 new students

   *Hosted SSD’s 40th Anniversary All-Day Conference

   *Held SSD Student Advisory Board’s 2nd annual SpeakABLE Event

   *Presented an award winning film entitled GO FAR: The Christopher Rush Story
         about a University of Michigan student with multiple scoliosis

Finally, I want to thank all the donors who have financially supported our work. SSD’s mission is very focused and these funds have allowed us to enhance the student experience on campus far beyond what the law requires and what most of our peer institutions provide to their students. I want our donors to fully realize the transformational experiences they provide to our students. I recognize what they have done and will continue to encourage more gifts for our office. As SSD starts its work on the next 40 years we are thankful for our past accomplishments, strive to improve our work with students, and are hopeful the future will bring more resources to allow us to fulfill our goals and desires.

As always thank you for reading our annual report.

Stuart S Segal, Ph.D.



Mission statement

Our mission is to support the University’s commitment to equity and diversity by providing support services and academic accommodations to students with disabilities.

We share information, promote awareness of disability issues, and provide support of
a decentralized system of access for students within the University community.

Table of Contents

  1. SSD Year at a Glance                                         
  2. Student Demographics                                       
  3. Trends                                                      
  4. Core Services                                             
  5. New & Noteworthy                                      
  6. Accomplishments                                                                    
  7. Collaboration                                             
  8. Goals                                                                                     
  9. Development  
  10. Staff Contributions                                        


  • 6 professional staff who each have an expertise in particular disability areas
  • 1 administrative staff; 5-6 work study students


SSD Year at a Glance

SSD now services 5.7% of the entire student body including undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

SSD continues to see an upward trend in the numbers of new and overall students who register with our office. In the last five years (2010-2015), the number of registered students has more than doubled from 1,354 in 2010-11 to 2,473 in 2014-15. We registered 232 more students this year than last year, a nearly 10% increase.

The number of new students to register with us in an academic year also broke another record with 727 in the 2014-15 academic year period.

Students Registered with SSD 2010-2015

  • 1354 TOTAL and 514 NEW registered in 2010-11
  • 1831 Total and 605 New registered in 2011-12
  • 2110 Total and 607 New registered in 2012-13
  • 2242 Total and 679 New registered in 2013-14
  • 2474 Total and 727 New registered in 2014-15

Students Registered by Disability

  • Learning Disabilities, 1050 students, 43 percent
  • Mental Health Conditions, 590 students, 24 percent
  • Chronic Health Conditions, 347 students, 14 percent
  • Dual Disabilities, 182 students, 7 percent
  • Temporary Disabilities, 175 students, 7 percent
  • Visual Impairments, 55 students, 3 percent
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing, 43 students, 2 percent
  • Mobility Impairments, 32 students, 2 percent

Some students have more than one disability; numbers do not add up to 100 percent.


Student Demographics

SSD students are a geographically diverse group. Registered students are represented by 45 states and Puerto Rico and globally from 25 different countries. The majority, however, are in-state residents (1277, 58 percent).

SSD Students’ Home State/Country

  • Michigan Counties, 1277 students, 58 percent
  • United States and Territories, 822 students, 37 percent
  • Blank, 70 students, 3 percent
  • International, 43 students, 2 percent

SSD Students’ Gender

  • Male, 1305 students, 55.3 percent
  • Female, 1052 students, 44.6 percent

SSD Student Race/Ethnicity

  • White, 1709 students, 72 percent
  • Asian/Pacific Islander, 153 students, 7 percent
  • African American, 142 students, 6 percent
  • Latino, 97 students, 4 percent
  • Native American, 4 students, 0.3 percent
  • Biracial, 22 students, 1 percent
  • Not Specified / Blank, 151 students, 6 percent

SSD students by race/ethnicity is comparable to the UM student population as a whole. White and African American students are slightly higher at 72.4 percent and 6 percent respectively. Asian/Pacific Islanders and Latinos are lower at 6.5 percent and 4.1 percent respectively.

Race/Ethnicity Comparison by Percentage

  • White, 72.4 percent SSD, 66 percent University
  • African American, 6 percent SSD, 4.6 percent University
  • Asian/Pacific Islander, 6.5 percent SSD, 13.3 percent University
  • Latino, 4.1 percent SSD, 5.1 percent University
  • Native American, 0.2 percent SSD and University
  • Biracial, 0.9 percent SSD, 3.4 percent University



Learning Disabilities, Mental Health Conditions and Chronic Health Conditions consistently remain the three largest disability groups that our office registers, with the numbers increasing every year since 2010.

This year these three disabilities comprised almost 80 percent of all the disabilities registered in our office.

SSD Disability Group Trends 2010-2015

  • Learning Disabilities, 1050 students in 2015-14, 964 students in 2013-14, 953 students in 2012-13, 903 students in 2011-12, 859 students in 2010-11
  • Mental Health Conditions, 590 students in 2014-15, 533 students in 2013-14, 513 students in 2012-13, 438 students in 2011-12, 411 students in 2010-11
  • Chronic Health Conditions, 347 students in 2014-15, 296 students in 2013-14, 275 students in 2012-13, 222 students in 2010-11

Class Standing & School

SSD students are represented within all 19 schools and colleges on campus and include every level of class standing.

SSD Students’ Class Standing

  • Freshmen, 40 percent
  • Sophomore, 20 percent
  • Junior, 17 percent
  • Senior, 6 percent
  • Graduate, 12 percent
  • Graduate PhD, 5 percent
  • Non degree / blank, 0.5 percent


LSA, 1364, 57.8

Engineering, 339,14.4

Business, 107, 4.5

Kinesiology, 80, 3.4

Law School, 63, 2.7

Art & Design, 56, 2.4

Rackham, 53, 2.2

Public Health, 46, 1.9

Music/Theatre/Dance, 36, 1.5

Nursing, 36,1.5

Social Work, 33, 1.4

Education, 21, 0.9

Information, 16, 0.7

Dentistry, 12, 0.5

SNRE, 12, 0.5

Architecture & Urban Planning, 11, 0.5

Pharmacy, 11, 0.5

Public Policy, 11, 0.5

Medical School, 7, 0.3

Blank, 46, 1.9


Core Services

In the 2014-2015 academic year SSD successfully advocated for over 63,000 academic accommodations.

Big Ten Consortium by the Numbers

The University of Michigan SSD office serves more students with disabilities with the least amount of staff (N=7) than any other University among the 15 schools that make up the Big Ten and the CIC, N=2474


New & Noteworthy

SSD hosted its first ever all-day conference on October 17, 2014, and attended by over 100 participants in and outside the University. The theme was Honoring the Past & Exploring the Future. Opening remarks were made by UM Regent Katherine E. White, VP for Student Life E. Royster Harper, Dean of Students Laura Blake Jones and Associate General Counsel Jack Bernard. The luncheon was catered by Zingerman’s and generously sponsored by the Adam Miller Memorial Fund.

Dr. John Greden, the keynote speaker, presented on Mood Disorders & Disabilities: Where Do They Meet?
How Do We Treat?

Sam Bagenstos, a professor in the UM Law School, on the history of disability rights in the United States.

Dr. Lawrence Burns, a professor of engineering practice in the College of Engineering presented on the future of transportation mobility.

Student panelists convened for a discussion on how the SSD office and its services have made a difference in their academic and professional careers.



SSD has registered 727 new students, the most ever in its 41 year history.

In the 2014-2015 academic year SSD has successfully advocated for over 63,000 academic accommodations.

SSD increased efforts to publicize and promote student tuition insurance in order to preserve this valuable resource for students.

Made several presentations to major University stakeholders regarding the new University Readiness to Return guidelines.

Created a family address database of current students to be used for future fundraising efforts.

SSD held the 2nd Annual ASD Awareness event honoring April as ASD Awareness month.

Provided testing for over 65 LSA students on the Modern Language Aptitude Test.

Provided testing for over 230 incoming student athletes to assess their overall readiness for university studies.

SSD held four 40th Anniversary events.

Conducted over 100 screening assessments for UM students and staff.

Sponsored an ADHD awareness event in October in the main auditorium of Rackham.

SSD Student Advisory Board held its 2nd annual Students with Disabilities SpeakABLE Event.



UM Academic Units

SSD staff and director made several presentations to the University community regarding various aspects of disability issues. These included presentations made to academic departments, specific academic courses, academic advisors, housing staff, a Greek fraternity, and the Rackham Student Advisory Board.

UM Athletics

SSD has arranged a partnership with the department of athletics to provide screenings for all incoming freshmen student athletes to help ensure their academic success.

National Institutions

SSD director and staff have given several presentations at local, state and national conferences and have been asked to consult with other post-secondary institutions.

Campus, State and National Partnerships

>SSD supports work with Philip Larson and the Veterans group.

>SSD works with Hatcher Library staff to see that study carrels are put in place.

>SSD met with 20 visitors from Tokai University in Japan and educated them regarding
         services for Students with Disabilities in the United States.

>The Director of SSD was part of a team that wrote the first ever International
         Documentation Guidelines for Adolescents and Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury.

>SSD works closely with the IT Assistive Technology Manager in charge of the Knox Center
         to provide and accommodate students using adaptive/assistive technology.



New Student Service Position

Pilot a new student service-oriented position aimed at providing increased assistance to students with more severe impairments to facilitate a more positive adjustment to the University and increase student’s self-efficacy and transition.

Scholarship Handout for Newly Registered SSD Students

Develop a one-page handout listing all SSD available funds, specifying the award amount, who the fund serves and how it is to be specifically spent. Handout to be provided to every student when they register with the office.

Content Tutoring List  

In conjunction with GEO, build a content tutoring list of graduate students interested in providing tutoring in their subject matters to other University of Michigan students.

Support for Students on the Autism Spectrum 

Assess the state of services across campus for students on the Autistic Spectrum and work on filling whatever gaps may be identified.

Integrate New Coordinator Positions

Integrate new coordinator position and academic coach into both SSD and the University.

Donation Wall

To build a structure inside the SSD office dedicated to honoring all those who have donated to SSD.



The Services for Students with Disabilities office wishes to acknowledge the many donors who have supported students with disabilities this past year.

With their continued support, SSD is able to provide scholarship awards, funding, adaptive equipment and academic support for students with every type of disability.

Ally Corporation

Dr. Robert and Colleen Balestrero

Barbara Bender

Boeing Company

Scott and Erica Donner

David and Jennifer Forbes

Martin and Pamela Gargaro

Virginia Grubaugh

Martin and Lynn Halbfinger

Joseph Heston and Kathryn Hutchinson

Dr. and Mrs. Bruce Levine

Russell and Susan Levine

Lorie Levy

Francis and Janet Liesman

Local 6 WKMG-TV

Michael P. McLean

Alex and Marlene Miller

Joshua and Pamela Miller

Marc and Beth Nabi

James and Mrs. Neubacher

Dr. Jaffer and Lindsey Odeh

Michael Papadelis

Dr. Ara and Shirley Paul

Mieko Preston

James and Patti Read

Brian and Jill Rice

Susan Reisdorf

Steve Kalik, Jessie Ridley Foundation, Inc.

Richard and Jennifer Rygalski

Kenneth and Stacy Samet

Dr. David L Schneberger

Dr. Todd and Lauren Schultz

Dr. Stuart and Dian Segal

Sherbin Family

Shell Oil Company

Dr. David and Deborah Sprecher

Thomas and Leigh Szedlak

David and Connie Waddell

Susan M. Webb

Tracy Wright

We thank and appreciate all you have done to enhance the University experience for SSD students!


Staff Contributions

Stuart Segal, Director

Committee Assignments

Council for Disability Concerns, Campus Mind Works, Health Advisory Team, Critical Incidents Team, ADA Fund Committee, Diversity Council, Planning Committee for the Conference of Depression in College Students, Planning and Advisory Board of University Testing Center, LSA Academic Standards Board-Foreign Language Waiver Committee, Autism Spectrum Work Group, Council for Graduate Student Disabilities Issues, Inter-Group Relations (IGR) Advisory Board, SSD Student Advisory Board, Readiness to Return work group, Center for Language and Literacy Professional Advisory Board, Member of the University of Michigan Depression Center, Student Life First Year Student Experience Group, involved with the ADA accessibility review of five new buildings on campus, consulted with Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) on their new mental health presentation

Major Presentations

  • Medical School group
  • Council for Disability Concerns
  • Social work faculty and students from Japan
  • School of Nursing regarding disabilities issues
  • M-STEM students at the College of Engineering
  • GSIs at a CRLT event regarding disability issues
  • Provost Group meeting on readiness to return guidelines
  • Staff and academic advisors of Baker Colleges of Michigan
  • Literature, Science and Arts (LS&A) new academic advisors
  • Michigan Advising Corp as part of their summer training institute
  • School of Nursing group meeting on readiness to return guidelines
  • Career Center regarding employment issues for students with disabilities
  • Meet with the Department of Math faculty to discuss the accommodations process
  • Presentation to the Dean of Students Critical Incidents Team regarding services at SSD
  • Presentation made at the 18th National Conference of Disability Providers hosted by Educational Testing Services, Princeton, N.J.

Professional Development Activities Conducted

  • Consultant to Baker College on disability issues
  • Served on the Professional Advisory Board of the MI-LDA
  • Consulted with Dental School regarding students with disabilities
  • Consulted with Athletic Department regarding high risk students
  • Consultant for Educational Testing Service (ETS) on disability issues
  • Editorial Board of Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
  • Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) consultant on disability issues
  • Worked at both the new faculty orientation and the Rackham graduate student information fair
  • Emeritus member of the Board of Governors for the Detroit Learning Center- a nonprofit that provides free intensive tutoring to children with reading disabilities

Professional Development Activities Attended

  • MI-AHEAD Conference
  • Investing in Abilities Week
  • College Student and Depression Conference
  • DSA Professional Development opportunities
  • Department of Psychiatry’s Grand Rounds Conference
  • Center for Growth and Human Development (CGHD) Brown Bag Conferences
  • Hosted SSD 40th Anniversary lectures on a variety of disability-related topics
  • 17th Annual National Conference of the ETS Review Panel for testing accommodations

Maureen Candy, Office Manager

Committee Assignments

Case Management Support Team (CMST) for Critical Incidents, Dean of Students Office

Professional Development Activities Attended

  • Meetings and trainings for CMST
  • Women in Student Affairs (WISA)
  • Ross Business School Exam Task Force
  • Building Incident Response Team (BIRT)
  • Student Life - Key Administrators Group (SL-KAG)
  • Sponsorship for the ADHD event for ADHD Awareness Week
  • Workshops on new financial system for MiWorkspace and Shared Services Project

Virginia Grubaugh, Coordinator of Learning Services,
Academic & ADHD Coach

Committee Assignments

UM’s Academic Support Services Web Site Team (Developer and Administrator), SSD Mentoring Workgroup, UM Mentoring Consortium (Member), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Workgroup, Council for Disability Concerns, Council for Graduate Students with Disability Issues (CGSDI) Group, Social Work Diversity/Disability Committee, M-Justice, Office of Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR)

Major Presentations

  • New Cohort of Dental Students and Psychology Department Academic Advisors
  • Consultant to New Student Program - Orientation skits to include students with disabilities
  • Center for Research on Learning and Teaching – Consultant on disability student–teacher presentations 
  • Moving Forward with Asperger’s – A Transition to College Workshop
  • Michigan Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (M-STEM) & Fair Engineering Advisors

​Professional Development Activities Attended

  • ADHD Coach Training
  • Supervisor Trainings,  Student Life
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder Training
  • Tutor and Academic Coach Training

Professional Memberships

  • Member International Mentoring Association
  • ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO) Membership

Alfred Kellam, Coordinator, Psychologist

Major Presentations

  • New Faculty Orientation
  • Rackham Information Fair
  • SNRE Orientation Resource Fair
  • Teaching Engineering Seminar Summer Engineering Institute

Professional Development Activities Attended

  • APA Division 39 Annual Convention
  • UM ADHD Awareness Week, Jerry Mills
  • Depression Center, Annual Depression Conference
  • Flattening Print English via ASL Translations, Ruth Spooner
  • New England Educational Institute, Transformational Moments

Daniel Measel, Coordinator, Blind, Mobility, & Chronic Health Conditions

Committee Assignments

Tuition Reimbursement Insurance, Veterans Day planning committee, Knox Center Relocation committee, Interview Committee of Screen Reader Specialist position

Major Presentations

  • New Student Programs Orientation
  • Tokai University Social Work Student Training Program

Professional Development Activities Conducted

Advised/Consulted with Eastern Michigan University on scanning and EText production

Professional Development Activities Attended

  • SSD 40th Anniversary Presentations
  • SSD 40th Anniversary All-Day Conference

Mary Reilly, Captioned Media Specialist

Committee Assignments

Council for Disability Concerns, Student Life Communicator’s Forum, Web Access Working Group (WAWG), Student Life Staff Advisory Board, Student Life Website Advisory Board, Women in Student Affairs (WISA), Family Matters Newsletter

Professional Development Activities Attended

  • CaptionSync webinar
  • 3Play Media webinars
  • TeachTech workshops
  • Virtual Conference - Accessing Higher Ground
  • The College Union: An International Perspective
  • Postsecondary Disability Training Institute – Boston, MA

Jill Rice, Coordinator, Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students

Committee Assignments

Council for Disability Concerns, Gift Development Data Steward, United Way Campaign Volunteer, Alexs Great State Race Committee member, Genesee Area Skill Center Advisory Board, Baker College Interpreter Training Advisory Board, SSD 40thPlanning Committee, Adam Miller Memorial Fund Coordinator, Beverly Waterman Scholarship Coordinator, Organized promotional items from several departments for an elementary school student, Emergency Staff if reduced operations appointee, Parents of New Students

Major Presentations

  • Meet Michigan Fair
  • Office of Admissions
  • School of Information
  • Residence Staff Training
  • Victors Fair Homecoming
  • Tokai University students
  • Sweetland Writing Center
  • School of Natural Resources
  • Center for Independent Living
  • Area Religious Counselors Tiny Talks

Professional Memberships

  • Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
  • Michigan Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
  • Ohio Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
  • Sign Language Interpreter – Licensed in the State of Michigan

Professional Development Activities Attended

  • American Deafness and Rehab Association Conference
  • M-Pathways Human Resource Management system
  • ADA Legal Webinar



Michael J. Behm, Grand Blanc

Mark J. Bernstein, Ann Arbor

Laurence B. Deitch, Bloomfield Hills

Shauna Ryder Diggs, Grosse Pointe

Denise Ilitch, Bingham Farms

Andrea Fischer Newman, Ann Arbor

Andrew C. Richner, Grosse Pointe Park

Katherine E. White, Ann Arbor

Mark S. Schlissel (ex officio)

Nondiscrimination Policy Statement

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