Services for Students with Disabilities

Message from the Director

Reflecting back on the Director Messages of the last four years of our annual report, certain themes seem to perennially emerge:  

Growth The number of students registered with the office has grown at an incredible rate over the past 20 years. This year the trend continues.  During the 2015-16 academic year we had over 800 new students register, for a total enrollment of 2,277.  

Change This year, thanks to the Dean of Students Laura Blake-Jones, Provost Martha Pollack, and Vice President for Student Life Royster Harper, SSD has been given (for the first time in 23 years) a permanent position and resources to pilot a new position, entitled Institutional Adjustment Coach. The pilot position’s goal was to assist students with more severe impairments in their transition to the University. Lloyd Shelton was given this responsibility and thanks to his outstanding work, the position is permanent beginning this academic year. Lloyd was encouraged to stay and be a full-time member of the team, but alas, he is moving on with his career at another institution of higher education. I wish him success in his new endeavors.  

It is also my pleasure to introduce SSD’s newest staff member, Lisa Green. Lisa is a licensed counselor and comes to us after working in disability services for 13 years at Baker College. 

In addition, Lisa has taught at various local community colleges. We are fortunate to have 

her serving our students as part of the SSD family. 

Resources For the first time in SSD’s history we now have resources for every disability group we serve. As director, I will ensure we continue to assist all our students in maximizing their academic success. 

Accomplishments At the end of this academic year, SSD received a very pleasant and satisfying distinction. College Choice named The University of Michigan the number one “Disability Friendly” college in the country. 

“The College Choice 2016 Ranking of the Best Disability Friendly Colleges and Universities takes into account several key factors to ensure students looking for schools with exceptional support for students of all abilities get the best rate of return on their educational investment. We begin with a list of schools that far exceed the minimum legal requirements for accessibility. That list was then evaluated and ranked based on factors like academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability, average financial aid award, and average salary of recent graduates.”

The recognition is appreciated and I can guarantee that we will not rest on our laurels.
We continue to make this institution one that values and appreciates all aspects of diversity.
(You can read more about this honor later in the Annual Report.)

Finally, I want to thank all the donors who have provided financial support for our work. 

SSD’s mission is very focused. 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 their students. I want our donors to fully realize the transformational experiences they are providing for our students. I recognize what they have done, thank them, and will continue to encourage more gifts for our office. As SSD looks to its future we are thankful for our accomplishments, strive to improve our work with students, and are hopeful this year brings more resources to truly fulfill our aspirational 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

SSD Year at a Glance

Student Demographics


Core Services

New & Noteworthy


Scholarship & Funding




Staff Contributions


7 professional staff who each have
an expertise in particular disability areas

1 administrative staff; 5-6 work study students

SSD Year at a Glance

This year marked another record for SSD in the number of newly registered students. FY16 brought in 832 registered students. This is more than 100 students higher than FY15 (727).

SSD started the academic year with just over 1,400 registered students after over 1,000 students graduated in Spring 2015. SSD’s overall number of registered students is holding steady at 2,277. This is a slight drop from last year (2,474).

Students Registered with SSD 2011-2016

  • 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
  • 2277 Total and 832 New registered in 2015-16

Students Registered by Disability

  • Learning Disabilities, 950 students, 40 percent
  • Mental Health Conditions, 600 students, 26 percent
  • Chronic Health Conditions, 356 students, 15 percent
  • Dual Disabilities, 200 students, 9 percent
  • Temporary Disabilities, 108 students, 5 percent
  • Visual Impairments, 38 students, 2 percent
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing, 41 students, 2 percent
  • Mobility Impairments, 26 students, 1 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 represent 42 states and Puerto Rico (930, 42%). The majority, however, are in-state residents (1,176, 53%).

SSD Students’ Home State/Country

  • Michigan Counties, 1176 students, 53 percent
  • United States and Territories, 930 students, 42 percent
  • Blank, 70 students, 3 percent
  • International, 34 students, 2 percent

SSD Students’ Gender

  • Male, 942 students
  • Female, 1262 students

White students are the largest race/ethnic group registered with SSD (1,585, 72%). Asian/Pacific Islanders are second (147, 7%) and African Americans third (130, 6%).

In a comparison of SSD students to the general UM population, the race/ethnicity representation is similar. The university-wide white student population is 65.6% with Asian/Pacific Islander second (13.2%). The university has a slightly lower percentage of African American students (4.8% vs. 5.9%) and slightly higher percentage of Latinos (5.4% vs. 4.7%) compared to SSD.

SSD Student Race/Ethnicity

  • White, 1585 students, 72 percent
  • Asian/Pacific Islander, 147 students, 7 percent
  • African American, 130 students, 6 percent
  • Latino, 103 students, 5 percent
  • Native American, 5 students, 0.3 percent
  • Biracial, 32 students, 1 percent
  • Not Specified / Blank, 78 students, 3 percent

Race/Ethnicity Comparison by Percentage

  • White, 71.7 percent SSD, 65.6 percent University
  • African American, 5.9 percent SSD, 4.8 percent University
  • Asian/Pacific Islander, 6.7 percent SSD, 13.2 percent University
  • Latino, 4.7 percent SSD, 5.4 percent University
  • Native American, 0.2 percent SSD and 0.3 percent University
  • Biracial, 1.4 percent SSD, 3.6 percent University


Learning disabilities, mental health conditions, and chronic health conditions consistently remain the three largest disability groups that the office registers.

The combined total of these three disabilities this academic year is 1,863, comprising over 80% of all the disabilities registered in our office.

SSD Disability Group Trends 2014-2016

  • Learning Disabilities, 907 students in 2015-16, 1050 students in 2015-14, 964 students in 2013-14
  • Mental Health Conditions, 600 students in 2015-16, 590 students in 2014-15, 533 students in 2013-14
  • Chronic Health Conditions, 356 students in 2015-16, 347 students in 2014-15, 296 students in 2013-14

Class Standing & School

SSD students are represented within all 19 schools and colleges on campus and include every level of class standing.  LSA students mark the largest group at 1,277 (57.7%) and the smallest group is Public Policy at 8 students (0.4%).

SSD Students’ Class Standing

  • Freshman, 42 percent
  • Sophomore, 21 percent
  • Junior, 14 percent
  • Senior, 6 percent
  • Graduate, 12 percent
  • Graduate PhD, 5 percent
  • Non degree / blank, 0.5 percent


LSA, 1277, 57.7

Engineering, 317,14.3

Business, 103, 4.7

Kinesiology, 72, 3.3

Law School, 54, 2.4

Art & Design, 51, 2.3

Rackham, 46, 2.0

Public Health, 27, 1.2

Music/Theatre/Dance, 41, 1.8

Nursing, 37, 1.7

Social Work, 34, 1.5

Education, 24, 1.0

Information, 22, 1.0

Dentistry, 13, 0.6

SNRE, 12, 0.5

Architecture & Urban Planning, 9, 0.4

Pharmacy, 13, 0.6

Public Policy, 8, 0.4

Medical School, 16, 0.7

Blank, 34, 1.5

Core Services

In the 2015-16 academic year, SSD successfully advocated for over 63,000 academic accommodations. 

Website Analytics


Housed in the Services for Students with Disabilities office at the University of Michigan, DyslexiaHelp is a website designed to help individuals with dyslexia, as well as parents, employers, and professionals who have the privilege to work with dyslexics gain new understandings about dyslexia and language disorder, including current research findings and how to design intervention contexts based on best practices.

SSD Website

The SSD website had 1,766 users and 2,324 sessions in AY2015-16. The most popular choice in finding our website was Google (60%), followed by users directly typing in our URL (15.5%). The UM gateway ( was the third choice at 8.5%.

New and Noteworthy

The University of Michigan ranked #1 in the The College Choice 2016 Ranking of the Best Disability Friendly Colleges and Universities 

College Choice ( has published its annual ranking of best disability friendly colleges and universities. The ranking can be viewed in full at

The College Choice 2016 Ranking of the Best Disability Friendly Colleges and Universities takes into account several key factors to ensure students looking for schools with exceptional support for students of all abilities will get the best rate of return on their educational investment. We begin with a list of schools that far exceed the minimum legal requirements for accessibility. That list was then evaluated and ranked based on factors like academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability, average financial aid award, and average salary of recent graduates.

The University of Michigan tops the list, followed by University of Southern California and Northeastern University.

“The vast majority of universities in the United States simply meet the minimum accessibility standards set by the government. The schools on this list, however, are some of the best in the country at committing resources and funding to equip their students with the tools they need to thrive.” -Coby Cagle, Associate Editor

Institutional Adjustment Coach: New position provides support and advocacy for students on campus.

Thanks to Vice President of Student Life E. Royster Harper we have been given resources to provide our students with an Institutional Adjustment Coach. The Coach will work with students to help them with paratransit, talking with faculty, housing, financial aid and other units that a student may need assistance in negotiating, and provide models of effective communication with faculty so accommodation needs are met. This position was put forward to receive permanent funding and was approved.

Lisa M. Green: Disability Specialist Coordinator is the newest addition to the SSD staff. 

SSD welcomes the newest member to join our staff. Prior to coming to the university, Lisa was at Baker College in Allen Park for 12 years where she was Disability Services Coordinator as well as an adjunct instructor. Lisa was also an adjunct instructor and counselor at Henry Ford Community College. She worked as a therapist in various practices in the Metro Detroit Area and is a member of several professional organizations including the American Counseling Association (ACA) and Association of Higher Education & Disability (AHEAD).


SSD has registered 832 new students, the most ever in its 42 year history.

In academic year 2015-16 SSD successfully advocated for over 63,000 academic accommodations.

SSD partnered with The Career Center to host a Career Panel made up of professionals with disabilities

who shared their career path.

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

SSD provided testing to over 65 LSA students on the Modern Language Aptitude Test.

SSD conducted over 100 screening assessments for UM students and staff.

The SSD Student Advisory Board held its 3rd Annual Students with Disabilities SpeakABLE Event.

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

SSD hosted its 1st Conference on Creating an Equitable College Experience for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

SSD made several presentations to major university stakeholders regarding the new university Readiness to Return guidelines.

Academic Coaching video:

SSD recently produced a video called What is Academic Coaching? to share with new students and parents.


UM Academic Units & Student Life

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 Athletic Department

SSD has arranged a partnership with the department of athletics to provide screenings for all incoming first year student athletes to help ensure their academic success. Funds generated from this work provide resources for professional development activities.

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.


SSD supports work with Philip Larson and the Veterans group. 

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

SSD partners with the Hatcher and Shapiro Library staff to provide study spaces for
SSD students.

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



Parent Advisory Board

SSD is working to create a Parent Advisory Board to inform parents of the services SSD provides as well as to garner financial support and input on additional services and scholarships parents wish to see for SSD students.

Welcome Week Open House

SSD will host a Welcome Week Open House for all incoming and returning students and their parents. 

Tutoring & Social

Academic Study Sessions

SSD is partnering with the library to reserve group study spaces for students during the fall and winter semester. The initial goal is to provide 2-3 hour sessions twice a week in two rooms that can each hold 6-8 students. 

Social Activities

SSD will host interactive activities based around getting to know fellow students with disabilities at the University.

Educational Outreach

Study Skills Workshops

SSD plans to offer study skills workshops throughout the academic year to all interested University students. An added component may also include demonstrations on technology tools/apps for use in academic study.

Career Center Collaboration

SSD is working closely with The Career Center to disseminate information about professional opportunities for students with disabilities. We continue to host events such as a Career Panel and schedule campus visits by disability supportive professional networks.  


Student Life Disability Liaisons

SSD is working to set up disability liaisons within each unit of Student Life to advocate and represent students with disabilities and support issues that impact their community. 

End of Semester Survey

SSD will survey first year students at the end of the fall semester to get feedback on how well they did and to better understand how SSD can improve students’ transition to the University.


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. 

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 Department of Math faculty to discuss the accommodations process
  • Presentation to the Dean of Students Critical Incidents Team on services at SSD
  • Presentation made at the 18th National Conference of Disability Providers hosted by Educational Testing Services, Princeton, N.J.

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-ETS Review Panel for testing accommodations

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 Board of Governors for the Detroit Learning Center

Maureen Candy, Office Supervisor

Committee Assignments

Student Life Key Administrators Group (SL-KAG), Student Life Administrators Meeting (SLAM), Building Incident Response Team (BIRT), Women in Student Affairs Group (WISA)

Professional Development Activities Attended

  • New Budget Format
  • Gap Analysis Workshop 

Alfred Kellam, Coordinator, Psychologist

Major Presentations

  • Send Silence Packing
  • New Faculty Orientation 
  • Rackham Information Fair 
  • SNRE Orientation Resource Fair
  • Teaching Engineering Seminar Summer Engineering

Professional Development Activities Attended

  • APA Division 39 Annual Convention
  • Depression Center, Annual Depression Conference
  • New England Educational Institute, Emotional Disorders: Strategies for Transdiagnostic Treatment
  • Clinical Strategies for Sexual Issues in Treatment
  • Creating an Equitable College Experience for Neurodiverse/ASD students
  • Mindfulness, Trauma & Process Addictions

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

Committee Assignments

Tuition Reimbursement Insurance, Veterans Day planning committee

Professional Development Activities Conducted

  • Introduced new low vision technology into the classroom 
  • for visually impaired student(s) 
  • Assisted in the assessment and use of adaptive technology
  • for quadriplegic student in the College of Engineering
  • Advised/Consulted with Eastern Michigan University
  • on scanning and EText production

Charlotte OConnor, Coordinator
Learning Services, Academic Coach

Committee Assignments

Up Close, Council for Disability Concerns, Mentoring Consortium, ASD Workgroup

Major Presentations

  • Study Skills and Strategies
  • Understanding ASD and Tourette’s 
  • Time Management

Professional Development Activities Attended 

  • Basics of Adding Web Content  
  • Identifying Disability and Markers of Difference 
  • National Association of Developmental Education 
  • Qualtrics (survey development software) training
  • Using Study Skill Strategies to Create Independent Higher Education Learners (Webinar)

Mary Reilly, Captioned Media Specialist

Committee Assignments

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

Professional Development Activities Attended

  • Qualtrics For Your Projects
  • Photoshop For Photographers
  • Student Life Sessions Training
  • Learn Qualtrics In Five Easy Steps
  • REACH for Greater Accessibility (Webinar)
  • Landscape of Closed Captioning (Webinar)
  • Advanced Workflows for Closed Captioning (Webinar)
  • How to Implement Accessible Lecture Capture (Webinar)
  • The Anatomy of an IT Accessibility Coordinator (Webinar)
  • Successful Video Platform Deployment, West-Coast Style (Webinar)
  • Mandatory Non-Discrimination Accessibility Across Campus (Webinar)
  • Online Video and the ADA: How a Landmark Case Changed the Legal (Webinar)
  • Promoting Success for and with First Generation College Students Resource Fair
  • Facilitator for Women in Student Affairs presentation, Wisdom for the Journey
  • 2015 Student Life Professional Development Conference: My Journey, Our Journey
  • Beyond Advertising: Digital Signage for Communication, Emergency Management, and More (Webinar) 

Jill Rice, Coordinator
Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students

Committee Assignments

Council for Disability Concerns, Gift Development/Data Steward, Alex’s Great State Race, Genesee Area Skill Center Advisory Board, Baker College Interpreter Training

Professional Memberships

  • Nationally Certified Interpreter Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
  • Michigan Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
  • Ohio Registry of the Interpreters for the Deaf

Major Presentations

  • Send Silence Packing
  • Meet Michigan
  • Dental School
  • Transition for High School Students at Center For Independent Living

Professional Development Activities Attended

  • Terp Expo
  • Active Minds
  • Medical Interpreting Workshop
  • Visions Technology 2016 Conference
  • PEPnet Online class “Interpreting for persons with other Disabilities”

Lloyd Shelton, Institutional Adjustment Coach

Committee Assignments

Council for Disability Concerns, My Brothers,  Students with Disabilities and our Allies Group (SDAG), Student Life Diversity Working Group

Major Presentations

  • Multiple Perspectives On Access, Inclusion, and Disability 
  • SSD Diversity & Inclusion Crowdsourcing Event

Professional Development Activities Attended

  • Are You First? Symposium Resource Fair
  • 2016 ADA Conference at Ohio State University 


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

The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the Senior Director for Institutional Equity, and Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Office for Institutional Equity, 2072 Administrative Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1432, 734-763-0235, TTY 734-647-1388, For other University of Michigan information call 734-764-1817.