Services for Students with Disabilities

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Director’s Message         

The end of the academic school year is always a good time for reflection and to contemplate where we have been and what direction we are going.  The 2012-2013 academic year has been another busy year for the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD).   For a variety of reasons the office has undergone an incredible surge in the number of students who are registering with us.  This process appears to be continuing unabated and probably will continue into the future.  During the past academic year we have registered over 600 new students and the SSD office now has over 2,100 registered students.   Almost five percent (4.666%) of the entire student population (undergraduate/ graduate and professional students) are now registered as having a disability.  A conservative estimate is that the SSD office has successfully advocated for over 50,000 individual academic accommodations during the 2012-2013 school year.  In addition to working with those 2,100 students and often their parents as well, the office does screening interviews for any student on campus who feels they are struggling, but doesn’t know why; testing with regards to foreign language learning for LS&A; maintaining office hours on North Campus to ensure easy access for students who are not regularly on central campus; and the provision of academic coaching. 

All of these additional activities when taken together brought at least another 300 students into contact with SSD staff members. This growth and SSD’s outreach is occurring at a time when resources for the entire University are in a state of decline.   In the last two years SSD has experienced a reduction of 1.5 FTE, and in the last four years SSD has had a substantial reduction in our general fund operating budget. As Director I want to congratulate and express my deep gratitude for the hard work and dedication of the seven staff members of the office.  Despite fiscal and human resource challenges, they continuously put forth their best effort and provide excellent work and services to the community.

I would also like to note that for the first time in SSD’s history we have started a student advisory board.  Working with our students on the Board has been an invigorating experience.  Their energy, drive and willingness to engage in hard work and discussions have helped me maintain my passion for the work.

Finally, I want to thank all of the donors who have given financial support for our work.  SSD’s mission is very focused and what these funds have allowed us to do is to enhance the student’s experience on campus far beyond what the law requires and what most of our peer institutions have not been able to provide to their students.  I want our donors to fully realize the transformational experiences that they our providing for our students.  I recognize what they have done, thank them and will continue to encourage getting more gifts for our office.  As SSD moves into its 40th year of existence in 2014 we look towards our past with pride in helping to shape a more accessible and diverse campus climate.  We are also quite optimistic about the challenges that are ahead of us.  As always thank you for taking the time to read our annual report.

Wishing you all the best,

Stuart S Segal, Ph.D.

Director, Services for Students with Disabilities


Mission Statement

The mission of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities 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.



  1. Overview of Activity
  2. SSD Student Demographics
  3. Big Ten Schools Disability Staff & Students
  4. Accomplishments
  5. Services
  6. Collaboration
  7. Development
  8. Goals
  9. Staff Contributions
  10. Kudos


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


Overview of Activity

Growth in 2012-13

By the numbers…

Since 2008, SSD has witnessed a more than 100% increase in the number of students it serves. SSD now services 4.7% of the entire student body, including undergraduate, graduates, and professional students.

During the academic year 2012-13 the SSD office registered over 6oo new students.  This is the largest number of students to ever register in a one-year time period. 

Students Registered with SSD 2008-13 Total Students and New Students

  • 911 Total and 387 New in 2008-9
  • 1237 Total and 456 New in 2009-10
  • 1354 Total and 514 New in 2010-11
  • 1831 Total and 605 New in 2011-12
  • 2116 Total and 607 New in 2012-13

Breakdown by Disability Academic Year 2012-13

  • Learning Disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), AD/HD, Autistic Spectrum, etc.: 953 students, 45.0 percent
  • Mental Health Conditions, 513 students, 24.2 percent
  • Chronic Health Conditions, 275 students, 13.0 percent
  • Dual Disabilities, 143 students, 6.7 percent
  • Temporary Disabilities (physical injuries and psychological screenings), 119 students, 5.6 percent
  • Visual Impairments, 45 students, 2.1 percent
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing, 34 students, 1.6 percent
  • Mobility Impairments, 33 students, 1.6 percent

Some students have more than one disability; Numbers do not add to 100%)


SSD Student Demographics

Ethnicity and Home State/Country

SSD Student Racial / Ethnic Background

  • White/Caucasian, 1476 students, 76.0 percent
  • African American, 161 students, 8 percent
  • Asian/Pacific Islander, 127 students, 7 percent
  • Not specified / Blank, 98 students, 5 percent
  • Latino, 88 students, 4 percent
  • Other, 89 students, 4 percent
  • Biracial, 11 students, 1 percent
  • Native American, 5 students, 0.2 percent

SSD Students’ Home State / Country

  • Michigan Counties, 1193 students, 64 percent
  • United States and Territories, 664 students, 35 percent
  • Foreign Countries, 23 students, 1 percent

SSD Student Ethnicity Compared to University Population (Percentages)

  • White, 76 percent SSD, 68 percent University
  • African American, 8 percent SSD, 5 percent University
  • Asian / Pacific Islander, 7 percent SSD, 13 percent University
  • Latino, 4 percent SSD, 5 percent University
  • Biracial, 1 percent SSD, 3 percent University
  • Native American, 0.2 percent SSD, 0.2 percent University

Student Class Standing (at time of registration)

  • Freshman, 791 students, 39 percent
  • Sophomore, 391 students, 19 percent
  • Junior, 349 students, 17 percent
  • Senior, 180 students, 9 percent
  • Graduate / PhD, 316 students, 16 percent
  • Non-degree / blank, 28 students, 1 percent

Class Standing, Disability Trends and More

Trend in Largest Disability Groups (2010-2013)

  • Chronic Health Conditions, 222 students in 2010-11, 233 in 2011-12 and 275 in 2012-13
  • Mental Health Conditions, 411 students in 2010-11, 438 in 2011-12 and 513 in 2012-13
  • Learning Disabilities, 859 students in 2010-11, 903 in 2011-12 and 953 in 2012-13


Big Ten Schools Disability Staff and Students

  • The University of Michigan has the second highest number of SSD registered students – 2,116 –  in all of the 14 Big Ten schools.
  • The University of Michigan ranks 11th of 14in the number of full-time disability services staff providing accommodations to students with disabilities.
  • 3 : 1,000 is the smallest ratio of staff to SSD registered students in the Big Ten.



SSD Breaking New Ground

Established a Student Advisory Board

For the first time in its history, the Services for Students with Disabilities office created a Student Advisory Board. The Board is made up of a diverse group of a dozen students ranging from freshmen to graduate level within the University.

New Record Set for Students Registered

607 new students registered this academic year. SSD has surpassed the 2,000-student mark for the time in its history with 2,116 as of June 30, 2013.

Created an Academic Study Skills Workshop Series

SSD held a series of workshops for the whole University community aimed at improving student’s academic skills done by nationally known educational psychologist, Dr. Geraldine Markel. These sessions were video taped and the information is on SSD’s website.

Additional Achievements

Quiet Study Spaces Website

This winter semester two students created a website,, that lists by building the quiet places to study on central campus.

New Adaptive Technology Lead Position

SSD was part of the hiring committee for a new adaptive technology lead position at the University. This person is now in charge of the Knox Center Adaptive Technology Computing Site.

New Verification Form for ADHD and Mental Health Conditions

Created a new, unifying verification form for mental health, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders and acquired / traumatic brain injury disorders. This form is easier for evaluators to fill out and provides SSD with more comprehensive information regarding the determination of academic accommodations.

Readiness to Return University Guidance Documentation

The SSD director helped to write the University guidance document on Readiness to Return and presented it to the Provost group in April.

Continued Successes

Newsletters & Website

SSD published a winter and spring/summer edition of the newsletter. In addition, we have made extensive changes to the SSD website including the reorganization of several topic hubs, streamlining the registration process, adding more interactive features, and providing new resources in the areas of study skills and assistive technology.  

Modern Language Aptitude Test (MLAT) Testing

SSD continues to play a critical role in LSA’s foreign language waiver process, with both a presence on the Academic Standards Board and by administering the testing of students petitioning the College. The office offered five testing dates for the MLAT throughout the academic year, testing over 60 students.

Welcome Wednesdays

On February 27th, SSD sponsored a Welcome Wednesday at the UM Alumni Center to promote the services SSD offers to UM students. This year, 1,849 students attended.

Expanded SSD Database

As of the end of June, SSD has successfully created a new database of alumni, friends and allies containing almost 5,000 names.



Academic Accommodations 2012-13

Accommodations provided by our office include time and a half for exams, quiet locations for test taking, laptops for in-class exams, as well as setting up interpreters for campus events  (graduations, campus tours, etc.) among many others. In addition, SSD continues to put books into alternative formats for students with visual and/or reading disabilities. In the last year, we scanned over 82,000 pages of text.

  • Extrapolated for the academic year SSD provides approximately 50,000 academic accommodations.

SSD continues to provide note takers, video captioning, CART services and interpreters for its deaf/hard of hearing students. 



The UM Community and Beyond

This past year, SSD has worked on expanding partnerships with divisional and academic units, as well as national institutions. Across the University, we specifically focus on increasing our connection with LSA, the Athletic Department, the Medical School and the Division to share information, promote awareness, and provide support around disability issues.

SSD Partners with…

UM Academic Units

SSD director and staff have given talks to several departments and schools including LSA, College of Engineering, The Office of New Student Programs (ONSP), Center for Research, Learning and Teaching (CRLT) and Greek Life.

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.

In Addition...

  • SSD meets regularly with the Medical School’s new learning specialist.
  • SSD works closely with DSA Tech Services to update the SSD website.
    • Recent changes have brought about new UM DSA branding initiatives and incorporated flatter, more attractive and accessible layout design.
  • SSD has been working with Educational Testing Service (ETS) on testing accommodations guidelines. We also provided consultation and evaluation of services for Rutgers University and MI-AHEAD, the Michigan Association on Higher Education and Disability organization.
  • SSD works closely with the IT Assistive Technology Lead in charge of the Knox Center to provide and accommodate students using adaptive/assistive technology.
    • SSD purchased the literacy software Read & Write Gold to support and enhance students’ reading and writing skills.



SSD Funding and Scholarships as of June 1, 2013





Ridley Scholarship

Chronic health/visual, hearing, or mobility impairment can pay up to 7 students with a $2,000 cap per student given in fall term only


Shell Oil Award

Given to Engineering/Business students towards tutoring or professional development


Wesley Smith Award

Given annually to one recipient who has physical disabilities


Saul and Shirley Lederer Award

Given annually to two recipients who have physical disabilities and are active in their University Community


Burt Black Scholarship

Given annually to one recipient who has learning disability/mobility impairment


SSD Sources of Support

Student Life and SSD continue their efforts to expand funding opportunities for students with disabilities. Your contributions to SSD will allow us to continue to provide superior, cutting edge services, and resources for our students. Funding support will extend and expand SSD's ability to provide invaluable assistance to both the University community and to its students with disabilities in particular.

In the past year, we have received new and continuing sources of support from several individuals and families.

  • The Samet family gave $5,000 for the start of a mentor program.
  • Susan Webb donated $7,333 to be used for students with ADHD, autism spectrum disorders,  and all mental health conditions.
  • Special thanks to the family of The Adam Miller Memorial Fund  for their continued commitment and support of the Services for Students with Disabilities office and its students.
  • The Fact Fund renewed its commitment to give $25,000 (over three years) towards the purchase of technology for students with learning disabilities.

Individuals who generously support SSD…

  • Herb and Christine Black
  • Erika Erlandson
  • Martin Garago
  • Martin Halbfinger
  • Donna Hansen
  • Stuart Heiser
  • Lorie Levy
  • Michael McLean
  • Justin S. Nematzdeh
  • James Neubacher
  • Michael Papadelis
  • Ellen Plant
  • Susan Reider
  • David Sprecher
  • Grant Till



Moving Forward 2013-14



SSD 40th Anniversary

Plan to host several events around disability advocacy and awareness to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the U-M SSD office.

SSD Mentor Program

Launch the first peer mentorship program for students with disabilities to expand mentoring and peer coaching opportunities.

Fundraising Initiative

Send out a donation letter to all SSD students, alumni, friends and allies.

Tutorial List with GEO

With the help of GEO, modify and expand a tutor list for students seeking academic support.

Referral List for Students Seeking Psychological Testing or Services

This list will consist of both University and community providers to assist students who are looking for psychological testing or psychotherapy services.

Resource Web Page for Students with Mobility Impairments

Add a mobility impairment resource page to the website, providing suggestions about how to obtain certain services that are not part of the SSD’s mission and/or programming.

Increase Student Involvement in Disability Related Issues

Continue the growth of our new SSD advisory student board and increase the membership of the Council of Graduate Students for Disability Issues.


Work on transitioning the DsylexiaHelp website into SSD.

Improve and Expand Resources on SSD Website

Continue to expand the content of SSD’s website to include more information regarding technology, adaptive applications for iPads and smart phone devices, material on career issues, i.e. to disclose or not, etc.

New Laptops for Testing Accommodations

Replace the obsolete laptop computers used for testing accommodations with new, updated versions.

UROP and SSD Collaboration

Work with both the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) and a Chemistry faculty member, Dr. Zimmerman, on getting more students with disabilities involved in research opportunities.


Staff Contributions

Committee Assignments, Major Presentations, Professional Development Activities Conducted/Attended, Projects

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, Hiring Committee for the Adaptive Technology Expert  position in ITS

Major Presentations

  • Presentation to Literature Science and Arts (LS&A) new academic advisors
  • Presentation to M-STEM students at the College of Engineering
  • Presentation made to a group of social work faculty and students from Japan
  • Presentations made to the staff and academic advisors of Baker Colleges of Michigan
  • Presentation to Michigan Advising Corp as part of their summer training institute
  • Presentation made to Provost Group meeting on Readiness to Return Guidelines
  • Presentation made to Faculty of the School of Kinesiology
  • Presentation made to the Department of Asian Language and Culture
  • Presentation made to the Council of Disability Concerns
  • Presentation made to the Students and Faculty of the Dental Hygiene Program

Professional Development Activities Conducted

  • Editorial Board of Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
  • Consultant for Educational Testing Service (ETS) on Disability issues
  • Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Consultant on Disability Issues
  • Served on the Professional Advisory Board of the MI-LDA
  • Emeritus member of the Board of Governors for the Detroit Learning Center- a nonprofit that provides free intensive tutoring to children with reading disabilities
  • Presentation made to College of Engineering “pipeline” program aimed at high school students to get them interested in careers in engineering
  • Conducted an external review of the disability office at Rutgers University
  • Consulted with the School of Music, Theater and Dance regarding high school students with disabilities who were attending summer programs
  • Worked at both the new faculty orientation and the Rackham graduate student information fair
  • Consulted with Athletic Department Regarding High Risk Students
  • Consulted on the drafting of the first ever documentation guidelines for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders for ETS

Professional Development Activities Attended

  • MI-AHEAD Conference
  • Numerous talks at the Center for Growth and Human Development (CGHD) Brown Bag Conferences
  • Numerous talks at the Department of Psychiatry’s Grand Rounds Conference
  • 16th Annual Conference of the ETS Review Panel for Testing Accommodations
  • College Student and Depression Conference
  • DSA Professional Development opportunities
  • Activities and talks during Invest in Abilities Week

Maureen Candy, Office Coordinator

Committee Assignments

Active U Participant, Council for Grad Students with Disability Issues (CGSDI), Business and Human Resource Team (BAHRT), DSA Assistants, Building Incident Response Team (BIRT), Skywarn Storm Spotter Training

Major Presentations

  • New Staff Orientation Representative
  • Campus Information Day Volunteer
  • DSA front desk fill-in for DOS, CAPS, and OVPSA

Professional Development Conferences Attended

  • ImageNow Access Updates
  • Procurement Services Forums
  • DSA Assistant Meetings Lunch and Learn workshops
  • Computer Security Training
  • Training in Budget and Finances for job promotion to Administrative Assistant Senior
  • Microsoft Access Training
  • Depository Re-Certification Training


  • Help/update SSD Website
  • Scan SSD Student Files to be Stored on ImageNow
  • Buy and Install/Upgrade New Computers for Office/Student Use
  • Put office computers on the main IT database
  • ADHD Awareness Day Presentation marketing and financials
  • Maintain storage area for accessible equipment for registered SSD students
  • Jessie Ridley Scholarship facilitator for Candidates and Board Members
  • Help/update Facebook Page
  • Coordinated Tutoring project with funding from SSD source
  • Helped set up and Coordinate Hathi Trust users to access the digital library

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

Committee Assignments

Council for Disability Concerns, Council for Graduate Students with Disability Issues (CGSDI) Group, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Workgroup, Social Work Diversity/Disability Committee, M-Justice, OSCR, Academic Support Web Site Team, SSD Mentoring Workgroup (Chair)

Major Presentations

  • Michigan Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (M-STEM) Presentation & Fair
  • Engineering Advisors – Successful Coaching of At Risk Students
  • Center for Research on Learning and Teaching – consultant on disability work presentations
  • Tokai University Social Work Student Training Program
  • SSD training for New Student Orientation Leaders
  • Multiple Presentations for New Cohort of Dental Students
  • Psychology Department Academic Advisors
  • Moving Forward with Asperger’s – A Transition to College Workshop to inform Washtenaw County students and parents about successful adjustment to college for students on the autism spectrum

Professional Development Activities Attended and Memberships

  • Coach Training – Advanced Coach Certification (Coaches Training Institute and International Coaching Federation - ICF)
  • Supervisor Trainings
  • DSA Appraisal Training
  • ACO (ADHD Coaches Organization) Membership
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder Training
  • ADHD Coach Training
  • Tutor and Academic Coach Training


  • Facilitated delivery and video-taping of five academic success workshops by Geraldine Markel; Consulting with SSD webmaster on format and delivery of these resources on the website
  • Continued development and enhancement of part time Academic Coach Position; Actively seeking qualified coach to assist coaching and programmatic learning work for students with disabilities
  • U-M Academic Support Services Web Project – Major developer and ongoing shaper of this campus-wide resource; Main responder to web-site inquiries; Add new campus resources; Approve and update changes to web site; Instituting systemic generation of requests for update of web information.
  • SSD Mentoring – Continuing development for a mentoring program for students with disabilities at the U-M; Creating web presence for mentoring; Developing Mentor Training and manual for SSD Mentors; Implementing engagement of faculty and students without disabilities as mentoring support
  • Ongoing development of Academic Skills Training Workshops
  • Content development for Coaching / Mentoring presence on SSD website
  • Burt Black Scholarship – Oversee the annual selection of recipient for this monetary award

Alfred Kellam, Coordinator, Psychologist

Major Presentations

  • New Faculty Orientation
  • Huron High School, "Life After High School" (CEDO), Special Resources Presentation
  • Teaching Engineering Seminar, Summer Engineering Institute
  • Welcome Wednesday, Alumni Center
  • Office of New Student Programs, Orientation Training

Professional Development Conferences Attended

  • Depression Center, Annual Depression Conference
  • New England Educational Institute, Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome
  • American Psychological Association Annual Convention
  • UM AD/HD Awareness Week Presentation
  • Hal Korn Series: Working with Students on the Autistic Spectrum

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

Committee Assignments

Tuition Reimbursement Insurance, Veterans Day planning committee, Knox Center Relocation committee

Major Presentations

  • Tokai University Social Work Student Training Program
  • SSD training for New Student Orientation Leaders
  • Professional Development Activities Conducted
  • Advised/Consulted with Oakland University and Baker College on scanning and Etext production

Mary Reilly, Captioned Media Specialist

Committee Assignments

Council for Disability Concerns, DSA Communications Group, Web Access Working Group (WAWG), DSA Staff Advisory Board, Women in Student Affairs (WISA)

Professional Development Conferences Attended

  • Communicator’s Forum: Great Work Conference
  • DSA Annual Professional Development Conference
  • Submitted a proposal for AHEAD Conference 2013 and was accepted
  • Enriching Scholarship 2013


  • Designed and published three editions of SSD newsletter
  • Updated/Managed changes to the SSD website

Jill Rice, Coordinator, Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Committee Assignments

  • Council for Disability Concerns, Data Steward, Genesee Area Skill Center Advisory Board, SSD 40th Planning Committee
  • Major Presentations
  • Residential Staff Training
  • Parents of New Students
  • Welcome Wednesday
  • Tokai University students
  • Gayz Craze
  • Parents Weekend
  • Office of New Students Orientation Leaders

Professional Development Activities Attended

  • Working Effectively with Faculty and Physicians
  • Sign Language Interpreter Expo (16 credits)
  • Memberships
  • Sign Language Interpreter – Licensed in the State of Michigan
  • Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
  • Michigan Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
  • Ohio Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf



Recognition of SSD Staff Services

Virginia Grubaugh received gratitude from many departments and advising units for level of coordination of student care.

Multiple donations have been made to the SSD office on behalf of individual staff members to promote positive engagement toward students’ success.

SSD staff has received numerous letters and expressions of gratitude for assisting students overcome difficulties and persevere to graduation.

A recent graduate brought back a token of appreciation (hand made plates) from Kenya for support that was received from SSD.

Maureen Candy and Mary Reilly were recognized for 5 years of service in the Division of Student Life.