By Kateryna Kadabashy
University life can be overwhelming and stressful, and that is why American University of Sharjah (AUS) offers students many resources to make their life easier. One such resources is the Academic Support Center (ASC). ASC is on hand to provide academic support for students who are struggling academically, as well as academic accommodations for students with disabilities. There are 106 students with disabilities who have benefited from services provided by ASC; and more than 10 students with significant physical disabilities have already graduated.
ASC follows the Americans with Disabilities Act’s definition for disabilities, which refers to “…a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities”. Mental health conditions are some of the most frequent conditions for which students receive academic accommodations. Students suffering from anxiety, depression or any other mental health conditions or a medical condition, are more than welcome to apply for academic accommodations through ASC.
ASC offers a variety of academic accommodations including converting textbooks into braille or audio format, extended testing time, distraction-reduced testing space, and many others. However, note that ASC only provides academic accommodations and is not responsible for campus wide accessibility.
Students can apply for academic accommodations by submitting an official medical report authenticated by the University Health Center before the deadline to ASC (end of the fifth week of the semester). If the student does not have a report and would like to obtain one, they are welcome to visit ASC and get referrals on how and where to obtain required reports. Once the academic accommodations have been approved, ASC will provide the student with an approval letter. Students can give this letter to their faculty in a timely manner to receive the approved accommodations.
ASC has agreements with various external agencies to provide AUS community with special discounts, including the American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology. ASC has coordinated with the AUS Library to create a disability-friendly computer and working station. ASC also provides regular faculty trainings in collaboration with Faculty Development Center. Additionally, this year ASC has organized a Disability Awareness Day for the AUS community, which is held today, December 6, 2016. Be sure to check out the various events scheduled for this day. Details are available on the AUS events page and on the poster below.
So my dear fellow AUS students, please be aware that university does not have to be torture for you because of your dissabilities, and asking for help is not shameful. Make use of the services on campus, they are there to make your life easier. Kindly remember, ASC staff are always ready to provide you the help you need.
Kateryna Kadabashy is a Mass Communication student at American University of Sharjah.
Visit www.aus.edu for more information about American University of Sharjah