The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 9th

Students with disabilities offered support during, after admissions process

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But if the student chooses to share information about their disability during the application process, UNC’s Accessibility Resources and Service office and an admissions subcommittee for disabilities can work together to give due consideration and support.

Tiffany Bailey , director of the Accessibility Resources office, said students self-identify to the accessibility office either before they are admitted or during freshman orientation.

“We will meet with some prospective students who want an idea of how we are going to accommodate their disability, but we don’t meet with a lot of students, and a lot of students may not disclose a disability,” she said.

Jared Rosenberg , senior assistant director of admissions, said students must self-disclose their disability in order to be eligible for extra consideration by the Committee on Disabilities , the admissions subcommittee.

The student must also include some sort of documentation of their disability, such as evaluations from a physician or psychologist, a personal impact statement or an individualized education plan used in high school.

“If the student mentions the disability in an essay but does not provide any documentation, we will not mark that student for further consideration because we have nothing more to go on,” Rosenberg said.

Ashley Memory , assistant director of admissions, said applicants are not required to note if they have a disability.

“There are around 30 to 35 students who self-disclose (a disability), and of those we may forward about 20 to 25 to the subcommittee,” she said.

Logan Gin , a UNC sophomore with dwarfism, said UNC’s accessibility services have been extremely helpful. Gin is studying abroad in Mexico and responded to questions in a Facebook message.

“I actually met with the ARS office on a visit to campus when I first heard about the program. I got in contact with one of the members to talk about what it is like to go to UNC with a disability,” he said in the message.

“Tiffany Bailey has been great from the very beginning when I first met her during my visit. She is always just a phone call, email or office visit away.”

College students with disabilities must take responsibility for their own accommodations, a change that Bailey said can present a challenge.

“In K-12, parents or guardians have the primary responsibility in advocating, and here the responsibility shifts to the students,” she said.

“That’s a common transition challenge for students — all students, but especially students with disabilities from an accommodations perspective.”

Rosenberg said one of the most important concerns during admission for disabled and non-disabled students alike is whether or not they will succeed at UNC.

“We don’t want to put anyone in a situation not to succeed,” he said. “Does everybody we admit have to get an A average at Carolina, no. Not every student will have an A average at Carolina, but what we are trying to do is bring in students who would benefit from being here.”

“We don’t want to put anyone in an awkward or uncomfortable situation.”

Rosenberg said UNC’s accessibility has a strong reputation among prospective students and parents.

“I’ve been to recruitment events before and people come up to me at receptions and say ‘we did our research, and you guys keep coming up’,” he said.

“I’ve noticed over the years that we’ve got what seems to be a very strong reputation as a good place for students to come that have disabilities.”

Gin said he was pleasantly surprised by the ease of his transition to UNC.

“I was actually pretty amazed when I actually moved into my dorm,” he said.

“I was worrying throughout the summer about how things were going to work, but in the end, everything worked out.”

Contact the desk editor at  university@dailytarheel.com.



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