Disability Resource Center at ASU helps everyone to excel

Students are offered all kinds of accommodations though the DRC.

At Arizona State University there is a special place that is determined to help students succeed; all they have to do is ask.

The Disability Resource Center is that place. They are accesible to those only by request, and they will do whatever it takes to help.

I sat down with Lance Harrop, Director of the Downtown Disability Resource Center, and he told me all about what they do, why they do it and how it all comes together.

He told me that the center is all about meeting each individual student and finding what will work for them, “…working with faculty and staff to provide information, advise and guidance so that ASU will be accessible for everyone.”

The center is funded by ASU, so it is free for use to every and any student at ASU, and Harrop said that each student is met with “….on a case by case, class by class basis.”

No matter what disability the student has, from autism to having trouble paying attention in class, the center will find what works for that particular student and ensure that they receive that help.

“We’ll look at the impact of the disability…and then we will provide support services accordingly,” said Harrop.

The staff also consists of  ASU students who work as scribes, notetakers, in-class aides and more.

“I really love it there, everyone that comes in is so nice,” said Alyssa Holland, a receptionist and healthy lifestyles coaching major at ASU.

Many people may think that education ends after high school, but the Disability Resource Center proves differently by aiding those at ASU who need some extra help.


Having a Sibling with a Disability

So I’ve talked about my brother Evan a lot on my blog and how much he has affected my life, but I wanted to take this opportunity to talk to some other people about their experiences with their siblings.

Gilbert Uriarte is a 19-year-old Linguistics student at Arizona State University, and his 29-year-old brother Johnny is clinically diagnosed as being MOMR (moderately mentally retarded), as well as being hearing and visually impaired.

Gilbert (left) and his older brother Johnny (right).

Gilbert explained that Johnny will sometimes break out in a tantrum if his routine is broken, and that, “If anything I feel like he’s the younger sibling and I look out for him.”

Looking out for Johnny is all Gilbert has ever known, but he said that, “it was harder for other people to understand that he was handicapped,” and that the stares and dirty looks are what really bothers him.

Johnny was born with his disability, so Gilbert has never known any different, but 19-year-old Gilberto Valdes’ experience with his brother has been much different.

Jorge Valdes, Gilberto’s older brother, is a 25-year-old who holds two bachelor’s degrees from New York University. When he returned from New York to his home in Texas, his family noticed that he was acting very different.

After some convincing from the family, Jorge visited the family doctor and then was referred to a psychiatrist who diagnosed him with schizophrenia and Aspergers.

“The brother that I grew up with and that I knew is not there anymore,” said Gilberto.

Gilberto said that talking to Jorge is like talking to and adjusting to a new person entirely, because “…his old personality is gone,” but he added that Jorge is still very intelligent.

According to Gilberto, doctors are still uncertain what really caused the change or what will happen with Jorge’s future.

Both Jorge and Johnny have had different pasts and will have different futures, but they both are fortunate enough to have brothers who love and care for them.