Ellen Crowe Finan | July 5, 2018
Facilitating accommodations so all students have equal access to the Notre Dame academic experience is the core mission of Sara Bea Disability Services.
A formal process to provide accommodations for students with impairments began in 1995 when Scott Howland was hired to create a centralized office of disability services. The first offices were housed in Badin Hall.
A generous gift from Javon and Vita Bea in 2006, in memory of their daughter, Sara, made it possible to renovate the building where the Sara Bea Learning Center for Students with Disabilities is today, just north of the Main Building. “We went from just a couple of offices in Badin Hall to a facility that could accommodate all our needs,” says Howland.
Over the years, the need for accommodations has grown. Today, the center serves 8 percent of the Notre Dame undergraduate and graduate student population. “We are serving a lot more students who have mental health and chronic medical conditions,” says Howland. “In turn, we have developed strong relationships with key campus partners.”
In addition to Howland, the Sara Bea Center is staffed by Mandie Waling, associate coordinator, who oversees testing accommodations and ancillary aids such as providing note-takers or converting textbooks into electronic formats that sync with special adaptive software.
Read more here.