Office of Disability Services (ODS)

Zach Holler, '13

What made you decide to attend Wright State? What would you tell other students who are evaluating Wright State as a possible college choice?  

During my years in high school, I always said that I wanted to go to college far away from home, as is probably typical for most high school seniors.  However, when I visited Wright State for the first time, I could not overlook the fact that it was one of the most accessible campuses in the country and ranked within the top 5 universities in terms of innovative and accommodative services for students with disabilities.  I would strongly encourage other prospective students to think about what they want to obtain from their college experience, not what part of the country they want to go to.  In so doing, Wright State would stand out among their top options.  
 

What have been your goals after graduating from Wright State and how did your academic program, your professors and the staff at Wright State help you achieve those goals?

Since I graduated from WSU, I have been focusing on a career in disability advocacy.  This started during my time as an employee for the Access Center for Independent Living. Now my focus has shifted to disability inclusion at the intersection of the faith and disability fields. When I arrived on campus in 2007, I simply didn’t have a definite goal because my eyes had not been opened to the world of possibilities available to me. I give full credit to Jeff Vernooy, former director of the Office of Disability Services.  He opened my eyes to these possibilities and showed me what it meant to be a true advocate and helped me realize that the spirit of advocacy and inclusion for all was within me. 
 

What were some of the most innovative or beneficial services offered by the Office of Disability Services while you attended Wright State?   How did those services help you to succeed and excel as a student at Wright State? 

Before the end of my first week of my freshman year at WSU, it was already clear to me and the staff in ODS that we would get to know each other very well.  I utilized literally every service ODS had to offer, with the exception of psychological counseling.  The technology center worked tirelessly to provide me with my books and notes in electronic format, while ODS also provided me with student reader/writers to assist me with writing assignments.  Through these services, I was allowed to hire my own peers, who in turn were paid by ODS. These were two of the most innovative services offered, but I cannot leave out the large amount of sign language interpreting services provided to me to allow me to succeed in the classroom and be an active participant in extracurricular college life.