SOMERSET, Ky. – College classes can be difficult for anyone. But, for students with disabilities, there are added obstacles. That’s where Rosetta Berry can help. As manager of Disability Services at Somerset Community College, her goal is to find ways to stop disabilities from becoming a handicap to learning.
Berry says that she assists students with physical as well as mental disabilities. And, during her two years in the position, she says she has seen several success stories. “One young man who graduated last year is working on his Master’s (degree) through Western (Kentucky University) right now,” she said. Another recent graduate just “found full-time employment.”
Nearly half of those she assists are awarded at least one credential. Students with a disability go through the regular admissions process. Then, Berry says the students should call her “to make an appointment (or simply walk-in).”
“Once the student brings me medical documentation (of their disability), I interview them. The accommodations are discussed and decided upon according to the student’s needs and disability.”
Examples of accommodations would be additional time tests or an interpreter in the classroom. Service animals that are trained to do work or perform tasks for those with disabilities can also be included.
Berry says that many times she also refers students to Vocational Rehabilitation Services “for additional assistance.” Once a plan of action is established, Berry sends “an accommodation letter to the student’s instructors” and emails a copy to the student. She also requests that the student speak to their instructors the first day of class to introduce themselves.
For anyone needing accommodations that missed out on visiting Berry before the semester, information on disability services offered by the college is included in each course syllabus on the first day of class. During the semester, students can contact Berry if there is any change in their situation or “if they have any problems or any issues.” With the accommodations provided, Berry says a disabled student should have equal access to classes at the college.
Those interested in learning more about disability services at SCC can contact Berry at 606-451-6706 or 1-800-629-9722, extension 16706. She is also available on Mondays and Wednesdays on SCC’s Somerset Campus, and Tuesdays and Thursdays on the Laurel Campus, or Friday’s by appointment.
Spring 2020 semester classes that begin January 13. Those interested should visit SCC’s website at somerset.kctcs.edu or call toll free (877) 629-9722 for information.
Somerset Community College is a comprehensive two-year institution of higher education. SCC has campuses in Somerset and London, and centers in Casey, Clinton, McCreary, and Russell counties. For admission and program information, visit our website at somerset.kctcs.edu.