Office of Disability Services
Welcome to the Office for Disability Services
Office for Disability Services (SLDS) is a support unit for students of The Ohio State University at Mansfield. SLDS provides FREE programs and services designed to help students have full access to college life.
All students are encouraged to contact the Office for Disability Services in the early stages of their college planning. Preadmission services include information about academic support services, specialized equipment, transition issues, admission requirements, and meetings with an access specialist.
Student Life Disability Services collaborates with and empowers students who have disabilities in order to coordinate support services and programs that enable equal access to an education and university life.
Celebrating 40 Years of Access!
Student Life Disability Services was established as the Office of the Physically Impaired (OPI) in 1974. In its early years, OPI largely served students and staff who had physical disabilities. Prior to the office opening its doors in 1974, there was already advocacy taking place on campus to address access issues for anyone who had physical limitations.
On October 18,1966, Julie Cockran Rogers received a letter from the Ohio State University, College of Medicine, speech and hearing department , stating “Although they would be most happy to have her as a student (in reference to the speech and hearing department), physical limitations prohibit any possibility of your being one at OSU.” The letter goes on to state that the building (Derby Hall) where the courses would be held were on the third floor so there was “no way, shape or form” that she would be able to take her course of study and further “there is little or no hope that it will change in the near future.” The letter goes on to say that “We have to be realistic and understand that it will be a long time before ideal setups will be available for those with atypical problems. If I were you, I would investigate further the program offered in Illinois and go “west” of Ohio to pursue a career in speech and hearing.
Julie enrolled at Mansfield campus and transferred to the Columbus campus. As a student she actively engaged others on campus about inaccessibility issues-from the president of the university and down. In January 1974, University President Harold Enarson called together a task force to address the needs of physically handicapped persons and stated in a letter of invitation to Julie and to Nancy Brower (who became the first director of Disability Services) that the “problems faced by these special students and employees are ones about which the university should have a broader knowledge.” The charge given to the task force was to review the needs of the physically handicapped on campus and to make appropriate recommendations for change. One of those recommendations was the creation of a disability services office. This recommendation was approved by the OSU Board of Trustees in November, 1974.
1974-Present: A Timeline of the History of Disability Services
1970 – OSU starts to remove architectural barriers
1972 – Dick Maxwell is hired as the Assistant Director
1973 – Library of the Visually Impaired established
1973 – Adapted transportation system started (now known as Paratransit Services)
1974 – Office of the Physically Impaired is created in Personnel Services
1974 – Creative Living was founded to solve the housing dilemma for individuals who had physical challenges
Mid-70’s – A grant written by Mary Daniels in Student Affairs, provides adapted recreational sports for students and staff with disabilities
1977 – First student with learning disability is registered in OPI
1978 – Lydia Block is hired as a Coordinator of Learning Disability Services
1979 – OPI becomes part of Student Affairs (now known as the Office of Student Life)
1980 – Compliance deadline for Section 504
1981 – OPI name changed to the Office for Disability Services (ODS)
1981 – Students with disabilities served by Disability Services exceeds 200
1983 – Students with learning disabilities exceeds 200
1984 – Disability Services given responsibility for diagnostic testing of students having academic difficulties suspected of undiagnosed learning disabilities.
1984 – Disability Services is established on the regional campuses-Lima, Newark, Mansfield, Marion and Wooster/Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI).
1986 – Students with learning disabilities population exceeds 400
1987 – Disability Services moves to current location in Pomerene Hall
1988 – Total student service population exceeds 850
1994 – Student organization, Students for Disability Awareness is founded
2000 – Scott Lissner is hired as the ADA Coordinator for the university
2002 – Assistive Technology Training Center (ATTC) is opened in 102 Pomerene Hall
2003 – Disability Studies department is established
2014 – New office name: Student Life Disability Services
2016 – Disability Services moves to Baker Hall
2016 – Counselor's job title changes to "Access Specialist"
Present – Disability Services now serves over 2,000 students! It is a population with a wide range of disabilities with the majority being those with hidden or invisible disabilities.
How do I get help from SLDS?
First, it’s important for students and families to know that in college, it is the responsibility of students to make the request for disability help in school. In order to seek help through SLDS, contact Michelle McGregor, the Disability Specialist to make an appointment.
You can do this by calling Michelle directly at (419) 755-4304. Michelle will talk to you about what difficulties you are having in learning and in school. She will also discuss with you strategies that have helped you in the past in school, as well as discussing your strengths. Michelle will then generally ask you to provide documentation of your disability from your doctor and/or care provider. If you have an IEP from your K-12 education experience, this information is also very helpful. Michelle will use the information from her talk with you and from your documentation to determine your academic accommodations while enrolled at Ohio State Mansfield.
The Office for Disability Services is located in:
279 Ovalwood Hall
1760 University Drive
Mansfield, OH 44906-1535
Will I be obligated to use accommodations if I seek help from SLDS?
No. It is your choice as to whether you want to use your accommodations and how often you want to use them. However, if want to use your accommodations, you need to tell your instructors and SLDS this so that arrangements for your accommodations can be made. You are never under any obligation to disclose the exact nature of your disability to anyone on campus, but you will need to tell faculty about your classrooms needs so that they can assist you.
Won’t everyone know that I have a disability?
No. Not unless you choose to tell people. Your disability documentation and information will be kept confidential and will be stored in the SLDS office.
Will my degree be worth less if I seek help from SLDS?
No. You will receive the same Ohio State diploma as everyone else. There will be no indication on your diploma that you sought help through SLDS. In college, you will be held to the same policies, procedures, and requirements as everyone else even if you work with SLDS.