Letter to the Editor | ‘Disabilities’ in SDS is problematic

Dear President Crawford and the Miami University Community, I am writing to you with a concern that impacts a wide variety of students here at Miami University. As you likely know, Miami University has a variety of services available to students who need additional services, such as an interpreter, quiet space for exams and wheelchair assistance, to name a few. These services are offered by Student Disability Services (SDS). While I am very appreciative of SDS, in fact, I receive services from them, I am concerned by the name of the organization. The word disability has a negative connotation and people who are registered with the SDS are seen by many, as disabled. Every time a student registers, a letter is sent to one’s professors from “Student Disability Services.” There is a stigma associated with walking into the SDS office or the Rinella Learning center based on the title. I am not saying Miami University needs to get rid of the Student Disability Services by far, but I am concerned with the title and the negativity that comes with it. I think Miami University needs to change the title to something else that is on the more positive side. I would suggest changing it to Student Accessibility Services, or something similar. I believe this will send a more positive message to students but also a message to students who...

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