National Disabilities Awareness Month: Disabilities are common and help is available

In recognition of National Disability Awareness Month, we would like to share the story of two students at Maria who have disabilities. Disabilities such as ADHD, OCD, Depression and Anxiety are common and the Office of Accessibility Services can help!

“I have been at Maria College for almost two years, majoring in Nursing. During my time earning my ADN, I have had the privilege of working with Accessibility Services. Any student who suffers from ADHD, anxiety, OCD, depression etc. knows what a challenge it can be in school. In my own experience, having OCD has made my time at Maria a lot more difficult than most between dealing with obsessive thoughts, a racing mind, and major test anxiety. As hard as mental health problems may be, I can say that Accessibility Services has made it not just bearable, but easier. Knowing I have a comfortable, quiet, friendly environment to take my tests, eases the burden tremendously. Everyone in the building is wonderfully helpful, especially in my experience with Peter and Barbara. Through tech troubles, test anxiety and more, they have made my time at Maria better time and time again. I am so thankful for Accessibility Services and suggest any student who is struggling to reach out to them.”

The second account below is from a freshman ADN student:

“Throughout my life, my parents did not know how to help me with the difficulty I was experiencing, so it was up to me to figure it out. After I became a mom, moved to this country, and educated myself, I realized that I needed to seek help. After being evaluated, I was able to obtain accommodations from Accessibility Services. The quiet environment and extended time that I have for exams helps me to process things at my own pace. It’s something that affected my academic skills in a good way; the proof for it is that my grades went up.

There are other strategies for coping with disability-related issues too. When I study, I play relaxing music; the tones are just right to help me when I am studying. Also, I concentrate on my breathing. Talking with my counselor helps with the stress that I experience as an international student, as a mom, and as someone who has academic challenges. What’s more, the Tutoring Center helps me a lot.

I wish more people were aware that opportunities for support are available. For a long time, I did not know that there are multiple services where I could ask for help. I’m just glad that they are there, and that I am using them. It’s not necessary to face the difficulty alone.”

Would you like to know more about how the Office of Accessibility Services can assist students with disabilities? Please email for information.


Author: Peter Bocala, Accessibility Services Coordinator


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