Disability Services fuels student success - Black Hawk College

Disability Services fuels student success

Disability Services provides students with accommodations to assist them in accomplishing their goals.

employee wearing Black Hawk College polo stands next to Disability Services entrance
Disability Services Coordinator Rachael Weeks is available to help students connect with resources and accommodations.

“Black Hawk College has a dedicated staff to help students with disabilities receive the resources and assistance they need to succeed in their educational journey,” said Rachael Weeks, Disability Services Coordinator.

Disability Services provides reasonable accommodations for people with qualified, documented disabilities.

Examples of accommodations include sign language interpreters, large print, e-books, quiet rooms to take tests, extended testing time and peer note takers.

Jacob Mundy, a 2019 Associate in Arts graduate, said a learning disability made taking college classes harder for him, but Disability Services made a big difference. Quieter testing spaces and tutoring helped.

“I received resources and developed strategies to not only be successful in my classes at Black Hawk College, but also in my classes at my transfer school and in life,” he said.

Mundy decided to attend the BHC East Campus because it was close to home and he wanted to graduate with less debt. He got involved on campus, joining Science and Math Club, Circle K, LIFT and Sigma Kappa Delta English honor society.

His favorite BHC memories are making lifelong connections with friends and instructors. Mundy transferred to Western Illinois University in Macomb, where he is majoring in broadcast production and minoring in music business.

Getting assistance

student kneeling with two English bulldogs
Black Hawk College graduate Jacob Mundy transferred to Western Illinois University. He said Disability Services resources helped him prepare for his transfer school.

Mundy’s advice to other students with disabilities is to quickly reach out to Disability Services.

“Don’t wait until you get too far into your classes to get help. Not all college classes are as easy as they sound,” Mundy said. “Any of you can succeed.”

Weeks agreed that students shouldn’t wait.

“If you think you may be eligible for accommodations, please contact our office ASAP,” she said. “We are here to support you!”

Confidentially is in place, and disabilities are not disclosed to anyone. Even if you do not have a documented disability, you can still reach out. Staff can share information on resources and locations for testing and diagnoses.

In the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the term “disability” means, with respect to an individual:

  • a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual;
  • a record of such an impairment; or
  • being regarded as having such an impairment.

Impairments can be visible or invisible, and Black Hawk College is also able to help people with temporary conditions.

Weeks said college should be an exciting time for any incoming student, but for those with learning disabilities, it can create anxiety. College dropout rates are higher for those with learning disabilities.

“While students with disabilities may face extra challenges and hurdles, with modified learning techniques, assistive technology and our student support services, they don’t have to be part of this statistic,” she said.

To get in touch with Disability Services, contact Disability Services Coordinator Rachael Weeks at 309-796-5900 or weeksr@bhc.edu.