Annual Report 2020-21

Mission Statement

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) provides leadership, guidance, and facilitation of equal access for disabled students resulting in their full participation in curricular and co-curricular offerings. The DRC contributes to the design of inclusive environments for all campus participants through education and collaboration with students, faculty, staff, and community partners.

Vision Statement

The DRC will be a global leader in developing environments that promote full inclusion for all participants in curricular and co-curricular offerings. The DRC’s vision for Purdue is that all things are done in continual progress toward “inclusion by design.”

Program Elements

The DRC offers a comprehensive and coordinated approach in meeting a diverse set of needs across the Purdue campus. Program elements include:

  • Individual meetings with students via an interactive process that captures environmental barriers to access and results in individual solutions on a per-student basis.
  • Developing alternative formatted course learning materials that are useable by students.
  • Consultation with faculty/instructors on the implementation of course-related accommodations without fundamentally altering the course.
  • Referral and liaison interactions with campus and community people, programs and resources that can benefit student development.
  • Participation in campus recruitment events and outreach to students and families considering enrollment at Purdue.
  • Consultation with faculty/instructors, staff on Purdue’s Innovative Learning team, and Purdue’s Center for Instructional Excellence (CIE) on concepts of inclusive design of instruction.
  • Proctoring course exams for faculty who are unable to provide accommodated testing conditions.
  • Consulting with physical plant and new building initiatives to inform and encourage designing for useable and inclusive physical spaces.
  • Class presentations centered on Disability Awareness, Inclusive Design, and Culture.
  • Development and operation of a Peer Mentor program for disabled students.
  • Representation of disability on a variety of diversity and inclusion initiatives and committees across campus in an effort to advance the campus understanding of how environmental design barriers affect the full participation and equitable use for all.
  • Consultation with other campus-supported offerings in an effort to assist in making sure offerings are accessible by design.
  • Service as resource to the broad campus community on re-thinking the disability paradigm.

Program Outcomes

The DRC supports an environment focused on reducing student burden to have equal access to curricular and co-curricular activities. As a result of their interactions with the DRC, students will:

  • Gain an improved understanding of their rights to equal access related to all elements of the University environment.
  • Learn more about the ways the DRC can support their access (e.g., educational programming, course accessibility letters, accommodated testing, collaboration with faculty, etc.).
  • Better understand the role of the DRC in facilitating the implementation of accommodations through engagement with the DRC versus direct negotiation with faculty.
  • Succeed and persist at rates similar to or better than their nondisabled peers.

Notable Changes From 2018-19 Academic Year

On March 23, 2020 the University moved to a “remote learning” model of instruction in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in DRC staff moving to a virtual work environment in our student and faculty interactions. We remained in a virtual mode until Aug. 4, 2021.

  • As a result of student and faculty feedback, the DRC piloted a closed-captioning service project, funded by the Office of the Provost, which provided free manual captioning for any course that had video content as part of the instructional offering for spring 2021 courses.
  • The Captioning Pilot program led to new recurring funding for FY 2021-22 for the DRC to establish a Usable Materials Center as a service to faculty.
  • In July 2020, DRC Accommodated Testing moved into a renovated larger space (G-59 Stewart) with a main goal of providing increased seating capacity.
  • The DRC hired two new access consultants virtually in May/June 2021; one of these full-time positions was newly created to accommodate growth in the number of students served by the DRC. The DRC also added another full-time position for a testing coordinator to support accommodated testing. The department also added a senior-level access consultant role.
  • The DRC migrated to a new platform in May 2021 to improve business processes and user experience. Accessible Information Management (AIM) is designed specifically for higher education disability services. AIM provides an improved work flow management system located in one place with validated accessibility features for all users.
  • The DRC continues to experience double digit growth of registered students. As of this writing, the DRC is serving 387 additional students compared to how many students were served last year. This represents a 12.9% increase. This growth is reflected in the weekly number of new requests the DRC receives, which ranges from 30-60/week.
  • Summer and fall 2021 were a unique experience for the DRC as we began seeing an increase in housing requests as well as more complex accommodation requests. Additionally, we experienced an increase in the level of conflict we had to manage resulting in an unusually polarizing environment.
  • The DRC Peer Mentor Program (PMP) was reinvigorated during the spring of 2021 through mentor and mentee recruitment and planning for fall 2021 in-person offerings.
  • The DRC initiated contact with faculty who were teaching deaf/hard-of-hearing students enrolled in their classes as the campus reacted to the pandemic. We promoted the use of “Clear Masks” and Face Shields to provide access for the approximate 50 students who rely on lip reading as we considered the return to in-person learning for fall 2020 and beyond, in consideration of the Protect Purdue Guidelines for masking.
  • The department developed and provided user guides for faculty including step-by-step instructions on how they should access and use the Faculty portal provided to them through AIM.

University Residences and Office of Legal Counsel

DRC staff met on a regular basis throughout the academic year with housing and dining services in the provision of disability related accommodations in those environments.

The Office of Legal Counsel was consulted on an as needed basis during the academic year.

Program Assessment

The DRC has determined the need to develop a multi-layer and multiple year plan to assess the student experience. The attached data reflects unexplored cohort results using traditional institutional values of: persistence, retention and graduation metrics. We plan to begin working with Institutional Data Analytics and Assessment (IDAA) to determine what data is currently available and what we need to assess.

Our Data

For a full picture of our data from the 2020-21 academic year, please view or download our Full Annual Report by clicking the button below.

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