Thursday, May 12, 2011

Students with disabilities overcome obstacles to graduate from UIS

They told her she shouldn’t even be in college.

That’s the advice Alex Carrano, 24, received from staff to deal with her learning disability and test anxiety at a former university before she transferred to University of Illinois Springfield. But Carrano, originally from LaGrange, a Chicago suburb, will prove them wrong May 14 when she walks across the stage at the Prairie Capital Convention Center to receive her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies.

“I think about that and it brings me down a little,” says Carrano. “But since UIS, I haven’t had any problems. They’ve definitely been willing to help.”

With help from the Office of Disability Services at UIS, she is one of 40 students with a diagnosed disability who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The number of graduates with disabilities is up at UIS by 33 percent from 2010, when 30 students with disabilities graduated from UIS. Twelve students with disabilities graduated in 2009, according to ODS staff. The numbers show that more students are willing to step forward to get help than in years past.

The Office of Disability Services was featured in an May 12, 2011, article in the Illinois Times.

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