This archived article was written by: James Justice
The Disability Resource Center on the campus of USU Eastern is one of the best resources we as students have. Jan Thornton, director of the Disability Resource Center, explained what they do,, what services they offer and why they’re there.
The Disability Resource Center is located in the SAC building Room 118. Upon walking in, I was greeted by the smiling face of Tammie Pantelakis, the Disability Resource Center advisor. Thornton was in a meeting so I was invited to sit in the back room in a massage chair. I had no money with me, but was advised that these amazing chairs were free to students. Thornton came in a few minutes later and we started talking.
Thornton did not start out to be a therapist, even though she is very good, she started out to be an engineer. Due to circumstances out of her control, the engineer dream of hers fell through. She started college here at CEU, took some classes and fell in love with social work. She now holds a masters degree in social work and is a licensed clinical social worker. She decided to go into therapy when some close family members were given bad advice by a non-licensed therapist, which led to a divorce.
The services in the Disability Resource Center are many, “We primarily provide short-term therapy and if needed, we can make referrals for long-term therapy… We also do academic adjustment for students, we don’t do facilities adjustments here at the Disability Resource Center, we only do the academic part. Put simply, some people are gifted in math, some people aren’t. Our job is to give the people who aren’t a fair shot.” said Thorton.
At the Disability Resource Center you can check out calculators, spellers and audio amplifying devices for the hard of hearing. They also offer note takers, testing accommodations, interpreters and some furniture,.
Tammie Pantelakis, at the Disability Resource Center, counsels the alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention services for USU Eastern. Along with those responsibilities, she is responsible for the “first-line intervention.” While she doesn’t do treatment, she does meet with students for the first time to do an assessment based on their needs. From there she takes it to Thornton and they decided what treatment, is needed based on that assessment.
“Never be afraid to come in,” Thornton says. “One thing that my office really does pride themselves on is keeping student records very confidential, to the point where sometimes people get quite mad because we won’t share information.”
Some of the things not offered by the Disability Resource Center are tutoring services, personal aids, diagnostic evaluations and financial assistance.
Currently at the Disability Resource Center there are three therapists to choose from. So, if you’re not comfortable with one you can always switch. They are open to extended hours: Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The best thing about the Disability Resource Center is that everything is free. There are things on campus that we have to pay for but to talk to these profesionals, in an inviting environment, free from worries is a great free service for the student body.
If you have any questions or want to apply for services, please visit: www.ceu.edu/disabilityresource/