Note-taking by college students is a pretty straight- forward routine during classroom lectures. Take your notes and the information is always there for you. But what if you have a disability that makes this very diffi-cult? It could make it almost impossible for you to pass a class, let alone reach your educational goals. That’s where the services provided by NPC’s Disability Resource and Access (DRA) office can really make a difference.
NPC student Jen Brown (pictured right) was strug-gling with taking notes during lectures. “Three weeks into my biology class, I was getting an F,” she says. “I couldn’t write that fast. Someone suggested I contact the DRA office for help.”
She did, and the DRA office provided her with a high-tech tool called a LiveScribe smartpen, a ball-point pen with an embedded camera, processor and digital recorder. Brown now uses this pen on special dot matrix paper during lectures that allows the pen to simultaneously record what she writes along with audio from the classroom. Later, she can upload her notes along with the synchronized audio from the lecture to her computer. All of the information is searchable, and she can use the pen to replay portions of the lecture by tapping on the notes she was taking at the time the recording was made.
Brown says, “This accommodation has made a huge difference to me. I ended up with an A as my final grade in biology. Help from DRA also allowed me to make the Dean’s List and become a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.” Brown will earn her RN by next spring and already has a job waiting for her in the emergency room at the Whiteriver Indian Hospital. “I encourage other students with disabilities to contact the DRA office. Don’t be afraid. They can help,” says Brown.
Between 7 and 8 percent of NPC students have disabilities. For the past 10 years, DRA Coordinator Sandy Manor has been working to serve these students’ needs under the Carl Perkins Vocational Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“The commitment to help students with disabilities is definitely here at NPC,” Manor says. “But it’s a continual
process to increase awareness.” She works closely with faculty members to help determine when students with disabilities are struggling in the classroom and need some accommodations to help them. Manor also ensures students with disabilities have every possible opportunity to further their education, without encumbrances.
Manor helps students go through a review process and authorizes accommodations for those who qualify for help. Among the resources available to students with disabilities are note-takers, recording devices, printed materials presented in audio format, sign language interpreting, extended time on exams and other testing accommodations, assistance and advocacy with faculty and staff and more.
Manor’s office covers all nine NPC campus and center locations. She encourages students who need assistance to call her. “I am dedicated to helping any NPC student who needs accommodations and will work with you to get your issues addressed,” she says.
“The ultimate reward for everyone at NPC is when a student achieves their goals,” Manor says. “It’s absolutely
gratifying when that works out well.” She is extremely proud of all her DRA students, including one young man with a disability who started his studies at NPC, transferred to a state university to study environmental science with a chemistry minor, earned a near-perfect GPA and is now working in his desired field. That, she says, is why she loves her job so much.
Disability services at NPC are determined on an individual basis and are provided at no charge for eligible students. For additional information, go to: