“The new office more than doubles our footprint and consolidates all our services – previously spread over three locations – into a single, combined space,” said Bryan Hilbert, DRC director.
The DRC is experiencing increased demand and an ever-growing suite of support programs. In 2015, the center served approximately 750 students. In the 2021-22 academic year, the DRC served more than 2,300 individuals.
The DRC staff will relocate to its new office on Aug. 15. Its former office in Student Services Complex A Building (SSC-A) will soon be refitted for use by Counseling and Psychological Services.
Expanding Accommodation Services and Assistive Technology for Students
The DRC offers a wide array of services to support students who need academic accommodations, auxiliary services, and advocacy. Those services allow students to complete the same coursework as their peers with tools that help mitigate the challenges caused by a disability.
Those services range from assisting students with vision or hearing impairments to proctoring exams for students who require testing accommodations, to advocating on students’ behalf to ensure full access to all parts of the student experience at UNLV.
“Accommodated testing is one area that’s grown tremendously,” Hilbert said. “Students who live with something like ADHD or a learning disability may need additional time to process during exams, so we provide them extended time accommodations, and we have a variety of technologies to assist others who may need their test materials read to them.”
The growth in disability resources is fueled partly by students coming into UNLV with awareness of their needs, but the DRC has also increased its services, technology, and student engagement.
“The DRC staff has made a concerted effort to provide ever-greater assistive tools and accommodations for our students,” said Jamie Davidson, associate vice president of Student Wellness. “On top of that, the staff has effectively outreached students, faculty, and staff to inform them about what’s offered and to reduce the stigma of asking for assistance.”
The DRC’s new space isn’t a new building. The DRC has moved into just a portion of a 72,000-square-foot CRC building complex formerly leased by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1970 to 2020. Following extensive renovations, various UNLV offices and classrooms are relocating to the three-building complex.
Hilbert hopes the expanded space meets current student needs and allows for better access and new support programs.
“Over the last four years, we’ve been a partner with the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, which in addition to generous scholarships for students with spinal cord injuries, provides a grant for its partners to invest in ways that help students with spinal cord injuries,” Hilbert said. “This new space allows us to think about how we’d like to invest those dollars.”