Meet Noemi Delgado, Lawrence University's new director of Accessibility Services and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator.
“I’ll be providing accommodations for students, whether it be housing, academics, or any meal exemptions related to a disability and/or medical condition,” Delgado said.
Delgado’s role unifies many responsibilities that were previously split across the Center for Academic Success (CAS), making it easier for a student’s accommodation needs to be quickly and effectively addressed.
“We want the new process to be consistent and create an equitable opportunity for all students to have access to the accommodations they need,” Delgado said.
Accessibility Services is now part of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion office. Students can find additional information on the Accessibility Services webpage, including a link to request accommodations.
Delgado, who joined the Lawrence team earlier this year, walked us through the process. First, students submit a request for accommodations by uploading documentation and completing an eligibility form. Answers to these questions are private and confidential, viewed by Delgado so she can better understand the impact of the student’s situation. She reviews the form and does external research if necessary, and then schedules a one-on-one meeting with the student.
“I think that’s what is really good about this process,” Delgado said. “I’m not just seeing this student on paper; I’m getting an opportunity to meet with them.”
This process helps Delgado gain a better sense of each student’s needs, which allows her to make highly informed choices to best accommodate Lawrentians with disabilities.
“Accommodations are provided to give students with disabilities equal access to the residential and academic opportunities as their peers,” Delgado said. “If a request does not demonstrate a connection between their functional limitation due to their disability or diagnosis and their need for the accommodation, it might not be approved.”
Accessibility Services works to accommodate students with visible and invisible disabilities. Delgado said she appreciates how growing awareness of disabilities and mental health has helped destigmatize them.
In addition to her role as director of Accessibility Services, Delgado said she’s excited to serve as Lawrence’s ADA coordinator.
“Campus is beautiful; we want to keep and create safe spaces where all students can go and have the same accessibility they have here [in the Center for Academic Success],” Delgado said, pointing to the wider, wheelchair-accessible hallways and doors on the second floor of the Seeley G. Mudd Library. “We want to make sure we’re working with everyone, whether it be Facility Services or building designers, so we’re meeting those regulations and being an accessible campus.”
Feeling at home
Delgado is thrilled to be part of the Lawrence community and loves the college town vibe of Appleton.
“I went to school in Boulder, Colorado,” Delgado said. “My best friend from college lives here. When I would come visit, I was like, ‘This feels like Boulder.’”
After working with a behavioral company in California, Delgado moved to Appleton. She worked with the local school district before coming to Lawrence. Delgado loves how her position combines her passions for accessibility and education, and she is excited to help make Lawrence a place for everyone.
Delgado urges students with any questions about accessibility and Accessibility Services to visit their webpage, newly updated by Joanna Morey, or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.