The University of Michigan Flint has about 250 students who are registered through its Disability and Accessibility support services. One thing they learned right away, it’s a whole lot different than high school.
One student who struggled with the transition is senior Cat Carlise, who admits she’s living with a variety of illnesses.
Cat Carlysle “I was diagnosed with bipolar 2, anxiety, and ADHD”.
As a mechanical engineering major, it’s been especially difficult to endure what she calls “math dyxlexia”.
Cat “I have both mental and physical chronic illnesses”.
Carlysle says it can be hard to be present and concentrate in school. So she turned to the office of Disability and Accessibly support services for help.
Chip Evans, Head of Disability and Accessibility Support Services “In the past few years we’ve seen a sharp increase in students with anxiety and depression”.
Evans says having some anxiety while taking a test is normal. But an anxiety disorder can be crippling. So the university makes accommodations.
Cat ”I’m approved for an extended time during tests”
The shift to online classes because of COVID may have actually helped students with disabilities. But as students shift back into classrooms, more accommodations may be needed.
Cat “society has a stigma, it’s hard to reach out for help.
Evans has helped set up a Student Advisory Board to encourage students like Carlyise to succeed. She expects to go to grad school with a focus on prosthetics.
“You do have to self-advocate”