RE: Disabled Student Services Offices
WHEREAS, disabled student services (DSS) offices at Arizona's universities and community colleges provide accommodations to many blind students, such as Braille and electronic copies of textbooks; and
WHEREAS, effective methods exist for blind students to access materials without the help of a DSS office, such as employing readers or borrowing books from digital libraries; and
WHEREAS, even the largest DSS office cannot provide complete accommodations for all blind students; and
WHEREAS, learning the skills of self-advocacy and independent access to materials is essential for a student's future success in the workplace; and
WHEREAS, disability specialists at Arizona's colleges and universities often neglect to introduce or encourage independent access to materials and tests, causing students to rely on the DSS for all accommodations; and
WHEREAS, students suffer academically when they are not encouraged to communicate directly with professors or to obtain accessible materials independently, as the DSS cannot meet all their academic needs: NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona in convention assembled this eleventh day of September, 2005, in the city of Phoenix, Arizona, that this organization urge DSS offices across the state of Arizona to take a more collaborative, rather than paternalistic, role with students and to assist them in developing the skills of self-advocacy.