The Inside Scoop – Fall 2009

Welcome Students

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) staff at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock want to welcome new and returning students to the 2009-2010 school year. We hope that everyone had an enjoyable summer. We look forward to working with you. Please email if you would like to reply to this message.

Staff Changes at the DRC

Please help us welcome Alvin-Bailon Zafe Haas to the DRC staff. Alvin will be interpreting and transcribing in the classroom and for online videostreams, as well as coordinating our captioning program. His office is in DSC 113. Welcome aboard, Alvin!

Connie Wordlaw is a graduate rehabilitation counseling student at UALR who joined the DRC this summer to fulfill her practicum and internship requirements, respectively, for her degree. Connie will be with the DRC through the end of the fall 2009 term. Please feel free to stop by and introduce yourself to her.

DRC Website and Online Tools

We want to take this opportunity to ensure that you are aware of our website and our online tools. Our homepage is: There you can learn more about our mission, contact information, perspective on disability and the elements of diversity we all bring to the UALR campus. Additionally, you can also request your faculty notification letters and submit requests for books in alternate format.

Request Books in Alternate Format:

  • Go to:
  • Under Welcome, select Requests for Books in Alternate Format
  • Fill out the form completely and select SUBMIT at the bottom

Requests will be sent to a DRC staff member via email who will begin processing them right away.

NOTICE: We recommend submitting book requests ten (10) weeks prior to the start of each semester. Requests will be accepted at any time, but will be on a first come, first serve basis. Book requests received later may not be filled until after the semester has begun.

Request Faculty Notification Letters:

  • Go to:
  • Under Welcome, select Faculty Notification Letters
  • Fill out the form completely, and select Request Letters at the bottom

REMINDER: Requests received from online students will be sent directly to faculty, via campus mail. All other requests should be picked up at the DRC. If you know that professor does not work on this campus, please let us know so there will not be delays in notification. Make sure that you also let your professor know to expect the letter from our office.

Utilizing Accommodations and Services

On campus students: It is very important that once you have requested and received your faculty notification letters that you provide them to your professors in a timely manner. Ideally, it would be best to personally meet one-on-one with your professors during the first week of classes. During this meeting, be open to sharing things about your disability and learning style. If you have questions or need assistance generating ideas to start these conversations please feel free to contact the DRC at: 501.569.3143, (voice/tty).

Online Learning, Assistive Technology and Navigating Blackboard

With the assistance of the STaR lab on campus, the DRC has setup a course shell in Blackboard for students who may want to experiment navigating the Blackboard learning platform with assistive technologies before the semester starts. If you would like to be added to this mock course, please email your T number and NetID to John Barbuto, at:

Try it Before You Buy It!

Have you heard of ICAN? ICAN AT4ALL is Arkansas’ statewide assistive technology program designed to make technology available and accessible for everyone who needs it. Assistive technology (AT) is any kind of device or tool that helps people learn, work, communicate and live more independently. AT can be very simple and inexpensive, like a modified knife and fork, or it can be very sophisticated and costly, like a computerized speech device.

ICAN stands for Increasing Capabilities Access Network and AT4ALL is our philosophy—assistive technology for everyone! ICAN AT4ALL offers a number of free services to help Arkansans of all ages find the AT they need for home, school, work and getting around in the community. To learn more about ICAN, please call: 501.666.8868 in Little Rock or 1.800.828.2799. Retrieved from:

Reframing Disability**

Throughout history, disability has been viewed as a deficit. Still today in much of our popular culture and in our common approaches to access, students who live with disabilities are seen as “tragic,” “broken,” and “inferior.” For more than two decades, disability activists and scholars have been working to reframe this negative view. For example, the DRC recognizes the student as the expert on his or her disability, which is correlated with the social model of disability. Past and present examples of approaches to framing and reframing disability are:

Medical Model (past)

  • Disability is a deficiency or abnormality;
  • Being disabled is negative;
  • Disability resides in the individual;
  • The remedy for disability-related problems is cure or normalization of the individual; and
  • The agent of remedy is the professional who affects the arrangements between the individual and society.


Social Model (present and future)

  • Disability is a difference;
  • Being disabled, in itself, is neutral;
  • Disability derives from interaction between individual and society;
  • The remedy for disability-related problems is a change in the interaction between the individual and society; and
  • The agent of remedy can be the individual, an advocate, or anyone who affects the arrangements between the individual and society.

** Retrieved from:

Creative Solutions. Together.

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