Sharon Downs, M.S., CT - Director
Sharon Downs is the Director for the UALR Disability Resource Center, and has served UALR and the department since 1999. Sharon’s passions include diversity and inclusion education, and doing presentations for such conferences as the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, and the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), and International Conference on Higher Education and Disability. She serves as Chair for AHEAD’s Standing Committee on Professional Development. She is responsible for policy and the general direction of the department. In addition to working closely with students and faculty, she is the liaison to the campus community on policies that are related to disability, good design, and accessibility. She has worked toward inclusive policies and practices at UALR for both disabled and LGBTQ persons, and serves on a joint UALR/UAMS committee to bring SafeZone training to both campuses. She received her Master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, and her BA in Interpreting. She is teaching LSTE 7315 Instructional Design: Accessible and Universal in the Fall 2015 semester at UALR.
Betsy Fribert, B.A., CI/CT - Interpreter & Transcriber Coordinator
Betsy is currently responsible for providing and coordinating interpreting and transcription services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. She obtained her Associate Degree in the Interpreter Training Program at Eastfield College, Mesquite, TX in 1993. She has since been interpreting primarily in the educational setting. She has national certification and has earned her B.A. from the Interpreter Education Program at UALR.
Katie Becker, B.A., NAD V - Staff Interpreter
Katie’s main responsibility is to provide interpreting services for the campus community. She obtained her Associate Degree from the Interpreter Education Program here at UALR in 1986. Since that time, she has interpreted in a variety of settings with her most recent appointment at the University of Arkansas’ Research and Training Center for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. She has national certification and earned a B.A. from the Interpreter Education Program at UALR.
Justin Hicks - Access Consultant: Technology
Justin oversees all technology used in the DRC, and also oversees the production of alternate formats such as digital, braille, DAISY and large print. Justin was a Veterans Administration Work Study in DRC before becoming the full-time Access Technician. In addition to working closely with students and faculty, he is the DRC liaison to the campus on assistive technology and accessible design in technology.
Connie Wordlaw, MA, CRC - Access Consultant: Programming
Connie Wordlaw began full-time as Access Consultant in March 2011. She performed both her practicum and internship at this office. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from UALR. Connie is a nationally certified rehabilitation counselor, and spent a number of years in the health care industry prior to coming to the DRC. In addition to working closely with students and faculty, she coordinates the process of obtaining digital books, and is the DRC liaison to the campus on accessible programming and events.
Kimya Herd - Office Manager
Kimya is the first person most people contacting DRC will speak with. She provides information, listens to concerns, and supports students in their goal of achieving an education. In addition, she manages the DRC budget records, payroll processes, and provides a myriad of other services. Kimya was a Payroll Assistant before becoming the Office Manager for the DRC.
Reed Claiborne, MS - Access Consultant: Facilities
Reed Claiborne is the DRC’s newest Access Consultant, beginning May 2012. He earned his Bachelor’s in Speech Communication and his Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling both from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Reed has a passion for working with students with disabilities and has presented on learning disabilities at conferences and workshops. Prior to earning his Master’s, Reed worked in the business sector and coached youth sports. In addition to working closely with students and faculty, he is the DRC liaison to the campus on accessible facilities.
Ann Marie Lott, B.A., NIC - Staff Interpreter
Ann Marie’s primary responsibility is to provide interpreting services to the campus community. She obtained her Bachelor Degree from the Interpreter Training Program here at UALR, graduating class of 2005. She has since worked in a variety of settings including secondary and post-secondary education and video relay. She holds a Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf national interpreter certification (RID-NIC.)