Student Access expands accessibility offerings, moves to center of campus

New Student Access Office space

Vanderbilt University’s Student Access Office, which provides a wide range of support services to students with disabilities, has moved to a state-of-the-art space in the heart of campus with new resources and an expanded academic staff.

The upgraded facility in Room 216 of Sarratt Center includes several entrances with ramps and elevators accessible from Sarratt and Rand Hall. The space also has multiple study and testing rooms, computer and technology rooms, and a lounge to encourage community and connection.

“Created in response to students’ suggestions, this new space is a great example of our commitment to helping everyone at Vanderbilt reach their full potential,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “As a world-class university, we must continue to prioritize equity, inclusion and belonging—whether through physical spaces or through being open to the needs and ideas of others.”

With accessibility in mind, the chancellor and administration prioritized placing Student Access in the center of campus. Other requests from students and staff that are now part of the new space include rooms with dimmable lighting, hard-surfaced flooring and accessible pathways, technology rooms with sit-stand desks, and software and hardware for students with hearing, vision and reading impairments. Among the new technology in use are an UbiDuo nonverbal communicator, talking TI-84 calculators, and a Braille printer and tactile image creator.

“I love how warm and welcoming it is for students,” said Britt Johnsen, BS’20, who is working on a master of education in human development counseling. “My favorite part about the new office has to be how comfortable the new waiting room is and that students can use it as a study room outside of business hours if they need to. I can already imagine students studying for finals late at night in one of the cozy rocking armchairs.”

Student Access also has hired an office manager and anticipates adding a second-shift testing coordinator and two access specialists.

“The positive feedback we’ve received already has been inspiring,” said Jamie Bojarski, director of Student Access in Equal Access. “The Student Access team continues to set expectations for broad accessibility on campus and are always ready with next steps to lead Vanderbilt toward excellence in engagement with disabled students.”