New face arrives at health center

By Michael W. McVey

The University Health Service has a new face on its staff.

Rosemary Lane, UHS director, said the Services for Students with Disabilities wing of the UHS has expanded to service hearing-impaired students.

Nancy Kasinski is now serving as the assistant director for SSD, which also serves students with visual, physical and learning disorders.

Before Kasinski’s arrival on the UHS staff, there was only one assistant director. With the addition of Kasinski, Lane said she feels the UHS will be able to serve more students.

She said she believes with the second assistant, the UHS could provide much-needed assistance to the hearing-impaired.

Kasinski said the reorganization of SSD is still underway, and the SSD staff still is evaluating its staffing situation in order to plan for the rest of the year.

The hearing-impaired were formerly served by the Communicative Disorders department of the College of Professional Studies, she said.

Kasinski was the director of Services for the Hearing Impaired, which has now merged with SSD under the reorganization.

“The university has a commitment to providing services to persons with disabilities,” Kasinski said. “The reorganization and new staff positions have been a positive step toward meeting that commitment.”

As part of the expansion of staff, SSD will hire a learning disabilities specialist as well as a new secretary. The ultimate goal of SSD is to give the best possible service to any person with any disability, and Kasinksi said this was a step toward that goal.

Kasinski stressed SSD was available to anyone with a disability, not just students. SSD also seeks to serve faculty and staff who have disabilities.

She also cautioned against expecting too much at this early stage of the reorganization. It will be important for SSD to get used to the new setting, evaluate the new staffing and come up with a realistic idea of how much can be accomplished in terms of new or better services.

After this is done, the availability of services to the disabled should improve, and SSD will be able to serve more persons with more types of disabilities, she said.

This will still require the staff to work together and be willing to accept new roles. Kasinski said with the changes, this should be somewhat less difficult than last year.

Academic Affairs, the previous guardian of Services for the Hearing Impaired, and Student Affairs, which includes UHS, agreed this would be best accomplished under SSD, a division of UHS, Kasinski said.

SSD wants to continue providing good service to the disabled, with an eye to expanding services to more disabled persons.