Hannah Buckley, an advertising junior, is one of two students registered with Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) to receive the 2018-19 Lois Ford La Bauve Scholarship. With college expenses adding up, she is grateful for the scholarship, which is awarded to students registered with SSD.
“The scholarship will definitely help with my students loans,” says Buckley who received more than $3,000 for school expenses. “I also have a younger sibling going to college, so I want to do what I can to relieve financial stress for my family.”
Buckley is also thankful for the staff at SSD who have helped her get the resources she needs to thrive in her classes. One of the best decisions she made for herself at the start of her freshman year, she notes, was setting up a meeting to discuss accommodations.
“I encourage any student who’s considering accommodations to set up a meeting at SSD,” Buckley says. “Having accommodations doesn’t mean you have to use them. But if you do need them, you’ll have a much more comfortable experience. You don’t want to wait three years later and realize you could’ve done so much better with accommodations.”
Before she was diagnosed in high school with ADHD and dyslexia, Buckley had to work much harder to keep up with her classmates. Determined not to fall behind, she spent much of her free time catching up on her studies.
“Growing up, I always struggled with reading,” Buckley recalls. “But I was a strong student and it didn’t show in my grades because I was working harder to compensate. When I finally got diagnosed, it was kind of a relief because all the difficulties I was experiencing made sense.”
Although she’s still getting comfortable talking publically about her disability, she wants to spread awareness about invisible disabilities—and how accommodations are necessary tools for success.
“Sometimes people feel ashamed and refuse to get accommodations because they don’t want people thinking they’re getting unfair treatment. So I’m happy to share my story to help people understand my disability and why I need extended test time and class notes.”
She encourages others to be vocal about their disabilities and to seek assistance from SSD.
“So many people don’t know that they can get help from SSD,” Buckley says. “They think they have to have a severe learning disorder to get accommodations, which isn’t true. I think the university does a great job taking each case very seriously and being there for the students.”