Quarterly Newsletter

Winter Quarter 2022 Newsletter

Happy New Year!

SDS would like to wish you all a happy and productive start to the Winter Quarter and 2022!

SDS staff and services will be available to students throughout Winter Quarter, with some in-person availability by appointment only. If you would like to meet with any of the SDS staff throughout the Winter Quarter, please contact the staff person in advance to schedule a meeting, either by Zoom or in person. SDS staff contact information can be found below or on the staff webpage.

UChicago Welcomes New Director of Access UChicago Now

Marquetta Scott has joined the staff in the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs as the Director of Access UChicago Now (AUN). AUN is a diversity initiative that supports the disability community and works to further develop inclusive learning and work environments within UChicago.

In this role, Scott will serve on the AUN committee and help manage and support this group’s efforts. She will also lead institution-wide compliance initiatives to create and maintain an accessible and inclusive environment for people with disabilities, serve as the advisor to the student accessibility board, facilitate reasonable accommodations for faculty, and coordinate training and education initiatives for the campus community.

Most recently, Scott was the Director of Accessibility and ADA Accommodation Services at National Louis University. She previously served as Coordinator of Academic Success and Support at Oakton Community College and Program Coordinator of College Access and Success at Northeastern Illinois University. She also has provided higher education academic advising and support services to students with disabilities for more than 10 years.


Lime Connect Fellowship Event

  • When: January 24, 2022, 4:30 p.m. (CT)
  • Location: Zoom. Please register using this Zoom registration link. You will receive an email from Lime Connect’s Zoom with the meeting link after registration.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar with Lime Connect and the University of Chicago! Through this webinar, you’ll learn about Lime Connect opportunities for students and the Lime Connect Fellowship Program, which helps students with disabilities to jumpstart their careers. Additionally, learn about whether, when, and how to disclose a disability to an employer and ask for accommodations in the workplace.

Organizational Techniques for Diverse Learners

  • When: February 11, 2022, 12 p.m. (CT)
  • Location: Zoom (registration link to follow).

A virtual event to learn strategies and share your tips! More details to follow.

Resolve to Get Involved!
RSOs and Student Groups for Disability Awareness and Inclusion

Active Minds

Active Minds is a national organization that empowers university students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking behavior. The UChicago chapter of Active Minds connects students with the appropriate resources to better manage the rigors of the University, create a safe and welcoming space on campus to discuss mental health, inform students of the prevalence of mental health issues nationally, and provide a forum for those passionate about these issues to make a community impact.
Contact: activemindsuchicago@gmail.com

Students for Disability Justice

Students for Disability Justice (SDJ) is an RSO dedicated to bringing support groups and mentorship, disability activism, discussion, and community engagement to UChicago and the greater Chicago community. SDJ also runs a volunteer tutoring program that matches members with students with disabilities in Chicago Public Schools. They define disability broadly and welcome people with all kinds of disabilities as well as non-disabled allies and anyone with a shared vision of collective access. SDJ is committed to fighting ableism in all of its forms and upholding the principles of disability justice. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, you can check out their Facebook page or contact President Cassidy Medina.
Contact: cassm@uchicago.edu

Graduate Recruitment Initiative Team (GRIT)

The Graduate Recruitment Initiative Team (GRIT) began as a grassroots student organization and has grown to encompass 18 graduate programs at the University of Chicago with over 50 members and a dedicated faculty counterpart. GRIT is committed to enhancing diversity, inclusion, and equity by focusing on recruitment, retention, and sustainability. Recruitment is organized by clusters/departments for graduate programs while retention is organized by five teams that focus on specific groups, one of which is the Disability Advocacy Team.
Contact: ucgrit@gmail.com

Developing a Personal Emergency Plan with the Environmental Health and Safety Office

By Gelacio Rodriguez, Senior Fire and Life Safety Specialist

The University of Chicago recognizes that some campus community members may require assistance during an emergency evacuation. The Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) office aids students with temporary or permanent disabilities in developing personal emergency plans. These voluntary and confidential plans are customized to meet the unique needs of the student.

The University asks all students who may need assistance in an emergency to self-identify to the EHS office by submitting a confidential Disabilities Self-Identification Questionnaire. Upon receipt, EHS will coordinate with the student, Student Disability Services, and the student’s Resident Dean (if the student lives on campus) to develop a personal emergency plan that includes specific evacuation procedures, sheltering procedures, and means of communication in the event of an emergency.

Students also identify Rescue Assistants, who can be co-workers or friends, in their personal emergency plans. EHS specialists will provide training for rescue assistants, which includes reviewing the content of the Evacuation for Persons with Disabilities policy and evacuation and communication procedures, as well as the equipment that needs to be evacuated with the person with a disability.

Once EHS develops a personal emergency plan that is approved by the student making the request, a copy of the plan is communicated to the Chicago Fire Department and University of Chicago Emergency Communication Center.

For questions on student personal emergency plans, please visit the Evacuation for Persons with Disabilities policy or contact the EHS office at safety@uchicago.edu.

Requesting Academic Accommodations

Graduate/Professional Students Only

Accommodation implementation varies by academic division. Graduate/Professional students have a different process than College students. Please consult with your graduate or professional division’s disability liaison and follow the procedures to arrange Winter Quarter accommodations.

College Students

Remember to request accommodation letters for the Winter Quarter. Many accommodations must be scheduled through the online AIM Student Portal.

The procedures for notifying your instructors of your approved accommodations, using exam accommodations, and alternative format conversion requests are all outlined on our website. Please review these procedures carefully and contact SDS immediately if you have any questions.

Using Exam Accommodations for Winter Quarter

Students should review their course syllabi for the exam modalities that will be used in the course and should also review the information available on our website that details how to use exam accommodations this quarter. 

Contacting SDS

The SDS office is available both in-person and remotely via Zoom or telephone. For questions about accommodations or access matters, you may email questions to disabilities@uchicago.edu or call 773-702-6000.

You may also use the links below to set up an appointment with an SDS director:

To set up an appointment or ask questions of an SDS Program Coordinator:

We hope you have a great Winter Quarter!

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