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A brief discussion of the role of DSS professionals

Posted Sep 12 2008 11:29am
There’s an old saying, “Nothing succeeds like success,” which can be aptly applied to the profession of disability support services. Sure this applies to the particular accommodations, but there is more that DSS professionals can provide their students. The students can find the skills to manage their disabilities through on-going dialogue with DSS staff and a comfortable place to discuss the challenges they face.

Take for instance, the recent success story about the
CSUN’s Center on Disabilities.

This article illustrates very clearly that a student’s disability is not a sole entity. There are conpounding elements that accompany many disabilities, such as the case of the woman first mentioned in the article with a bipolar disability.

I particularly like that the article pointed out that the center “guides disabled students into finding a cohesive, effective and comfortable style for managing the difficulties that can grow out of a disability.”

While some may argue that the job of DSS staff is to provide only those accommodations needed to meet the students' needs, I disagree. There are some students who have not learned to manage their disability or their lifestyle with consideration for the demands the disability places on it. As the primary point of contact for a student who has very often just begun life out on his/her own, does it not make some sense for the DSS staff to help provide guidance and education to help the students be more successful in their day-to-day lives when they leave your school?

This is clearly the case for DSS professionals at community colleges, where students who graduate from there will often need to go onto an upper level institution to earn a marketable degree. When those students move up, shouldn’t they have the skills in place to successfully manage their lifestyles outside of the classroom? Who better to aid in providing that foundation than the DSS staff?

I know this is a bit of a tangent, but I truly believe that success breeds success. That was the point of the article and it sparked this train of thought from me. If you agree or disagree, please feel free to let me know by leaving a comment.
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