Disability Services (DS) Beyond Accommodations

DS provides many opportunities for the Campus community to participate in reducing disability stigma and educating oneself about a variety of disability related issues. See below for a sample of the various resources available.

  • Disability Dish

    Listen to us on:

    About the Disability Dish

    Jodi Rachins (Director), Lauren Tornatore (Senior Assistant Director) and Janelle Diaz (past Assistant Director) have one major initiative for Disability Services — to use their collective skills to reach the community beyond accommodations by openly and actively discussing ways in which we can support our fellow disability community members whether it is within the university, our outside networks and in our everyday lives. It is important and impactful to make a major effort to reduce stigma and shame around disability. The plan is to work towards flipping the script to highlight the uncountable strengths that can show through various disabilities. Among the various initiatives we plan to put out over the next few years, we are rolling out monthly podcasts to provide representation and discussion around various interesting topics on disability.

    Episode Guide

    • Episode 13: Hannah Monbleau, Assistant Director of Student Life and Well-Being and Freshman Sayf Al-Aziz - Chemical Engineering are our guest speakers and discuss the issues of being vulnerable and putting oneself out there in a new environment.
    • Episode 12: A chat with Diana Walker-Moyer, recently retired Director of UMass Lowell (UML) Health Services, Steven Lam (Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at UML), Amanda Holthaus (Nurse and UML graduate student in the Zuckerberg School of Public Health), and Matt Daneau (UML senior in Plastic Engineering) discuss whether society is in a distraction epidemic, being diagnosed with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the impact at various ages, gender, staying focused, and society's expectations.
    • Episode 11: It is Social Justice Week and our team participates hosts a live audience with past guests Marshall Greenleaf, Erin Keene-Crouse and Ainsley Skinner, exploring themes from the past year.
    • Episode 10: Vanessa Weisbrod, Director of Boston Children's Hospital Celiac Disease Program, Ainsley Skinner - Biology Major, Kyra Barry - Nursing Student and Nicholas Trunfio - Business Major, discuss how the holidays can have further impacts on a person who identifies as having a disability.
    • Episode 9: Keith Mitchell (Associate Professor English), Maria McDuffie Clark (Assistant Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs), Anshel Isles (Liberal Arts Major) and Binnette Kihiu (Business Major) talk about disability intersectionality and its importance.
    • Episode 8: Beth Loell (Assistant Director of Career Services) and Beth Brassel (Librarian at the Pollard Memorial Library) talk about navigating the workforce as a person who identifies with a disability.
    • Episode 7: A conversation on the topic of Positive Contributions of Disabilities Integrated in the community with Professor Katherine Fox (Psychology Department) and Brian Richard (Biology Student).
    • Episode 6: Our Disability Service Team discusses different topics in the field of Disability Services.
    • Episode 5: Bridget Marshall (Professor and Associate Chair in the English Department), Noah Madsen (Student majoring in English) and Patrick Burns (Business Administration Student) chat on the subject of identifying as a person with a disability.
    • Episode 4: Marshall Greenleaf (Director of Student & Family Support Services), Erin Keene-Crouse (Senior Director of Orientation & Enrollment Events) and Sunita Singh-Poma discuss the topic of life transitions; how it impacts our day-to-day life and can have further impact on people who identify as having a disability.
    • Episode 3: Ashleigh Hillier (Psychology Professor & Co-Director of the Center for Autism, Research & Education), Michael Kennedy (Assistant Director of Student Activities & Leadership) and Gihan Semine (Graduate Student in Business Administration) talk about social connections and how the disability community is impacted.
    • Episode 2: Holly Lalos (Director of the Rist Difference Maker Institute) and Vanessa Thomas (President of eNable) discuss the topic of "what makes a change agent in disability culture".
    • Episode 1: Inaugural episode - Meet our first two guests, Amy Liss (Director of Multicultural Affairs) and Lauren Giammasi (Biology Student) talk about how disability is portrayed in the media and our societal understanding around invisible/hidden disabilities.
  • Faculty and Staff

    To learn more and to register for upcoming training sessions, please visit the Employee Learning, Engagement & Development Diversity and Inclusion webpage.

    • Access Ally Training Part I - General Topics
      Review ways to create an inclusive environment using universal design to improve outcomes for all. Attending Parts I & II of this training is required for the Diversity Certificate.

    • Access Ally Training Part II - Technology
      Learn to use technology to create accessible documents/material to incorporate accessibility for all. Attending Parts I & II of this training is required for the Diversity Certificate.


    Disability Services' Semester Refresher virtual drop-in sessions

    Refreshers are run for the first two weeks after the start of the semester. If you feel rusty with Disability Services stuff for the Spring 2024 upcoming semester, you are welcome to join us for a Semester Refresher virtual drop-in session where we will be covering the following topics:

    • How to submit your semester request letter
    • How to Communicate with your instructors about your accommodations
    • How to get help from Disability Services throughout the semester
    • How to submit Testing Center requests/bookings

    Dates and Times will be advised a week before the semester starts.

    Students who need accommodations for any of these sessions, please reach out to Disability Services via email: disability@uml.edu at least a week before the session date.

  • UMass Lowell (UML) International Day of Persons with Disabilities

    December 3 is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Watch the Social Media - UML Disability Services - International Day of Persons with Disabilities video on YouTube (Dec. 2022).

    Disability Advisory Committee (DAC)

    DAC provides a collective space where students, faculty and staff push the needle on UMass Lowell disability matters by removing barriers, providing equal access, promoting culture/diversity/awareness and reducing stigma. Our group focuses on access/procedures/policies while serving as allies to help peers/colleagues to be more aware, open-minded, and flexible with inclusion at our school. DAC supports in collaborative efforts to provide education, destigmatize/demystify and celebrate disability as an aspect of diversity. By utilizing a variety of representatives (both with lived experience and interest in bettering our school), we are able to make positive changes. If you are interested in joining, please contact Disability Services by email at jodi_rachins@uml.edu.

    Delta Alpha Pi (DAPi)

    DAPi Honor Society presents an opportunity to reduce disability stigma by recognizing students with disabilities for their academic accomplishments. In addition, this honor society facilitates development skills in leadership, advocacy and education for participating students meeting the criteria. (Undergraduates: 24 credits and 3.10 GPA| Graduate: 12 credits and 3.30 GPA)