The Accessibility and Disability Resources, a longstanding part of Wellesley College, provides students with disabilities with the equal opportunity to succeed at the institution through access to educational and physical accommodations, such as extended time on examinations and separate rooms for testing. The office ultimately aims to support all students with disabilities by providing individualized assistance, which requires individual consultations with ADR staff. However, the staff has recently become smaller: as of Feb. 8, 2023, Rebecca Melville, the previous Assistant Director of Accessibility and Disability Resources, no longer works at Wellesley College.
Melville joined the team in Jan. 2021. According to her profile on Wellesley College’s ADR website, Melville “was a Disability Specialist at the University of New Hampshire, an Accommodations Administrator at Harvard University, and, most recently, an Academic Strategies Specialist at Carnegie Mellon University.”
Stacey Schmeidel, director of Media Relations, stated that Melville was a valued employee at the College, and that they wish her well. However, Accessibility and Disability Resources is not without well-qualified, dependable staff following this transition in staff.
“During this staff transition, the Office of Accessibility and Disability Services and its resources will continue under Jim Wice’s leadership,” Schmeidel said. “We have launched a search for a new assistant director.”
Jim Wice is the current director of Accessibility and Disability Resources. With more than 20 years of experience granting accessibility and disability resources, students that require extra support will not be left without help. Additionally, the office employs student employees who “advocate for accessibility on-campus and research helpful resources for students, faculty, and staff,” according to the College’s ADR website.
Many students that require support from Accessibility and Disability Resources may experience frustration with the shortening of staff. Wellesley College has had past instances of lacking adequate rooms to accommodate students with disabilities that require single rooms, to which Sofia ’23 “relayed their feelings of frustration with the process, as it took nearly half a year to obtain the necessary documentation,” according to a past Wellesley News article by Sazma Sarwar.