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IVC opens a new building for its Disability Support Program and Services

Students with disabilities at IVC will have more resources available to them and are excited to take advantage of the new building.

IMPERIAL, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Imperial Valley College (IVC) had its grand opening of their new DSPS building on Thursday.

This project has been in the works since 2010 when Measure J was passed and 3 million dollars was approved for DSPS funding. With many discussions and planning, the DSPS building is now a reality.

The campus, now 70% open following covid, has a new building for students with special needs and disabilities.

Students are eligible under many disability categories including autism, intellectual and learning disabilities, chronic medical conditions, mental health conditions such as anxiety and/or depression. DSPS also provides interpreting for deaf or hard of hearing, low vision and blind services.

The Disability Support Program and Services Director, Wendy Prewett, says this building has been a total blessing for the students at Imperial Valley College.

The DSPS building contains nine offices for staff, academic advisors, and media specialists. There is a high tech center that provides a computer lab with all the services needed for students to connect to other departments, such as tutoring to conduct research for their homework or to be assisted with any of the IVC platforms.

There is also a study room available where students can come and go as frequently as they please.

There is a test proctor room and a facility that provides accommodations for students in regards to assistive technology, one on one assistance, counseling services or just to be in contact with other students and staff if needed.

"One of our disability lately probably due to covid has been mental health. There is a lot of anxiety and depression and so we have counselors on site at IVC to provide available services for them," Prewett said.

The program was previously located within the health and science building.

DSPS is thankful for the Measure J funding because students with disabilities now have their own accessible building to help support and meet their academic goals.

One IVC student, Clarissa Cardenas, who struggles with ADHD and has a hard time memorizing says she feels all the support from this program.

"DSPS has really helped me. It's been a great income from our old office to the new office and it feels just like home to me," said Cardenas.  

Cardenas uses a software program called Kurzweil to help her read books aloud.

DSPS also provides her with a live scribe smart pen that simultaneously records audio while writing notes.

"It helps me with taking notes and reading it back to me and audio so I know where correctly I am and follow up with the class," said Cardenas.

The building is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cardenas encourages other students with learning disabilities to join DSPS. She says no one is here to judge one another, we are equal and all the same.

Article Topic Follows: Imperial Education

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