The RCPD is dedicated to assisting MSU students and employees with disabilities through services, programs, and accommodations that grant equal access to opportunities in higher education. The Building Opportunities for Networking and Discovery (BOND) program is one solution for fostering support and establishing social, academic, and independent living skills for students on the autism spectrum. BOND participants work alongside peer mentors such as recent MSU graduates Anna Bowling and Abby Cortis, to make the connections and gain the skills needed to reach their full potential on campus and beyond. Recently, Anna and Abby shared their stories of how they discovered the BOND program and became involved in assisting Spartans with disabilities.
RCPD AGSR Committee
February 26, 2021
If this month-long focus on Alex’s Great State Race has shown us anything, it is that wonderful things can be done through perseverance. In our final week of the 2021 AGSR Gratitude Campaign, we share stories of the Race's unique "running" over the past couple years and say our final "thank yous" to ALL who make this event possible.
RCPD AGSR Committee
February 19, 2021
Welcome to week three of the 2021 Alex’s Great State Race Gratitude Campaign! Let’s take a step back and remember the rivalry that is celebrated on the day of this wonderful event. Get a recap of the Campaign in our February 1st Ability Blog post.
Michigan State University is an institution devoted to providing educational opportunities and an inclusive environment. For over 48 years, the RCPD has held to these values by advising and supporting persons with disabilities throughout the MSU community. Through Ability Access Specialists, Team RCPD continues to encourage the growth and advancement of students and their abilities. With that, the RCPD is delighted to announce Tesia Freer as our new Blindness/Visual Impairment (B/VI) and Media Access Specialist.
RCPD AGSR Committee
February 1, 2021
The Alex’s Great State Race committee is excited to introduce the month of February as the AGSR Gratitude Campaign month. We are looking forward to sharing stories, videos, and pictures honoring Alex Powell, the history of the race, the MSU U-M rivalry, and more!
If you’ve ever visited MSU’s campus on a beautiful spring day, you may have been lucky enough to wander past Beaumont Tower at just the right moment to hear the sound of the carillon being played. Nestled in the middle of North Campus, Beaumont Tower and its melodious bells have served as an MSU landmark since 1928. Over the years, the Tower has shadowed many historic events, serving as witness to everything from students demonstrating solidarity to sweethearts seeking sole devotion to one another.
On a campus known for accessibility innovation, Michigan State University’s College of Engineering is a longstanding partner with the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD). Working together, RCPD and Engineering faculty facilitate projects that inform students of universal design and the life-changing role that well-designed technology plays in providing access.
Leah Ellis remembers exactly what inspired her. “As a single mother and returning student going back to school, I noticed that when taking all the information in, it was insane. How are all these kids sitting here and looking at all these notes? I couldn’t keep up. I had to figure out a way to separate these notes.” This moment is what influenced Leah to create the Futures Collections, the next generation of educational tools to suit all course needs.
The Bosco MSU-MRS Careers Collaborative is a program that supports MSU students with disabilities seeking high-quality internships and employment opportunities, career exploration through labor market analysis, resume development, interview readiness, professional etiquette, and the improvement of academic-life to work-life transitions.
The RCPD is launching a new signature program designed for students with psychiatric conditions in mind. An increase in students self-identifying with anxiety related conditions, depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental health conditions has highlighted the need for a program to help students navigating the academic environment with psychiatric conditions. The PEER (Promoting Education & Emotional Resilience) Program seeks to empower students to learn about their mental health, develop positive coping skills, and successfully maneuver barriers they face.
When MSU transitioned to online learning in the spring of 2020, the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) sought to create an experience to virtually build a supportive community for students with psychiatric disabilities. Shelby Gombosi and Lindsay Hill, RCPD’s Ability Access Specialists, answered the call and created the Community Groups program, an opportunity for students to connect with other RCPD-registered students and stimulate conversations regarding the prevailing issues affecting their daily lives.
Leadership is about more than just supervising others; it is about growth and elevation. Here at the RCPD, leadership means developing potential while helping students with disabilities reach their full goals. With this responsibility comes the accountability of analyzing, designing, developing, and delivering programs for organizational success, all of which Liz Fuller, the new Leadership Development Specialist, has and will continue to accomplish.
On a mild morning in May that is full of singing birds and blooming flowers, a student in the midst of musing over their final semester approaches Bessey Hall and takes a deep breath. Heading up the pathway to the back entrance, they stop to look at their surroundings, enchanted by the scenic changes. Instead of going inside, they step off the pathway into the round and spacious courtyard seating area beside the building. Their nose is filled with the scent of lavender as they choose a bench and pull out a copy of their commencement speech to pass the time. Behind them on the backrest is a braille plaque which reads, “RCPD, Maximizing Ability and Opportunity, Building Community, Growing Success." This space is the rebirth of opportunity. As they ponder graduation, and the start of a career, they reflect on all that MSU has become: home.
Michigan State University is an institution that strives for diversity and inclusion both at home and abroad.
With the help of the MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities and an MSU Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant, one recent MSU graduate was able to contribute to these efforts by designing an improved method of teaching English to students with visual impairments. A recent MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) graduate and Columbian Fulbright scholar, Maritza Medina G. faced difficulties as a blind student when learning phonetics. She received a Tinker Field Research Grant from the MSU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and wanted to conduct her thesis research on phonetics through assistive technology’s universal design.
With this year marking the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Alex’s Great State Race (AGSR), now celebrating the 7th annual event, is a tradition that continues to honor access and opportunity for people with disabilities. Every year, on the eve of the Michigan State University versus University of Michigan football game, Spartan and Wolverine Army ROTC cadets come together to run 64-miles in honor of Alex Powell, a heroic Spartan who sought his cancer treatment at the U-M Hospital.
2020 has been a year marked with uncertainty, however this wasn’t the first time the AGSR Planning Committee has faced challenges!
The Shamrock 5K Run-Walk-Roll is an annual event that takes place on St. Patrick’s Day Weekend. Facilitated by Tower Guard, the sophomore honor society that serves the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD), the Shamrock 5k has traditionally been the largest fundraising event the group holds for the RCPD each year.