The Center for Accessible Resources helps students who may need academic support. The CAR staff works with students who have documented disabilities and faculty to adjust class material to fit student needs.
Until recently CAR has not been able to assist students who have what is known as an invisible disability —issues such as chronic pain or any kind of mental health disorder.
“In actuality most disabilities that we deal with at CAR are invisible disabilities,” Michele Barber, one of CAR’s counselors said. “A lot of the time students come in stressing concerns related to other students not understanding their disability.”
Barber and other faculty working in CAR have created a support group that focuses on students with invisible disabilities.
“We just started the group a couple of weeks ago. It will really be based upon the needs of what students come in for, what they want to focus on, you know, things of that nature,” Barber said.
Barber went on to explain that the support group is not only intended to identify what these disabilities are, but also work with students on how to cope with them. She added that the greater purpose for the group is to see how these issues are affecting academics for each individual.
“It’s more of a support group rather than a therapy group. We really want to focus on how this disability is impacting their academic environment and how they are dealing with it. We also want students who attend to know that they can find support from other students on campus as well,” Barber said.
CAR started the support group two weeks ago and hopes that it will continue to grow. Barber stated that the initial turnout for the first two meetings were low, however she thinks in the coming weeks it will gain more traction once students are aware of the support group’s presence.
The invisible disabilities support group is currently being held on Thursdays from noon to one in building 19. For more information visit CAR’s page on Lane’s website or visit their office in building 19 room 231.