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The Benefits of Using Disability Services in College Post-Injury

The Benefits of Using Disability Services in College Post-Injury

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[Kelli WIlliams Gary, PhD] One of the reasons why I didn't use disability services while I was in school— even though I was aware that those services existed— is because I didn't want to be labeled as a person with a disability. I was trying so hard to fit in, to be part of the crowd, to be that normal person that I didn't want that label. I didn't want people looking at me differently. Even though I might have spoken to some individuals about my brain injury, like my professors, I just kind of worked on it one-on-one as opposed to officially going to those services and receiving the extra time to take tasks and extra time to finish assignments. It wasn't until I received my PhD— and I was working on my PhD and the challenges that come along with that, that I first used the office of disabilities at my school. I actually am learning from my students now because I actually have a few in the program that are utilizing those services. And every time I look at them, I'm so encouraged. I'm so happy that they're using those services, and I'm encouraging of them to continue to use those. Because I think back to when I went through school, and I when I didn't. And I just think back and I say, "Wow. If I would have just used the services, things would have been a lot easier for me than they were."

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"I look back at my years in college and graduate school and think, wow, if I had just used disability services, my life would have been a lot easier," says Kelli Gary, PhD.

See more video clips with Kelli Williams Gary, PhD.


Produced by Sharon Ladin, Justin Rhodes, and Lara Collins, BrainLine.

Kelli Williams Gary, PhD, MPH, OTR/LKelli Williams Gary, PhD, MPH, OTR/L is an assistant professor in the department of occupational therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University. She sustained a severe traumatic brain injury in 1991.

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