AccessibleNU Emphasizes Inclusion and Community in Changes

A new name, location and website are among the changes for the office charged with making a Northwestern education accessible to all

A lot changed in the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) over the summer, including our name: We are now AccessibleNU!

The overarching reason for changing our name is to emphasize that making a Northwestern education accessible is the responsibility of the entire University community. We also changed our name to be more inclusive to students. We understand that not everyone considers their condition to be a disability and do not want to deter anyone from approaching us because of our previous name. Finally, although "disability" is still politically correct, the field is moving toward offices such as ours including "access" instead of "disability" in their names. We are happy to say that it appears Northwestern is ahead of most of our peer institutions’ offices by making this change when we did.

We figured it couldn't be a better time for a name change since our Evanston location has also moved. Our new, larger AccessibleNU Center is centrally located in Suite 130 of 2122 Sheridan (formerly known as Seabury). The center was designed and customized from its inception to meet the needs of our diverse, growing population. During the 2013-2014 school year, we administered more than 1,700 exams. Our new location positions us to better support faculty by facilitating student accommodations in a more convenient location for the Northwestern community.

Along with the new name and location, we also have a redesigned website and a new office email address. While we still can receive emails sent to our former address, we encourage you to save the information for our new site and email. Look for information on an open house for our new facilities during fall quarter.

Alison May is director of AccessibleNU and assistant dean of students.