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About ADS

The Accessibility and Disability Service (ADS) provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals to ensure equal access to services, programs, and activities sponsored by the University of Maryland.

Through the variety of services offered, we work to ensure that your accommodation and accessibility needs are met. The ADS Office is staffed by dedicated professionals who are available to assist, consult, support, and advocate on behalf of individuals requesting disability services.

For information about the different units that comprise the Accessibility and Disability Service, please review the information within the tabs below.

To schedule an appointment with the ADS, call (301) 314-7682 (voice/TTY) or stop by the Accessibility and Disability Service front desk on the lower level of the Shoemaker Building (room 0106).

The ADS is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Joanna Hokama (Balz)

Joanna Hokama (Balz), M.S.
Staff Transcriber for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services(DHHS)
jbalz@umd.edu
(301) 314-7625

Academic History: M.S., 2013, Nutrition and Integrative Health, Maryland University of Integrative Health; B.S., 2007, Family Science, University of Maryland.
Professional Interests: accessible media; closed-captioning for deaf and hard of hearing; nutrition counseling.
Personal Interests: running, organic gardening, traveling, animal rescue volunteer.


Tessa Cahill (DiPerri)

Tessa Cahill (DiPerri), M.A.
Interim Director
tdiperri@umd.edu
(301) 314-7681

Academic History: M.A., 2013, Student Affairs in Higher Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; B.S., 2011, Communication Disorders, Springfield College.
Professional Interests: Student engagement and self-advocacy. Coaching and assisting students transition and thrive in the college environment. Educating campus stakeholders about the ADA and accommodation process.
Personal Interests: Spending time with family and friends. Experimenting cooking and baking new recipes.


Kyra Chambers

Kyra Chambers
Testing Office Graduate Assistant
adstest@umd.edu
(301) 314-7217

Academic History: Master’s of Arts in International Relations
Professional Interests: International women’s rights advocacy, humanitarian crisis response.
Personal Interests: Singing, practicing instruments, trying new restaurants, traveling.


Makeda Edwards

Makeda Edwards
Accommodated Note Taking Assistant
makedae@umd.edu
(301) 405-0226

Academic History: Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Professional Interests: Community support and outreach, mental health support and services, disability and disadvantaged community advocacy.
Personal Interests: Gardening, singing, painting, hiking, dancing, and reading.

 

Enwongo Ekah

Enwongo Ekah
ADS Testing Graduate Assistant
adstest@umd.edu
(301) 314-7217

Academic History: Bachelor of Arts in History and International Studies, currently pursuing Master’s in Public Policy in the School of Public Policy.
Professional Interests: Policies geared towards Women Empowerment, Crisis Management, and Negotiations.
Personal Interests: Soulful writing, volunteering, reading, spending time with family, and traveling.


Mary Glantz

Mary Glantz, M.P.S.
ADS Counselor
adscounselor@umd.edu
(301) 314-7695

Academic History: M.P.S in Clinical Psychology, 2015, University of Maryland; B.A. in Psychology, 2014, The Catholic University of America.
Professional Interests: Counseling, academic coaching, college transition support, and mental health and disability advocacy.
Personal Interests: Reading, cooking, traveling, board games, yoga, and volunteering.


Brianna Kitts

Brianna Kitts
DHHS Assistant
bkitts@umd.edu
(301) 405-8058

Academic History: B.S., 2020, Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park.
Professional Interests: positive psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, diversity and accessibility.
Personal Interests: art, music, reading, creative writing, literary analysis, journaling, letter writing, mythology and folklore, animation/anime, video games and interactive storytelling, traveling.


Margie Kuhn

Margie Kuhn
Adminstrative Assistant
mkuhn@umd.edu
(301) 314-7682

Academic History: B.A., 1985, Art, The Catholic University of America.
Professional Interests: Early Childhood and College Student Development, Academic Success.
Personal Interests: Family, Marathon Running and Training, Puppy Training and Development.


Cassandra Lytle

Cassandra Lytle, M.A.
Assistant Director
clytle@umd.edu
(301) 314-7209

Academic History: M.A., 2014, Business Administration, University of Maryland, University College; B.A., 2006, Psychology, University of Maryland.
Professional Interests: making media accessible through captioning, individuals who identify as deaf or hard of hearing, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), work-life integration.
Personal Interests: spending time with family, being outdoors


Marnie C Marsh

Marnie C Marsh
Disability Specialist
mmarsh12@umd.edu
(301) 405-0668

Academic History: M.S., 2016, Special Education, McDaniel College; B.S., 2004, English, Towson University.
Professional Interests: Disability advocacy, cultural diversity and inclusion, transition support, counseling.
Personal Interests: Reading, travel, Film/TV, spending time with family.


William “Dan” Newsome

William “Dan” Newsome, M.Ed.
Adaptive Technology Lab Coordinator
wdn@umd.edu
(301) 314-7958

Academic History: M.Ed. 1992, Human Development, University of Maryland; B.A., 1982, Education and Human Development, Antioch College.
Professional Interests: role of technology in identity formation and learning strategy development; use of mobile technologies and mobile operating systems by disabled populations; diversity, equity, inclusion and multicultural capacities programming; antecedents of learned helplessness and processes involved with addressing and overcoming childhood traumas.
Personal Interests: single-frame cartoon artwork and history; choral music and the impressionist movement in music; secular humanism; vegetarianism; politics, poetry and theatre; origami and paper airplanes; science fiction; duck pin bowling; roller coasters; camping, hiking and bicycling; Scrabble, chess, and numerous other games.



Jessica Puryear

Jessica Puryear
Disability Counselor Assistant
jpuryear@umd.edu
(301) 405-0312

Academic History: B.S., 2020, Special Education, University of Lynchburg.
Professional Interests: Accessibility and inclusion, Universal Design strategies, differentiation in instruction, and disability advocacy.
Personal Interests: Reading, baking, photography, horseback riding, and spending time with family and friends.



Kathryn "Katie" Smyth

Kathryn "Katie" Smyth
Disability Specialist
ksmyth12@umd.edu
(301) 314-7675

Academic History: M.A., 2002, Rehabilitation Counseling, New York University; B.A., 2000, Psychology, University of Pittsburgh.
Professional Interests: Diversity and Inclusion, Universal Design, Executive Function Coaching, Peer Support & Mentorship.
Personal Interests: Traveling, Walking Dogs, Yoga, Meditation, Podcasts, Puzzles, Backgammon.


Jas Strong

Jas Strong
Graduate Assistant Alternate Text Coordinator
adsalttext@umd.edu
(301) 314-7684

Professional Interests: Web Development, User Experience, User Research, 3-D Design, Programming, Health IT.
Personal Interests: Creative Writing, Sports, Health and Fitness, Cooking, Traveling.


Kristin Townes

Kristin Townes
Testing Coordinator
ktownes@umd.edu
(301) 314-9969

Academic History: M.A. in Human Resource Management, B.B.A. in Accounting
Professional Interests: Accessibility, equity, and inclusion; differentiated instruction and assessment.
Personal Interests: Reading, running, singing & instrumental music.


Sandra K. Waldrop

Sandra K. Waldrop, B.A.
Coordinator
swaldrop@umd.edu
(301) 314-7682

Professional Interests: Accessibility, inclusion
Personal Interests: Writing, reading, music, photography, digital art, web design.


Hayley Weinberg

Hayley Weinberg, B.A.
ADS Counselor
adsresourcecounslr@umd.edu
(301) 405-8255

Academic History: M.A., 2019, Psychology, Boston University; B.S., 2017, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester; B.A., 2017, Psychology, University of Rochester
Professional Interests: Counseling, psychological assessment, autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, and disability advocacy
Personal Interests: Baking, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family


Kimberly Williams

Kimberly Williams
Disability Specialist
kwilli95@umd.edu
(301) 405-0331

Academic History: Currently pursuing Master’s in Public Administration at Gallaudet University; B.S. in Deaf Studies at Towson University in 2020.
Professional Interests: Disability advocacy and awareness, D/HH Community, American Sign Language (ASL), Educating students about ADA and the accommodation process.
Personal Interests: Spending time with friends and family, traveling, dancing, going on walks, trying foods from different cultures, cooking and baking new recipes.


Hannah Witschey

Hannah Witschey
Disability Specialist
hwitsche@umd.edu
(301) 314-7796

Academic History: B.A., 2013, Philosophy, The College of William and Mary. M.A. student in Industrial & Organizational Psychology.
Professional Interests: adaptive ski instruction (specializing in autism, cerebral palsy, blind/visually impaired, deaf/hard of hearing, unilateral lower extremity amputation), disability and mental health advocacy, access and inclusion in higher education.
Personal Interests: skiing, sailing, podcasts, art, piano and guitar.

The Accessibility and Disability Service is located on the basement level of the Shoemaker Building. The Shoemaker Building is located behind the Memorial Chapel.
 

Accessibility and Disability Service Address
Accessibility and Disability Service
University of Maryland
4281 Chapel Drive
0106 Shoemaker Building
College Park, MD 20742

Mowatt Lane Parking Garage Address
Mowatt Lane Parking Garage
7591 Mowatt Lane
College Park, MD 20742

Driving Directions and Location (Google Maps)
View driving directions and the location to the Shoemaker Building.

Interactive Campus Map
View the interactive campus map of the University of Maryland. ADS staff believes it is helpful to
use the “Route” feature of the map to obtain walking directions from their parking location to the
Shoemaker Building.

Visitor Parking
Students, families, and guardians meeting with the ADS must park in designated visitor parking
areas on UMD’s campus. The closest visitor parking to the Shoemaker Building is the Mowatt
Lane Parking Garage and Lot MV.

It is strongly recommended that you arrive to campus early, so you have enough time to park and
walk to the Shoemaker Building. The Mowatt Lane Parking Garage, has metered visitor parking
located on the first floor and the parking lot located directly next to the garage. The garage is
about a ten minute walk away from the Shoemaker building. There is limited parking adjacent to
the Memorial Chapel, however, the parking meters have a 20 minute maximum time limit.
Please note that there is a fee for all visitor parking.

For maps of visitor parking parking, or information about parking fees, please visit the
Department of Transportation (DOTS) website.

Accessible/Handicap Parking Information for Visitors
There is a limited number of accessible/handicap parking spaces adjacent to Lot Y, in front of
the Shoemaker building. There are additional accessible/handicap spaces along Chapel Drive
as well. If you have a state issued placard, you are able to park in an accessible space without
a UMD issued parking pass.

For additional information about accessible-handicap parking on campus, please visit the
Department of Transportation Services (DOTS) Parking Guidelines webpage.

Picture of the recommended walking route from the Mowatt Lane Parking Garage and Lot MV to
the Shoemaker Building.

Mowatt Shoemaker Walking Route

Regular Hours
All units of ADS are open 9:00 a.m. - 12:00p.m. AND 1:00p.m.- 4:00 p.m Monday through Friday

Final Exam Week Hours
Extended Hours: Monday-Friday: The Testing Office will be open from 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Saturday hours are from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (If the first day of exams falls on Saturday, the extended hours are as follows: Saturday thru Thursday - 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Friday 8:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m.)

Adaptive Technology Lab Hours
The Adaptive Technology Lab is available via key-card access any time McKeldin Library is open. Staff are available Monday - Friday, during regular business hours.
 

ADS Main Office
Phone: (301) 314-7682
Main office fax: (301) 405-0813
E-mail: adsfrontdesk@umd.edu

ADS Testing Office
Phone: (301) 314-7217
Testing office fax: (301) 314- 9478
E-mail: adstest@umd.edu

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
Phone: (301) 314-7209
Fax: (301) 405-0813
E-mail: dhhs@umd.edu

Adaptive Technology Lab
Phone: (301) 314-7958
Fax: (301) 314-8674
E-mail: wdn@umd.edu

Alternate Text Services
Phone: (301) 314-7684
Fax: (301) 314-8674
E-mail: adsalttext@umd.edu

Adaptive Technology Lab Location

1103 McKeldin Library
Phone: (301) 314-7958
E-mail: wdn@umd.edu

Eligibility

Any student, faculty, or staff member currently registered with the Accessibility and Disability Service (ADS) may also register to use the Adaptive Technology Lab in McKeldin Library.

Adaptive Technology Lab (ATLab) Services

The Adaptive Technology Lab is a study, reading, and workspace in McKeldin Library that offers the following:

  • Training on the use of adaptive technologies for ADS-registered students, faculty, and staff
  • Assistive hardware and software technologies for accessing information, producing papers, recording books, articles and producing alternate forms of text.
  • Technology-assisted exams
  • Assistance in identifying/developing technology-assisted learning and work strategies for students in their courses as well as faculty and staff members in their office environments.

Alternate Text Unit (ATU) Services

The Alternate Text Unit located in the Adaptive Technology Lab is responsible for converting and delivering course texts and exams for qualified students into the formats they require. Some of these are Kurzweil files, audio files, large print versions, braille printouts, etc.

Registering with the ATLab / ATU

  • Schedule a brief session with either the ATLab Coordinator or the ATU Coordinator.
  • Complete an “ATLab User Information Form” available in hard copy at the ATLab or download the pdf file (pdf). This form includes the individual’s name, campus ID#, and any information pertaining to student, faculty, or staff status, and the types of technology they are interested in. The campus ID# is used to enable access to the ATLab’s controlled-access card key entrance.
  • Complete and sign an “ATLab Usage Agreement Form” available in hard copy at the ATLab or download the pdf file (pdf), that covers the policies of the ATLab. Submit  a copy of the user’s Accommodations Letter to the ATLab Coordinator
  • Students registering with the ATU must complete a Maryland Accessible Technology Program Student Agreement Form available in hard copy or download the pdf file (pdf). More detailed information may be found in the Alternate Text Request Procedures section below.

Note: Please be advised that students who are registered with the ADS and are eligible for Alternate Text services, are strongly encouraged to also register with the Adaptive Technology Lab to have all-hour access to the lab for coordination of this service and pick up completed materials.

Using the ATLab

After registering to use the ATLab, students, faculty, and staff may use the lab whenever McKeldin Library is open. Appointments can be scheduled with the ATLab Coordinator to learn about different tools in the lab, to receive training, and to develop technology-mediated learning strategies. The Coordinator can also help students develop technology-assisted learning strategies to maximize their learning. For students with attentional disabilities, the ATLab offers a less distracting environment as well as access to three study carrels in McKeldin Library. Students with reading and writing accommodations requiring technology assistance can schedule to take exams in the ATLab.

The lab is equipped with hardware and software technologies to accommodate and assist qualified students when they are working on their assignments or when taking exams.

ATLab accommodations cover a wide range of technologies including:

  • Noise and Distraction Reduction
  • CCTV Document Magnification
  • Computer Screen Magnification
  • Computer Screen Reading
  • Voice Dictation and Computer Control
  • Scan and Read Technology
  • Tactile Graphics Production
  • Text to Braille Conversion
  • Visual Outlining and Concept Organization

Who Uses the ATLab?

The most frequent ATLab users are students with print materials disabilities, such as individuals with vision disabilities, written expression disorders, reading disabilities, information processing or executive functioning disorders, and other disorders that impact reading or writing.

Tips for using the ATLab

The ATLab is here to meet your learning needs. Are you a night owl or an early bird? The ATLab can be accessed whenever McKeldin Library is open. Do you need a place with fewer distractions where you can study? The ATLab has study carrels, white-noise generators and less foot traffic. The ATLab Coordinator and the Alternate Text Unit Coordinator can help you to devise technology-based solutions and learning strategies.

Exams Proctored at the Adaptive Technology Lab

Registered ADS students with an adaptive technology accommodation will take their exams at the ATLab. For students whose accommodations qualify them for technology-assisted exams, they may schedule their exams using the ADS online student portal. Make sure to specify the technologies you need to use and choose either ATL1 or ATL2 as the room where you would like to take your exam.

Note: To facilitate the use of adaptive technologies for exams, your professors must provide exams to ADS in an accessible format (preferably a text file (created with a word processor) or a high-quality PDF file). If a hard copy of an exam is sent to ADS testing, the copy must be of high enough quality for the ATLab’s optical character recognizer to work. If an exam’s quality is insufficient to generate reliable conversion with OCR, a better copy will be requested from the instructor.

Note: Hard copies of exams for the ATLab must be received from professors at least 2 business days prior to scheduled exams.

For more information about the Adaptive Technology Lab: phone (301) 314-7958, e-mail wdn@umd.edu, or visit us in room 1103, McKeldin Library.

For more information about the Alternate Text Unit: phone (301) 314-7684, e-mail adsalttext@umd.edu, or visit us in room 1107, McKeldin Library.

The Alternate Text Unit located in the Adaptive Technology Lab is responsible for converting and delivering course texts and exams for qualified students into the formats they require. Some of these are Kurzweil files, audio files, large print versions, braille printouts, etc.

Registering with the ATLab / ATU

  • Schedule a brief session with either the ATLab Coordinator or the ATU Coordinator.
  • Complete an “ATLab User Information Form” available in hard copy at the ATLab or download the pdf file (pdf). This form includes the individual’s name, campus ID#, and any information pertaining to student, faculty or staff status, and the types of technology they are interested in. The campus ID# is used to enable access to the ATLab’s controlled-access card key entrance.
  • Complete and sign an “ATLab Usage Agreement Form” available in hard copy at the ATLab or download the pdf file (pdf), that covers the policies of the ATLab. Submit  a copy of the user’s Accommodations Letter to the ATLab Coordinator
  • Students registering with the ATU must complete a Maryland Accessible Technology Program Student Agreement Form available in hard copy or download the pdf file (pdf).

Note: Please be advised that students who are registered with the ADS and are eligible for Alternate Text services, are strongly encouraged to also register with the Adaptive Technology Lab to have all-hour access to the lab for coordination of this service and pick up completed materials.


Alternate Text Request Procedures

Alternate Text Services Location
1103 McKeldin Library
Phone: (301) 314-7684
Email: adsalttext@umd.edu

Eligibility

Any student who has been given an accommodation for alternate text format is eligible to request services from this unit. Typical disability categories that qualify to receive books and materials in alternate format are:

  • Vision disabilities
  • Some learning disabilities Some attention deficit disorders

Any of these disabilities could affect reading ability, reading comprehension, and the ability to process information in printed form.

Alternate Text Services

The Alternate Text service is responsible for converting required printed course materials into formats that are accessible to students with printed materials disabilities.

  • Convert textbooks and other required reading materials into electronic format, braille, and enlarged print.
  • Convert textbooks, course packets, articles, handouts, and miscellaneous printed into alternate text.
  • Save in an appropriate file format so that the information is accessible to the eligible individual.

The Alternative Text Process

ADS will ensure that the student is aware of the following information relevant to sharing the accommodations letter with course instructors.

  1. Schedule a meeting with the Alternate Text Coordinator.
  2. Complete the necessary paperwork and submit a request for materials to be converted.
  3. Alternate Text Coordinator checks the ADS database and/or other agencies such as the Maryland Accessible Textbook Program, BookShare, and Learning Ally to determine if converted books are available. If so, the Coordinator orders a copy of the converted materials.
  4. Materials that are not previously converted will be converted by ADS staff. Materials are scanned into a file format that is preferred by the student.

Copyright

  • Copyright laws apply to all materials converted by ADS or borrowed from ADS.
  • ADS follow copyright laws and procedures s for all materials copied and reproduced.
  • Students are required to return all materials borrowed from ADS.

Purchasing Books and Supplies

ADS will purchase textbooks and other required reading materials from the University Book Center or other sources when printed material conversion is required.

Alternate Text Software Borrowing

The Accessibility & Disability Service will download a copy of University-owned Kurzweil 3000 onto eligible students’ personal computers for ease in accessing materials in an alternate format.

Once students graduate or take leave from the University, they are responsible for informing the Alternate Text Unit.

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