The Benefits of Using Disability Services in College Post-Injury

"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.

[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."
Posted on BrainLine May 23, 2013.

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