I have been a CNM student since the fall 2011 semester. I hope to graduate at the end of summer, with my Elementary Education degree. I am on the Dean’s list, with a 4.0, so I definitely work hard to do well in my studies.
Since April of 2010, I have been listed on the UNOS transplant list for a kidney. While I have had some impact from my inherited disease, it was not getting in the way of my studies. However, towards the end of 2013, I found myself getting a few phone calls with kidney offers. While these first few didn’t pan out, I knew my time was near. In anticipation, I visited the disability resource office at Main in early January. I first had to be scheduled for an orientation to even determine if I would qualify. This appointment was set for the 24th, three weeks after my initial contact. I attended the orientation and it was determined that yes, I just might qualify.
Mind you, I knew I would really only need a few weeks of leeway in my courses, as I had mostly chosen online classes this semester, in anticipation of this surgery occurring sometime in the semester. My appointment to meet with a counselor was scheduled for the 30th. I was nervous, but hoped to make that appointment.
As luck would have it, I got ‘the call’ on the 28th at 5 pm, and had my kidney transplant surgery on the 29th at 2 pm. The surgery was a success and I am on the road to recovery. This is the good part. The next is not.
I called the disability office, to let them know I would not be able to make the scheduled appointment and why. The first person I spoke with on Tuesday could not think with what to do, how to handle my call or assist me in any way. In frustration, I hung up. On Wed, prior to surgery, I called again, in an attempt to do something. Again, no help. The office will not do phone interviews, and I was told to schedule myself once I recovered. However I am on immunosuppressant drugs, and heavy doses right now, so cannot be on the germ-filled campus that is CNM. I tried to tell the person this, but again, no understanding. I asked to have my husband attend the appointment and fill in for me. No go.
So, in spite of the promise of assistance, I have had to work on my own, with my instructors, to make any concessions. Fortunately, all but one has been very amenable to assisting me and I should be able to make up any missed course work.
It is time of the disability office to look at its policies and procedures. Not everyone has a learning disability, which they seem to be able to handle well. Some of us have temporary medical disability, and need to be able to have the assistance of the office in order to make our time at CNM productive. A simple phone interview would have made all the difference. I ask the administration to relook at their policies to see what can be done to truly service the students of CNM.