Holly Veith Named Director of Disability Support Services

IMG_3206Recently, Frostburg State University gained a new addition to its staff by hiring Holly Veith as the new Director of Disability Support Services.

Veith’s previous work experience involves working as a therapist for children and adolescents in treatment foster care, which she feels has led her to her current job at FSU.

“I absolutely feel like my past work experience has led me to my work now at FSU,” she said. “The vast majority of disabilities that we see on campus have to do with learning disabilities or mental health issues. So in my past jobs, I got more of the one-on-one relationship to see how the disability is impacting the person, but I didn’t have that much of an ability to help them on a bigger level. Now I have the ability to make that change.”

In her new position, Veith will review a student’s documentation when they have a disability and then determine accommodations for the student. She also contacts professors about things such as extended time for learning disabilities, increased time for test and exams, mobility issues a student might have, and even if a student needs to use braille text.

“Well I am pretty much all of Disabilities Support Services because I am really the only one who is involved with the accommodations,” Veith said. “Our administrative assistant Louis does some of the proctoring of the exams, but as far as providing the communications between professors and sometimes parents, that’s all me. It’s a lot to handle.”

The Disability Support Services deals with students with a variety of disabilities including mobility issues, sensory issues, vision and hearing impairment, autism, ADHD, and depression just to name a few.

According to Veith, the busyness of her job does vary from the time of year, and the beginning of the semester is usually when she receives the most requests for help.

“The first few weeks of the semester is when we have about 400 active students who are receiving accommodations,” she said. “They all need to come in and get letters to give to their professors, so the first couple of weeks of the semester that’s when it is a lot busier. Then from there it’s more of an on needed basis, but there are some students that I do meet with regularly.”

Because of Veith’s previous work as a therapist, she actively tries to think of each student as an individual even with 400 active students who are receiving accommodations.

Veith also pointed out her passion towards “finding out what works for people individually,” and she is a strong believer in the notion that “a person is an expert in their own lives.”

“A lot of times we as humans have biases, Veith said. “ So you hear the anxiety or ADHD and you create a perception of what that person is capable of doing, so my job is to really help level the playing field. I try to do this by empowering and helping students advocate for themselves while also offering techniques that could help each individual student.”

Despite Veith being new to her position, she has been in the area for some time and encourages anyone who feels they are not reaching their full potential to come and meet with her.

“I have been in the area for three years, so I am familiar with the campus but everyone is incredibly friendly,” Veith said. “I would encourage anyone who might feel like there is something getting in the way of what they know they are capable of and how they are actually performing in class. If your grades aren’t reflecting what you know you can do, come talk to me and we can see if there is anything we can do about it!”

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