Student Disability Services debuts new, more accessible Homewood campus space

Located on the first floor of Shaffer Hall, the new space features height-adjustable tables and desks, plus testing rooms designed to minimize distraction

Study carrells in the testing space minimize distraction

Image caption: Study carrells are available for student testing or studying

Credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins Office of Student Disability Services celebrated its new Homewood campus location with an open house Monday evening. Students and campus partners were invited to tour the new space and hear remarks from university and SDS leadership.

Located on the first floor of Shaffer Hall, the new office features a spacious, well-lit common area with an adjustable conference table, additional study spaces, and dedicated workstations for graduate students. Private offices for SDS staff are located along the outer edge of the common area and lead to two dedicated testing rooms with individual cubicles and height-adjustable desks. A private testing space designed to minimize distraction is located between larger testing rooms. Additional enhancements to the space include lockers for storing belongings while receiving exam accommodations, an accessible counter at the reception desk, a camera monitoring system for test proctoring, and a handicap-accessible entry with access button.

Testing rooms are designed to minimize distraction

Image caption: Testing rooms are designed to minimize distraction

Image credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

In his welcome remarks during the office opening, Kevin Shollenberger, vice provost for student health and well-being, described the new SDS location as part of a broader commitment to embracing diversity and ensuring that all Hopkins students feel a "sense of belonging." He also recognized the student group Advocates for Disability Awareness, which championed the relocation of SDS as an important step forward for the university.

Terri Massie-Burrell, director of the Homewood SDS office, said the new location has received a positive reaction from students.

The Student Disability Services team

Image caption: Terri Massie-Burrell (third from right) with the Student Disability Services team

Image credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

"It has been a pleasure to observe the approval on students' faces when they enter our new space," Massie-Burrell said. "Everyone is thrilled with how modern and accessible the space is in Shaffer. The ergonomic design, comfort, and functional floor plan allow us to test more students concurrently."

Student Disability Services serves more than 600 full-time undergraduate and graduate students on the Homewood campus, providing a range of accommodations, assistive technologies, guidance for in-class and out-of-class eligibility, and other resources. The SDS office is now open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, in Shaffer Hall, Suite 101.