From a very young age, Susan Gjolmesli knew that she wanted to be a teacher. Owing to a genetic condition, she suffered from visual impairment, and because protective laws for disabled people were still decades away, she was plagued by discrimination and was consistently belittled or ignored by potential employers.
“They were very negative, and I never secured a teaching position,” she said. “I was deflated and demoralized and went away from that, in essence, because I was green as grass and had very low self-advocacy skills.”
Years later, after raising her son, opening a commercial greenhouse, and gaining experience working for several blind advocacy groups, Gjolmesli was well-equipped with confidence. She was committed to ensuring that other students with disabilities would not suffer the way that she had.
For the past 18 years, Gjolmesli has worked as the Director of Bellevue College’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) in Bellevue, Wash. Together with her staff, Gjolmesli creates roadmaps to college success for students with disabilities. Currently, the DRC is home to approximately 900 disabled students.
Read more (free registration required): http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/disability-resource-center-empowers-students-to-unlock-their-full-potential/