Amy Heiby has big goals. Currently an athletic trainer with Memorial Hospital in South Bend, she plans to one day become a physician’s assistant or surgeon, working on ACL (knee) issues and traveling on medical missions. Though she has a bachelor’s degree in athletic training, sports medicine, she needed to take several prerequisite courses in science before applying to medical school. That’s where Bethel came in.

Heiby was immediately intrigued by Bethel’s mission and felt this was the place God wanted her. After enrolling in organic chemistry, she discovered an additional benefit that helped solidify her choice — the center for academic success. Though Heiby is extremely bright, dedicated and motivated, she has dealt with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) for her entire academic career.

“I’m easily distracted, and I experience test anxiety. Sometimes, it can take me four times longer than some to finish tests,” Heiby says.

Enter Jackie Keiser, disability services provider. Keiser helps students like Heiby achieve success in their classes through accommodations that they qualify for.

“Students will receive accommodations if it is determined that they are eligible,” Keiser says. “These are anything from providing extra time on tests, free of distraction, to screen readers, audio books, study tools and Dragon speech recognition software.”

Heiby, a hands-on learner, says disability services recognized her learning style and helped her achieve that way. “I’m a person who needs to hear it, see it, read it and apply it,” she says. “They help you learn your weaknesses and strengthen them, take your strengths and edify them.”

As she took on the challenge of physics 2 – seven years after taking physics 1 – last semester, this was extremely important. But with the help of Kesier, she was up to the challenge.

“They don’t coddle; they’re like your champion. They ask you what your goals are, and they help you get there,” she says.

Heiby hopes that more students will take advantage of the resources available to them. “[Students with disabilities] need to know that they can achieve whatever they want, given the right coping skills and tools,” Heiby says.

Recently relocated from a modular unit to the learning commons in the lower level of the Miller/Moore Academic Center, disability services offers accommodations for blindness, visual impairment, intellectual disabilities, temporary disabilities, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, ADD/ADHD and Autism, among others.

To learn more, visit disability services online.