Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Working at CSU

Alternative Testing Center coordinator serves vital role

August 12, 2010

An equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and usable learning environment is vital to every student's success. The staff of Resources for Disabled Students, one of Colorado State University's student diversity programs, is committed to meeting the unique academic needs of permanently and temporarily disabled students. Alternative testing services is just one of the support services provided to qualifying students.

Extra time, quiet location, assistive technology

Terry Schlicting has been the alternative testing coordinator on campus since 2006.

The Resources for Disabled Students office serves about 1,000 students on campus who self-identify as having a disability. About 320 of the students use alternative testing services coordinated by Terry Schlicting.

“Students find themselves at RDS to take their exams for a variety of different reasons,” Schlicting says. “A majority of students just need extra time and a quiet location." For students who have reading disabilities, Schlicting arranges someone to read their exam for them, or if they prefer, the use of assistive technology software to read the exam. Other students need someone to act as a scribe because they have difficulty writing due to their disability.”

Trades Chicago for Fort Collins

Schlicting, 33, provides a friendly face and a “been there, done that” dose of motivation to the students he serves. Schlicting moved to Fort Collins in 1997 to attend Colorado State, graduating in 2001 with a bachelor’s in psychology. Originally from the Chicago area, Schlicting is thrilled to pursue his career and make his home in Fort Collins.

“I was hired on as a full-time employee for Resources for Disabled Students in February 2006,” Schlicting says. “I really like the community and the many activities and events offered in Northern Colorado. And I don’t miss the winters in the Midwest.”

Hopes and dreams like everyone else

Schlicting wants people to know that those with disabilities are a minority group that have the same hopes and dreams as any other individual.

“One of the things that is most hurtful to people with disabilities is the lack of expectations placed upon them, whether it be from their family members, the educational system, or the community in which they live and work,” Schlicting says. “It is my experience that many people with disabilities have developed a ‘learned helplessness’ that can often hinder their independence.”

Attitudinal misperceptions are most debilitating

Schlicting, like many of us, loves to travel and enjoys trying the cuisine at each new locale he visits. “I had a recent experience when I was travelling. A gentleman said to me, ‘It’s good to see you get out,’ as though I had done something extraordinary by leaving my home,” Schlicting says. “It’s attitudinal misperceptions such as these that can be most debilitating, especially if they come from family members or persons of authority encountered throughout their educational upbringing.”

Schlicting is also active in the community, currently serving as chairman of the Fort Collins Commission on Disability. The city commission recommends policy to the Fort Collins City Council and promotes awareness of obstacles faced by community members with disability – working to find joint solutions that address the needs of the disabled community as well as overall goals of city government.

Disability will affect us all sooner or later

An advocate as well as a provider of services, Schlicting has always had an interest in civil and human rights. Whether serving the students of Colorado State or volunteering in the community, Schlicting is an advocate for human dignity and respect for all.

“Disability and the experiences associated with it, are part of the human condition,” Schlicting says. “Disability is something that sooner or later will affect us all, whether ourselves or a loved one.  We are all inherently bound to one another and thus we have a responsibility to show empathy, without pity, toward our fellow human beings.”