Accessibility Services is a resource that helps students succeed by providing support for those with disabilities.

Students must provide educational documentation that specifies a student’s struggles with disabilities to be able to receive accommodations from BYU-Idaho.

This helps students learn more effectively, succeed in college and prepare for future careers.

The Accessibility Services Office is located in the Hyrum Manwaring Student Center, room 181, past the bowling alley and rooms 174A & 174B.

The resource is organized by a director, two full-time administrators, a part-time administrator and an office manager. They meet with students to help aid their needs and determine accommodations.

There is a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Coordinator, an Assistive Technology Coordinator and an ADA Compliance Coordinator who ensure the content of students’ courses is accessible.

Some of the other employees are students, service missionaries and full-time employees.

BYU-Idaho Administrator for Accessibility Services, Nate Reese.

BYU-Idaho Administrator for Accessibility Services, Nate Reese. Photo credit: Gracie Romero

Nate Reese, Accessibility Services administrator, will complete 10 years in his position at BYU-I this August.

Reese is a former alumnus of Utah Valley University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management. He worked in that profession for several years but faced challenges in finding his true purpose.

He decided, with the help of God and the Spirit, that he would listen to the counsel God gave him in his patriarchal blessing. This led him to complete a master’s degree program at Utah State University in rehabilitation counseling, which helps people with disabilities obtain jobs.

After graduating, he moved to Idaho to become a vocational rehabilitation counselor. Reese was a counselor for five years on and off, along with other jobs. Eventually, this led him to work for BYU-I, where he is today.

Accessibility Services has grown notably since Reese started there, driven by the increasing demand of students needing help to succeed in college.

“I just love working with college students,” Reese said. “They have a lot of energy and I love to help (them) be able to have an influence or provide support for them during a difficult time of their life as they’re transitioning out of high school and into college and trying to navigate what life is like as a college student.”

Accessibility Services assist students with any diagnosis that impacts their academic success.

“So, oftentimes, students hear the word disability and they think that might just be something that’s visible or a physical limitation or maybe somebody in a wheelchair,” Reese said. “However, the majority of students we serve, it’s the disabilities that are unseen, such as mental health issues or learning disorders or learning disabilities.”

Some accommodations this resource provides are:

— Extended time on exams online or at the testing center

— Private rooms and music at the testing center

— Test readers

— Captioned videos or transcripts of videos

— Kurzweil (educational software to help students with their reading and writing disabilities)

— E-Texts

— Recording devices

— Notetaking Services

BYU-I students studying at the MC

BYU-I students studying at the MC. Photo credit: Gracie Romero

To receive help from Accessibility Services, students must complete an application that includes the student’s diagnosis.

“We often hear students come in and say, I wish I would have come sooner,” Reese said. “If you can encourage students to just don’t be afraid come and talk to me and don’t feel like you have to do it on your own.”

Reese shares his testimony of the love he has for helping people succeed in their lives:

“One of the greatest blessings in my life is just to be able to work for an employer who has the same values as I do. As a member of the Church, it’s just a blessing to be able to come to work and share my testimony with students every day. I just love to help people. I love to help students realize that they have a source of support beyond just me, beyond what the university can provide, but helping them understand that our Savior Jesus Christ can help them.”

For more information about accommodations for specific disabilities or to register with Accessibility Services, visit their website.