DSP&S haults testing for services
Incoming freshmen and students who feel they might have a learning disability will have a harder time accessing student services in the fall.
Due to budget cuts made in 2009 and 2010, the Disabled Student Programs and Services department at Bakersfield College will no longer be offering learning disability testing after the spring 2012 semester.
“Please be aware that, due to funding cuts, DSP&S can only support mandated student support services,” said director of DSP&S Angelica Gomez in an email to faculty and staff.
California does not require community colleges to offer disability testing and, in the current economic climate, non-essential programs like this are being cut.
“If it’s not mandated, we won’t be offering it anymore,” said Gomez.
Students at BC did not react favorably to the news.
“It’s not fair,” said Kayla Welch, 22, a child development major at BC. “Why should we take funding from those who need it the most?”
Others echoed Welch’s sentiment.
“It’s not going to help them,” said Brenda Romero, 21, who is majoring in human services. “I hope they don’t take it away.”
Romero also suggested students start a petition to protest the loss.
“I don’t think they should cut anything,” said Patrick McEvoy, 20, an art major.
In order to receive benefits, students must now provide a medical history that proves they have a learning disability or require assistance.
Testing for a learning disability was formerly offered free of charge to all students.
The alternative to being evaluated by counselors at BC is to hire a local, private psychologist to provide the testing.
Unfortunately, this option comes at cost to the student.
“Students who are diagnosed with some form of disability, psychological or medical, must have verification to receive assistance,” said Gomez.
Fortunately for students, testing is the only thing the DSP&S will be cutting.
They will still be offering accommodations, such as alternative media and sign language interpreters, to students in need.