Spring 2016 Newsletter
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Welcome back!

Welcome back and for new students, welcome to VCU! Spring is always a wonderful time here in Richmond, and DSS is looking forward to another great semester helping you to make the most of everything VCU has to offer.

As you may have noticed, DSS has been making many changes over the last year to help improve your experience as a DSS student. One of those changes is that DSS will be releasing a newsletter once per fall and spring semester, and we encourage you to read along. The goal of this newsletter is to combine tips and tricks with words of advice, as well as featured student stories, in order to better connect DSS students with one another and with faculty/staff. Important announcements will also be made via the newsletter, so be on the lookout for DSS changes, scholarship opportunities, and other important information here each semester.

Students walking on Broad Street during welcome week.

In the know

Newsletter sign up

If you know of someone who should be receiving this letter via e-mail, but has not, please contact the DSS office to make sure they are added to our list.

Barbara A Roby Scholarship

DSS is now accepting applications for the Barbara A. Roby Scholarship! This Scholarship is need-based and awarded to an undergraduate student with a disability. In order to apply, the student must be registered with the Disability Support Services office on the Monroe Park Campus or Medical Campus. Visit the DSS website for more details.

Case management

Case management at DSS is now assigned according to your last name. Please visit our website to find your case manager if you have questions, concerns, or feedback for the office.

Electronic delivery for accommodation letters

Accommodation letters and associated information will now be sent electronically via e-mail. Students no longer need to come to DSS to pick up Accommodation Letter Packets. Letters can be requested in person in the office, or online on the DSS website by clicking this link. As a reminder, letters should be requested each semester so that they accurately reflect the current semester.

Electronic Survey

In late January we released an e-survey to all DSS students to gather important information to help us serve you better. If you missed the email, please take the survey here. Each student that completes the survey is eligible to receive an Access 2015 T-Shirt!
Girl student studying with a book and taking notes.

Tips and Tricks


Cornell Note Taking Method

The Cornell Note Taking Method is a 6-step note-taking and study system. It helps students to better retain and understand information. While it takes some practice, it can become second nature over time, and the benefits are notable—students who use this method tend to retain and understand information much better than students who don’t! Click here to read more.

Readability Extension

When you are online reading in your web browser, do you often find that certain websites and pages are too busy and distracting? If you do, it may be beneficial to run your page through a free web extension available for Chrome users, called Readability. Readability allows you to visually clean up your reading space, while still preserving your reading content, so that you can focus on what’s important. Click here to read more.

Learn more

Student Feature

Be featured in an upcoming DSS newsletter!

Have a story to tell? A tip to pass on to a fellow student? Some words of wisdom from a senior to a sophomore? The DSS newsletter would love to feature a student story each release. If you are interested in being featured, please contact Emily Helft at

Did you know?

DSS employs an assistive technology specialist (ATS).

The ATS teaches DSS students about technology to help them be successful inside and outside the classroom. From recommendations of apps to opportunities to trial and pilot new gadgets and software, meeting with Emily Helft, the ATS, can have many benefits.

Consults are free and typically last 45-60 minutes. Because they are individually tailored for each student, they do require a set appointment. Contact Emily Helft at (804) 828-8362 or to learn more or schedule a consult.

Learn more
Make an Appointment
Contact Us
VCU Disability Support Services
907 Floyd Ave. Room 102 | Richmond, VA 23284
Phone: (804) 828-2253 Fax: (804) 828-1944 | Email: