OIS starts two new programs to boost inclusivity on campus 

The Office of Inclusive Services (OIS) created a new program called the OIS Summer Institute and started a partnership with the UCCS Police Department. The summer institute will provide an introduction to the university for prospective students with disabilities, and the OIS’ partnership with campus police will allow officers and students to interact and build relationships.

The OIS Summer Institute is a week-long program that will let people with intellectual disabilities explore and experience the campus. Participants of the program will get to sit in on some classes, do activities at the Wellness Center and work out at the Rec Center. 

According to Kasa, this program is geared toward helping these prospective students determine whether or not the college environments is right for them. “Students from all over Southern Colorado can come and participate in our institute. It’s going to be one week to get to know what college is like,” she said. 

Kasa also explained that students can potentially strengthen their UCCS admission applications by participating in this program. “Attending a summer institute when you’re going to apply for a university is definitely a benefit,” she said.  

The OIS was able to do this summer institute because they received a grant from an organization called Disabling Barriers. This grant has allowed the university to run the institute without additional funding, and all of the people who are looking to participate in the program are able to do so for free. The only requirement for joining is the completion of an application. 

OIS’ second newest program started following the arrival of chief of police DeWayne McCarver, who along with Christi Kasa, director of OIS, said a partnership was needed for campus police officers to better understand the students that OIS works with. 

In order to strengthen the connection between the campus police and these students, there are going to be several opportunities for them to join officers for lunch. The next one will take place on April 7 from noon to 1 p.m. in Cafe 65. Students interested in attending are invited to just walk up and join the table. 

More information on these two new programs and the resources that OIS offers can be found on the Inclusive Services website