Spencer Scruggs joined Trinity University as its new director for Student Accessibility Services (SAS), in the midst of a disorienting semester brought on by COVID-19. But even in the midst of a pandemic, he’s making a difference. Or perhaps he’s impacting students because of the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has brought with it a number of accessibility and learning challenges that we’ve never had to deal with before,” says Scruggs. “Especially at a place like Trinity, remote learning was never even a consideration, so we’ve had to adapt quickly because the world is adapting quickly.”
Virtual learning not only requires new equipment like a webcam and a fast and reliable internet connection, it also requires a new set of learning and communication skills that has been difficult for some students to build quickly.
“Not only do we work with students to help them master technology, but we also work with their professors to make sure that their teaching styles reach all students,” says Scruggs. “I’ve been very impressed with how Trinity faculty are willing to adapt to ensure the success of their students. It’s another way we can work together to truly be student-focused.”
This holistic approach comes from Scruggs’ philosophy that a disability isn’t a weakness, only an opportunity to learn and engage in different ways than their peers. Depending on the student, the challenges students adjust to might be found in classrooms or residence halls; they may be physical or mental; and they may be temporary or permanent. Whatever the case may be, Scruggs says it’s up to SAS to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to succeed.
Trinity’s SAS office is charged with providing equal access, opportunity, and accommodations through fostering an inclusive environment for all students with disabilities. The office is guided both by Trinity's mission and by federal law.
Scruggs comes to Trinity from Florida State University, where he worked for six years in the Office of Accessibility Services, similar in function to Trinity’s SAS. He received his MS in Higher Education from Florida State University in 2016. He received a BA in Psychology from the University of Louisville.
“When the position came open at Trinity and I began talking to people, I knew it was the perfect fit. I love helping Trinity students and being part of such a warm community.” says Scruggs.
If you’d like to get in touch with Scruggs and the SAS office, contact him at email@example.com or 210-999-7419.