Eric Heim had to relearn various skills after a wooden beam
broke his hardhat while he was working construction.
“I was in and out of the hospital for a few months,” said Heim,
a junior sociology major. “I had to go to rehab (after the
accident) to relearn things like balance and algebraic skills.”
Although the accident happened in 1998 when he had just started
college, Heim still reaps the consequences.
“I have been seeing neurologists for the past six years and they
have all told me that the brain heals itself,” said Heim, 24. “I
probably won’t ever be at 100 percent again, but I am as close to
it as possible.”
After the accident Heim received help from the Resources for
Students with Disabilities.
“The RDS helped me a lot in the beginning,” Heim said. “I needed
help with tests and taking notes.”
Heim still uses the RDS for note taking because it is difficult
to listen and write at the same time, he said.
The RDS helps students with disabilities achieve the same goals
as other students on campus. According to their Web site,
www.colostate.edu/Depts/RDS, “the RDS assists the university in
assuring qualified students with disabilities are afforded and
given access to the same, or equal, educational opportunities
available to other students at the university.”
“(The RDS) provides accommodations for students with
self-identified disabilities,” said Rosemary Kreston, the director
of RDS. “We listen to what they need and we try to alleviate that
The RDS helps students ranging from deaf students to
mobility-impaired students. The range is broad and the center deals
with students on an individual level. Not all students with
disabilities require help in their classrooms. Sometimes help
depends on the environment, Kreston said.
“Last semester we had 764 self-identified students as having a
disability,” Kreston said. “Four hundred and ninety-three of those
students received a service.”
The RDS also provides students those with temporary disabilities
the option of a peer note taker. This is so a student with a cast
or impairment in regards to hand movement can still keep up with a
Heim also experienced a motor cross accident in October of 2003.
His right hand was pinched and severed 80 percent from his arm.
Heim, who already uses the peer note taking option offered by RDS,
missed six days of school and fell behind in classes.
“Most of my teachers were very understanding (about the missed
school),” Heim said. “Luckily I am ambidextrous. I have broken 44
bones over the years.”
Heim only has 25 percent mobility in his arm and will probably
continue to use RDS services.
RDS uses 12 interpreters to sign to hearing impaired students on
campus, according to DeDe Kliewer, the coordinating interpreter for
RDS. CSU has interpreters for the entire class. Not all college
campuses rely on this consistency, Kliewer said.
“We have enough interpreters for all the (hearing impaired
students),” Kliewer said. “We have the same interpreter in the
class the entire time. We keep things consistent.”