Image banner

Student Disability Services Spotlight
Spring 2011

Ryan Bruner

Ryan Bruner


I am a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in Communication Studies. I currently serve as the Diversity Chair in the UI Student Government and Co-Chair for Student Disability Org. I am also involved with the Disability Action & Planning Committee (DPAC).

I was diagnosed with epilepsy in the summer of 2000 when I was in 7th grade. I began having both grand-mal and peti-mal seizures routinely through high school. I was having trouble in school especially with mathematics because my seizures effected both my short and long term memory. I struggled to find medications to control my seizures with limited side effects. Finally, my senior summer of high school I was successful in controlling my seizures but I still struggle with memory problems on a daily basis.

My memory problems have truly affected the way I have approached my academic life in college. I have had to take advantage of the multiple opportunities to work with professors and teaching assistants. I have also just had to dedicate myself to my studies more than other students to make my academic goals into reality.

Student Disability Services (SDS) has always been there to answer questions I might have on testing and on the proper procedure to follow when talking to professors about class notes. SDS has also allowed for my early registration which has enabled me to schedule my classes later in the morning. This has truly been a blessing.Lack of sleep is the 1# cause of break-through seizures and with late night studying.

Student Disability Org is fairly new in which I serve as the Co-Chair. It has been a great opportunity for me to meet people on campus and improve disability awareness and diversity on campus. I was the first student representing students with disabilities on the UI Student Government last year. It allowed me to meet different students who were actively looking to improve campus life for students with disabilities. We were able to establish our student organization and give students with disabilities a true voice on campus. I look forward to our growth this year.

My advice to all students entering the University of Iowa is to live a balanced life and get involved in the Iowa City community you have now become a part of. Students need to understand the workload that college presents to them and establish an organized plan that fits their individual personality and lifestyle. Students should embrace who they are and the disabilities that they might have. I want students to know that they are not alone, and there are other students going through the same problems they are facing. My disability has made me the person that I am today and for that I am extremely grateful.

Fun Facts

Favorite place to eat = Quintons. Great Food. Better Music.

Favorite Activity on campus = My favorite activity on campus might be a very popular one of many students on campus. There is nothing I love more than Melrose on a crisp fall morning. I haven’t missed an Iowa home football game since I was about 12. My family is full of crazy Hawkeye fans and I followed in the same tradition.

Other Spotlight Features