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Student Disability Services Spotlight
Summer/Fall 2014

Travis Taylor, Graduate Student


  1. What is your current academic status?

    • 2nd year masters student in Rehabilitation of Mental Health Counseling

  2. List all the extra-curricular activities you are involved with including any officer roles.

    • American Counseling Association (Member)
    • Chi Sigma Iota (Honor society) 
    • International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (Member)
    • Hawkeye Accessibility Ambassador (Member)
    • Swim with Mike (Member)

  3. What is your disability, if you are comfortable to share?

    In 2010, I acquired a spinal cord injury. I broke my C5 vertebrae rendering me a quadriplegic. This injury allowed me to put into perspective what is important in life and ultimately has help me grow to become a stronger more mature individual.

  4. What accommodations have been helpful or how has SDS impacted you?

    One main accommodation I use on a daily basis is Dragon Naturally Speaking (a speech to text function). Having this accommodation allows me to compose papers and type at a faster pace then if I were normally typing. I have used SDS to take exams and this allows me to use Dragon Naturally Speaking in a quiet environment; this also allows me to complete exams without a scribe creating more independence. SDS is a great place that creates a fun and successful learning environment. Each adviser in the office wants to see students succeed and goes out of their way to provide the proper accommodations for each disability.

  5. What advice would you give to a high school student who has a disability and plans to attend college next year?

    Do not be afraid to try new things. College is a learning experience and there will be many times when you may fall down, but be willing to pick yourself up and move forward. You will become your own problem solver and overcoming adversity will only make you a stronger person. You may have a fear of being in a situation that is uncomfortable, but I have found that situations which may be uncomfortable can help you grow and uncover strengths within yourself.

  6. What advice would you give to a student on campus who has a disability?

    Be willing to accept your disability. If you are willing to accept your disability there’ll be many advantages and accommodations that can help create a successful environment. ¬†At first, I was nervous about coming to Iowa because it was a big university and didn’t know how it would be around campus. I soon found that professors and students all around campus are always willing to help. Even times when I encountered problems the university faculty members are consistently willing to listen and provide solutions; so my advice is to be upfront and take advantage of opportunities presented to you. Also, you may be surprised to find out how many students around campus actually have disabilities themselves.

  7. If you could share some general advice with a student on campus or a high school student, what would it be?

    College is a time when there are many ups and downs. You will learn a lot about yourself and others. You may be leaving friends and family behind to attend college, but this is a time where you can find more out about yourself by being involved in learning situations. College goes by fast, so take advantage of each day and every opportunity because you never know when something may change. Anything can be taken away in a blink of an eye, so today is the day to experience new opportunities.

  8. Where is your favorite place to eat in town?

    There are many great restaurants located both in Iowa City and Coralville. If I had to choose one, I would say Wig and Pen. The flying tomato pizza is a must try.

  9. What is your favorite food and drink?

    My favorite food is chicken Alfredo. My favorite drink is citrus green tea.

  10. What is your favorite activity to do at UI?

    My favorite activity to do on the University of Iowa campus is attending sporting events. Attending events at Carver Hawkeye Arena is an experience like no other. The atmosphere within Carver is electric and Iowa definitely has the best fans!

  11. What are your hopes or plans after you graduate?

    After I graduate with my masters degree, I would like to work in a rehabilitation facility. More specifically I would like to work with individuals who have recently acquired a spinal cord injury. This way I can provide a unique perspective in helping them overcome the rehabilitation process.

  12. Favorite Quote?

 "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option." - Author Unknown

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