Kickboxing in ASL

Rachel Hansell is a born fighter. Growing up deaf in a small town in western Maryland, she often pushed herself harder than her hearing peers to accomplish similar goals. Since arriving at McDaniel, Hansell ’12 hasn’t had to fight so hard.

Thanks in large part to the College’s world-renowned graduate program in deaf education, there is a genuine respect for deaf language and culture on campus. American Sign Language is a popular course with undergraduates and fulfills a second language requirement under the McDaniel Plan. At the pub, a flashing light alerts diners who can’t hear their names over the loudspeaker when their order is ready. In the Klitzberg Pavilion lounge by the gym, a large flat-screen TV is equipped with closed captioning. And any number of sign interpreters are made available to Hansell and other deaf students for each of their classes.

Still, the girl loves a challenge. Perhaps that’s why Hansell — who confesses she normally hates working out — could be found sweating and smiling early one morning in kickboxing class. Between trading jabs, she and her sparring partner stopped for tips from instructor Joe Dressel, while sign interpreter Karen Taylor stood to the side making his words visible.

“Everybody’s fighting something — financially, physically, mentally,” Dressel told the class at the end of the last session of the semester. “Kickboxing is a way to turn that struggle into something physical. You learn how to gain the courage to take the hits and roll with the punches and conquer it.”

Academic Support & Disability Services


We’re Here to Help You Ace College

At McDaniel College, the Student Academic Support Services Office (SASS) provides and assists all students with documented disabilities. SASS is the designated office that obtains and files disability-related documents, certifies eligibility for services, determines reasonable accommodations and develops plans for the provision of appropriate accommodations.

Our mission is to create an accessible community where people are judged on their ability, not their disability.

In post-secondary settings, it’s your responsibility to request individual assistance in advance. It’s important to remember that not every student with a disability needs an accommodation. It’s equally important to remember that even though two individuals may have the same disability, they may not need the same accommodation. The McDaniel community is caring and supportive, with high academic and personal expectations for each student. The goal of the College and this department is to enable each student to achieve a full and productive life.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

Our Goals

The SASS Office strives to:

  • Provide appropriate accommodations and support services.
  • Provide referrals and information to a variety of campus resources, including transportation.
  • Encourage and assist students with disabilities to develop greater independence.
  • Work with the College to remove architectural and programmatic barriers.
  • Increase faculty understanding of the needs of students with disabilities.
  • Assist the College in interpreting legal mandates that provide for students with disabilities.

SASS Registration Form

Students may register by filling out this form.

Interpreting & Transcribing Services

Student Academic Support Services Responsibilities

Student Academic Support Services (SASS) is committed to providing equal educational opportunity to Deaf /Hard of Hearing (HOH) students, ensuring that all Deaf /HOH students will have access to programs and activities offered by McDaniel College. Each qualified Deaf /HOH student receives reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access.

Deaf / Hard of Hearing Student Responsibilities

Requests for interpreters/transcribers for special events, meetings or appointments must be submitted using the Interpreting and Transcribing Services request forms below at least two business days in advance. A student can communicate preferences to the coordinator but should be flexible in accepting any interpreter, understanding that scheduling changes may occur and a preferred interpreter may not be available.           

Student Interpreter/Transcriber Request (Events, Mtgs, Appts)

Student Interpreter/Transcriber Request (Registered Courses)

Faculty & Staff Interpreter Request for Events/Meetings 


Academic Accommodations

Documentation Requirement

Student Academic Support Services works with each student on a case-by-case basis to determine and implement appropriate accommodations based on documentation. Therefore, students who are requesting support services are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility under the ADA of 1990 and ADAAA (2008). The documentation must include medical or psychological information from a certified professional. Complete guidelines for the type of documentation required are available upon request. The aforementioned guidelines are provided so that we can respond appropriately to the individual needs of the student. Student Academic Support Services reserves the right to determine eligibility for services based on the quality of the submitted documentation. All documentation is confidential.


Some typical accommodations for various disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Learning Disabilities (including ADD, ADHD, and TBI): note takers, alternative testing arrangements such as extra time, books on tape, computer with speech input, separate testing room, tape recorders. Content tutors on campus are available and skills tutoring with a Graduate Assistant is also available on a limited basis.
  • Mobility Impairments: note takers, scribes, lab assistants, assistance with writing homework and doing library research, alternative testing arrangements such as extra time, textbooks in digital format, computer with speech input
  • Deaf or Hard of Hearing: note takers, sign language and oral interpreters
  • Visual Impairments: textbooks on tape, lecture notes, handouts, tests on disk or enlarged, computer with speech input, Zoom Text and a scanner, alternative testing arrangements such as extra time
  • Health Impairments: note takers, flexible attendance requirements, alternative testing arrangements such as extra time, schedule modification
  • Psychological Disorders: note takers, alternative testing arrangements such as extra time, schedule modification
  • For All Students with Disabilities:
    • SASS maintains a testing center that provides a place for students requiring accommodations to take their tests
    • SASS provides basic training for and use of assistive technology (Kurzweil 3000, Inspiration, TextHelp, Read and Write Gold, recorders, etc.)
    • SASS provides assistance with course selection and course scheduling
    • SASS runs workshops and open study sessions

    • In addition, we offer several fee-based programs for students requesting additional support.

Services Not Provided

Student Academic Support Services does not provide the following:

  • Comprehensive diagnostic evaluation for determining disabilities
  • Special classes for students with disabilities
  • A reduced standard for academic performance
  • Exemption from graduation requirements (some substitutions are allowed)

Program Descriptions

Basic Program: 

The SASS Office ensures that students with documented disabilities receive appropriate academic accommodations based on their individual needs.  The Basic program level is free and provides access to all approved accommodations, assistive technology, and use of the testing center. 

Academic Skills Program: 

This fee-based program provides students with weekly one-on-one sessions with an Academic Counselor who will provide intensive support in academics, time management, organizational skills, and self-advocacy techniques.  Academic counselors communicate with professors throughout the semester.  Individual peer tutoring, weekly support sessions with Graduate Assistants, and priority registration ahead of their class are included.  All Basic level services are included.

Mentorship Advantage Program (MAP):

The MAP program consists of weekly interactive workshops designed to enhance students’ skills in socialization, organization, time management, resume writing and interviewing.  Students will practice focus skills through a series of social events throughout the semester.  This program is fee-based and includes all Basic level services.

Providing Academic Support for Success (PASS):

The PASS program offers students the unique opportunity to learn with fellow students through group academic support sessions monitored by Graduate Assistants three evenings a week.  This program is fee-based and includes all Basic level services.


McDaniel College
Student Academic Support Services

Suite 117
Academic Hall
2 College Hill
Westminster, MD 21158
Phone: 410-857-2504
Email: sass@mcdaniel.edu

Register for SASS

Students may use this form to register for SASS.


John Rouse, Director
Melanie Conley, Associate Director
Lisa Deyerberg, Office Manager
Lisa Breslin, SASS Consultant

Christa Binns, Academic Counselor
Sarah Gould, Academic Counselor
Dana Lawson, Academic Counselor
Madeline Morey, Academic Counselor
Anissa Sorokin, Academic Counselor

F.S. Soccer Camp
July 22, 2014, 12:00 am
McDaniel Piano/Chamber Studies
July 22, 2014, 12:00 am
McDaniel Tennis Camp
July 22, 2014, 12:00 am
Nike LAX Camp
July 22, 2014, 12:00 am
Undergraduate Summer Session II
July 22, 2014, 12:00 am
Campbell Tennis Camp for Adults
July 25, 2014, 12:00 am
Green Terror Soccer (Ladies) Camp
July 27, 2014, 12:00 am
Green Terror Fooball Team Camp
July 28, 2014, 12:00 am
Point Guard College Basketball Camp
July 29, 2014, 12:00 am
Green Terror Men's Soccer Camp
July 30, 2014, 12:00 am
Providence Baptist Church Camp
August 1, 2014, 12:00 am
Summer Session ends
August 1, 2014, 12:00 am
Graduate semester begins
August 2, 2014, 12:00 am
Green Terror Basketball (Boys) Camp
August 4, 2014, 12:00 am
Summer Information Session
August 15, 2014, 9:30 am
Summer Information Session
August 15, 2014, 2:00 pm
Introduction Convocation
August 20, 2014, 12:00 am
August 20, 2014, 12:00 am