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Office of Accessibility

Office staff

Staff of the Office of Accessibility

Kathleen (Kelly) Kulick, M.Ed.,CRC

Kathleen (Kelly) Kulick is the Director for the Office of Accessibility. Kelly has 17 years of experience working with students with disabilities in higher education.  Fifteen years were spent at the Stark Campus of Kent State University where Kelly served as their Disability Coordinator.

Since October 2009, Kelly has served as the Director of the T.H.E.M.E. (Transitioning to Higher Education: Mentoring to Employment) Project at Stark State College.  The mission of THEME was to augment services supplied by Stark State’s Disability Support Services Office to a- risk students.  During the two years as Director, the THEME Office had an 86% retention rate with students accessing services through THEME.

Kelly earned both her Undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Kent State University and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.  Kelly has worked extensively with the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation in Akron as well as other community agencies that work with individuals with disabilities. Kelly looks forward to being part of The University of Akron family. 

Jessica DeFago, M.A.

Jessica is the Associate Director whose area of specialty is working with students with learning disabilities. An alumnus of The University of Akron, Jessica has a Masters Degree in Higher Education Administration. Jessica is dedicated to helping students learn how to navigate and succeed in higher education through developing study skills. Jessica also works closely with University students, faculty, and staff through department outreaches and educational opportunities.

Ashley Poulos, M.Ed.

Ashley is a Disability Specialist and Service Coordinator for the Office of Accessibility.   She works primarily with students who have physical disabilities, visual impairments, and chronic health disabilities, and also participates in campus outreach programs to help educate University students, faculty and staff about the office.  She received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Kent State University and received her Masters of Education in Community Agency Counseling from Cleveland State University.

Meredith Soduk, M. A. Ed.

Meredith is a Disability Specialist and Service Coordinator in the Office of Accessibility. Meredith is dedicated to increasing the retention and graduation of students with disabilities at The University of Akron. She helps students achieve access and success by assisting with accommodations and providing training in the areas of stress management, self-advocacy, time management, and organization/study skills. She also helps connect students with campus and community resources. Meredith coordinates the Peer Assistance for Support and Success (PASS) program. Please contact Meredith to sign up for PASS if you are interested in receiving individualized support from a peer mentor.

Leigh Sveda

Leigh is the Adaptive Technology and Service Coordinator for the Office of Accessibility. She graduated from The University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She is responsible for the administration and implementation of alternative media for students with disabilities, coordinating outreach and special events, the supervision of student assistants and working with students with temporary medical conditions. Leigh also oversees the adaptive technology lab housed in the office.

Virginia Donnelly

Virginia has twenty-five years of experience working at The University of Akron with a diverse range of students, faculty and staff including service as: Clerical Specialist in the Academic Advisement Center; Coordinator of Degree Completion in the Graduate School; Office Manager in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions; and Office Manager in the Career Center. She joined the Office of Accessibility in 2010 and serves as Office Manager, responsible for the operational and physical needs of the office including coordinating services, scheduling and record keeping.

Julie Sandish

Julie is a Graduate Assistant for the Office of Accessibility. Before joining the office, she worked on campus as a Student Assistant with The Department of Student Life. She began employment in the office in Fall 2012 working with students in the Adaptive Study Strategies Program. In addition, Julie assists in the coordination of recruiting note-takers. Julie received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from The University of Akron in 2012 and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

Mara Byers, M.Ed., C.R.C.

Mara has worked at The University of Akron since 1999, first as a Disability Specialist and currently as the transcriber coordinator for students with hearing loss. Her training is in rehabilitation counseling, with her bachelor's and master's degree earned at Kent State University. She currently works with students with hearing loss, coordinating and providing transcription services in the classroom.

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Akron, OH 44325
Phone: 330-972-7111
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