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.
Kelly previously 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 at- risk students with disabilities. 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 enjoys 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 and ADHD. 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 and self-advocacy skills. Jessica also works closely with University students, faculty, staff and area high schools 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.
Melissa Simmons, M.Ed.
Melissa is a Disability Specialist and Service Coordinator for the Office of Accessibility. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Kent State University and a Masters of Education degree in School Counseling from the University of Cincinnati. Melissa has 4 years of experience working with students with disabilities and feels passionate and dedicated to partner with students in helping them reach academic success.
Victoria Collella, M.Ed.
Victoria (Tori) Colella is a Disability Specialist and Service Coordinator with the Office of Accessibility. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Kent State University and majored as an Intervention Specialist Moderate to Intensive. She also received a Masters of Education with a Transition to Work endorsement. Tori had previous experience in her graduate program working with individuals with disabilities in higher education and is very excited to be joining the Office of Accessibility. She believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed and hopes to help students reach their goals in higher education.
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, office's website and administration of STARS. Leigh also oversees the adaptive technology lab housed in the office.
Maddie is the Graduate Assistant at The Office of Accessibility. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Interior Design from The University of Akron. After working in the field for a few years, she decided to follow her true passion of helping others. Maddie is currently a graduate student at The University of Akron in the Speech-Language Pathology program. She works as an advocate for students with disabilities as they pursue their academic goals in higher education.
Rita Hammett is the Test Monitor for the Office of Accessibility. Rita has 6 years of experience working in the testing environment with The University of Akron. She is responsible for coordinating testing for students who are registered with Office of Accessibility and receive testing services. Rita is excited to work with both faculty and students to make alternative testing an easy, smooth process. In addition to her testing duties, Rita will be working the front desk, helping students become registered with our office, answering questions, managing student workers and assisting students in becoming comfortable with our office. Stop in and say hi to her!