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.

Tess Miller, M.Ed., CRC

Tess is a Disability Specialist and Service Coordinator for the Office of Accessibility. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The Ohio State University and earned her Masters of Education in Rehabilitation Counseling from Kent State University. Tess is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, with strong interests in student advocacy and helping others. She is dedicated to both supporting students in the process of adapting to the post-secondary setting, and assisting them in working towards their higher education goals.

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, office's website and administration of STARS. Leigh also oversees the adaptive technology lab housed in the office.

Natalie Bendel

Natalie is the Program Assistant for the Office of Accessibility, where she manages the front desk and coordinates testing. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hiram College, and decided to pursue a career in higher education after completing an internship in the field. Natalie is passionate about helping students succeed in their post-secondary goals.

Maddie Schulz

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.