The Graduate Student Disability Specialist: First Year Observations and Best Practices

Author: Alvaro Gomez

Alvaro Gomez, MA, has been working in the field of Disability and Higher Education for the past 25 years. He holds an MA in Philosophy and Education from the Teacher’s College at Columbia University, and has worked as a Disability Specialist at San Jose State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel HIll. In his role as a Disability Specialist for Graduate Students at U.C. Berkeley’s Disabled Students’ Program, Alvaro works directly with graduate students with disabilities to provide specialized accommodations and services at all stages of the graduate career. His knowledge (expertise) of (the many issues that are unique to post-bac students with disabilities, such as balancing students’ dual roles as students and student employees(GSI, GSR), preparing for qualifying exams, navigating normative time exceptions, and so on, allows for grad students to confidently identify and address barriers to academic progress. After more than one year, Alvaro has much to share...