Disability Support Service

Disability Support Service

Disability Support Service

The University of Maryland is committed to the principle that no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefit of services, programs or activities at the University. The Disability Support Service (DSS) provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals to ensure equal access to services, programs and activities sponsored by the University of Maryland. Through the variety of services offered, we work to ensure that your, accommodation, and accessibility needs are met. The DSS Office is staffed by dedicated professionals who are available to assist, consult, support, and advocate on behalf of individuals requesting disability services.

Discrimination against individuals on the grounds of disability is prohibited.

To schedule an appointment with the DSS, call (301) 314-7682 (voice/TTY) or stop by the Disability Support Service front desk on the lower level of the Shoemaker Building (0106). The DSS is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Jo Ann Hutchinson, Rh.D., CRC, LCPC

Jo Ann Hutchinson, Rh.D., CRC, LCPC
Director, Disability Support Service
(301) 314-7682

Academic History: Rh.D., 1990, Doctorate in Rehabilitation Administration; M.ED. 1979, Rehabilitation Counseling; B.S. 1975, Elementary Education.
Professional Interests: accessible academic materials and processes for individuals with disabilities; disability issues; disability awareness and education.
Personal Interests: Family trips, reading, listening to music.

Ranga Atapattu

Ranga Atapattu
Counselor for Students with LD or ADHD
(301) 314-7796

Professional Interests: creating accessible documents, managing DSS Student Advisory Board, coordinating Smart Pen Loan Program.
Personal Interests: concerts, writing poetry, volunteering with mental health-related organizations.

Joanna C. Balz, M.S.

Joanna C. Balz, M.S.
Staff Transcriber for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHHS)
(301) 314-7625

Academic History: M.S., 2013, Nutrition and Integrative Health, Maryland University of Integrative Health; B.S., 2007, Family Science, University of Maryland.
Professional Interests: accessible media; closed-captioning for deaf and hard of hearing; nutrition counseling.
Personal Interests: running, organic gardening, traveling, animal rescue volunteer.

Blair Bullock

Blair Bullock, B.A.
Testing Coordinator
(301) 314-7217

Professional Interests: Urban Education; education policy; youth advocacy and community outreach; Human Trafficking.
Personal interests: Baking, Traveling, Mentoring, Fitness, International Culture and Cuisine.

Tessa DiPerri, M.A.

Tessa DiPerri, M.A.
Disability Specialist
(301) 405-8255

Academic History: M.A., 2013, Student Affairs in Higher Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; B.S., 2011, Communication Disorders, Springfield College.
Professional Interests: student advocacy; student accountability; academic coaching/skill development; training and orientation development.
Personal Interests: fitness and wellness programs; reading; spending time with family and friends.

Kara Estelle

Kara Estelle
Testing Coordinator
(301) 314-7217

Professional interests: Literature, women’s studies, writing, editing
Personal interests: Reading, writing, running, baking

Virgie Evano-Williams

Virgie Evano-Williams
Account Clerk III
(301) 314-7842

Professional interests : office management.
Personal interests: reading, watching classic movies, crocheting, listening to oldie music.

Evalyn Hamilton

Evalyn Hamilton
Customer Service Coordinator
(301) 314-7682

Academic History: M.B.A., 2013, University of Maryland University College; B.A., 2000, Chicago State University.
Professional Interests: project management and special event planning.
Personal Interests: art, reading, genealogy, needlework and roller skating.

Michael Hopkins-Gross

Michael Hopkins-Gross
(301) 314-7682

Professional interests: Counseling, teaching & learning, mentoring, music curriculum development, choral conducting.
Personal interests: All things Baltimore and UMD-related, music, piano, composing/arranging, DJ’ing, racketball, squash, tennis, volleyball, football, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, food, exploring, spending time with friends.

Michael Hopkins-Gross

Shankar Reddy Ippala
Administrative Graduate Assistant
(301) 314-7682

Professional interests: Satellite Communications and Networks.
Personal interests: International Politics, Travelling, Reading and Volunteering.

Cassandra Lytle, M.A.

Cassandra Lytle, B.S., M.A.
Coordinator Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
(301) 314-7209

Academic History: M.A., 2014, Business Administration, University of Maryland, University College; B.A., 2006, Psychology, University of Maryland.
Professional Interests: making media accessible through captioning, individuals who identify as deaf or hard of hearing, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), work-life integration.
Personal Interests: spending time with family, being outdoors

Dan Newsome, M.Ed.

William “Dan” Newsome, M.Ed.
Adaptive Technology Lab Coordinator
(301) 314-7958

Academic History: M.Ed. 1992, Human Development, University of Maryland; B.A., 1982, Education and Human Development, Antioch College.
Professional Interests: role of technology in identity formation and learning strategy development; use of mobile technologies and mobile operating systems by disabled populations; diversity, equity, inclusion and multicultural capacities programming; antecedents of learned helplessness and processes involved with addressing and overcoming childhood traumas.
Personal Interests: single-frame cartoon artwork and history; choral music and the impressionist movement in music; secular humanism; vegetarianism; politics, poetry and theatre; origami and paper airplanes; science fiction; duckpin bowling; roller coasters; camping, hiking and bicycling; Scrabble, chess, and numerous other games.

Francy Stilwell, M.L.S.

Francy Stilwell, M.L.S.
Staff Interpreter
(301) 314-7625

Academic History: M.L.S., 2013, Library Science, University of Maryland; A.A.S. 1996, Sign Language Interpreting, Saint Paul College, MN; B.A., 1990, Biology, Macalester College, MN.
Professional Interests: interpreting coursework in all disciplines ranging from the Humanities to Science; interpreting in medical settings; providing communication advocacy.
Personal Interests: spending time with family and friends, biking, gardening, and enjoying the outdoors.

Manikanth Vedma

Manikanth Reddy Vedma
Reading Coordinator
(301) 314-7684

Professional interests: Qualitative Research, Network Configuration, Data Analytics.
Personal interests: Freelance Graphic designing, Soccer.

DSS Hours

DSS Main office
0106 Shoemaker Building
Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

DSS Testing office
0118 Shoemaker Building
Monday through Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

DSS Final Exam Extended Hours
Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Disability Support Service
Shoemaker Building
Room 0106
4281 Chapel Lane
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20740

Contact DSS

DSS Main Office
Phone: (301) 314-7682
Main office fax: (301) 405-0813
E-mail: dissup@umd.edu

DSS Testing Office
Phone: (301) 314-7217
Testing office fax: (301) 314- 9478
E-mail: dsstest@umd.edu

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
Phone: (301) 314-7209
Fax: (301) 405-0813
E-mail: dhhs@umd.edu

Adaptive Technology Lab
Phone: (301) 314-7958
Fax: (301) 314-8674
E-mail: wdn@umd.edu

Alternate Text Services
Phone: (301) 314-7684
Fax: (301) 314-8674
E-mail: dssreading@umd.edu

Driving Directions to DSS Office (.pdf)