Student Disability Services Hires New Director

Campus

Student Disability Services (SDS) welcomes Lisa Meeks as its new director.

SDS is the office charged with determining accommodations. It offers advising for disability related issues in all domains, as well as adaptive technology needs.  

"It is often finding the right fit — a technology solution that helps the student better access the information — that is the most rewarding part of the job," said Meeks, who was previously the assistant director of disability resources at Case Western Reserve University. “I’m especially excited about finding adaptive technology that easily transfers into the workplace."

Meeks joined the Student Health and Counseling Services in June to lead UCSF’s Student Disability Services office, replacing outgoing Neera Jain. 

“I feel very lucky to be following Neera Jain, who paved a thoughtful path at UCSF,” said Meeks. "Neera was highly respected, growing SDS by leaps and bounds in the short time she was at UCSF."

While at Case Western, Meeks worked closely with public health students to develop a course in culturally competent care of patients with disabilities and served as a preceptor for students in the Master’s in Public Health program. She also worked with medical students at free community clinics in Alabama and Ohio, helping provide health education to teenage patients.

While Meeks’ research and clinical specialty focus on Asperger’s syndrome and periods of transition, she has also done extensive work on disability as a function of diversity and destigmatizing disability amongst faculty and clinical staff.

The open dialogue around disability and accessibility among the professional schools at UCSF has already impressed Meeks. “I’ve walked into an updated, organized, and respected office in a rich, innovative environment that is ready to embrace accessibility,” she said.

As for her move from Cleveland to San Francisco, Meeks says, “Cleveland is an amazing city, full of opportunity and great people. I definitely miss it, but am looking forward to discovering San Francisco and all it has to offer.”

SDS at UCSF encourages all students with disabilities (visible or invisible) to register with the office. Services are individually tailored to ensure access to the entire university experience. All information provided to SDS is confidential. 

Meeks is available upon request to assist students with their disability needs. She encourages students to approach SDS in a timely manner, well in advance of anticipated needs. She cautions that last-minute requests may be difficult to coordinate and that accommodations cannot be considered retroactively. The SDS office is located at Milberry Union 120 West and can be found online at sds.ucsf.edu.

UCSF faculty, residents and postdocs and other campus employees may receive accommodations services through Disability Management Services (415-476-262). UCSF Medical center staff should contact Workers’ Compensation/Disability Management (415-353-7659).