Eye-to-Eye Helps AccessibleNU Fight Learning Stigma
Mentorship Program pairs Northwestern & Middle School Students
Eye to Eye is a mentorship program where Northwestern students with learning disabilities and/or ADHD connect with and mentor middle school students with similar disabilities.
The unique program is run through the AccessibleNU office at Northwestern, where students can seek support for academic learning challenges.
“Currently, AccessibleNU serves over 2,000 students," Assistant Director for AccessibleNU - Evanston Elisa Flores said. “We have a variety of students with different learning disabilities.”
Since 2015, AccessibleNU has experienced a 120% increase in students registered for services. During the 2021-2022 academic year, the major learning disability among Northwestern students was ADHD.
The office works with all undergraduate, graduate, professional school, and professional studies students with disabilities on the Chicago and Evanston campuses, aiming to create equal access, full participation and reasonable academic accommodations for students in all classes.
"One of the misconceptions of our office is that students need to have documentation to meet with us. If students do not have documentation and would like to meet to discuss disability-related questions and/or accommodations, they can always call or email AccessibleNU to set up an appointment," Flores said. "It is also important to note that our office has also made submitting documentation a lot easier for students by creating our ANU verification form which can be found on our website."
The key part of ANU’s mission is to decrease stigma toward students with disabilities.
To that end, the Eye-to-Eye program gives Northwestern students the chance to connect with young learners facing similar challenges.
Through participation in a series of art projects, AccessibleNU students with learning disabilities become mentors and role models to middle school students with the same disabilities as them.
“Weekly art projects are designed to help students talk about the problems they face and find the strength and solution to work through these challenges,” said David Bogner, a Northwestern student and current chapter leader for Eye-to-Eye.
Eye-to-Eye acknowledges neurodiversity in their mission that every person with a learning difference is fully included in all aspects of society and valued for their abilities. Mentors in this program help improve the educational experience of young students facing demanding environments and tasks.
“My view is that by focusing on strengths, we can help kids to feel that they can overcome any stigma that they might face,” Bogner said.
Northwestern University and AccessibleNU are committed to providing a supportive environment for all undergraduate, graduate, professional school, and professional studies students with disabilities.
We work to provide disabled students a learning environment that affords full participation, equal access, and reasonable accommodations. For more information, visit our website.
If you are interested in learning more about how to expand the diverse community of learners and their support through Eye-to-Eye, find out more information here.