News

Published:

January 17, 2017
 
Tagged: College of Arts and Sciences, Adelphi University, Department of English, Student Access Office

Richard Bedard: Finding a Home, and a Path Forward, at Adelphi

News, From My Desk


by Kurt Gottschalk

Richard Bedard: Finding a Path Forward at Adelphi

Richard Bedard might have a harder road to travel than some. But, he says, his path to Adelphi University was clear.

Bedard—who will graduate with a B.A. in English in Spring 2017—was born with cerebral palsy and still relies on a wheelchair to get around. From second to 12th grade, he attended the Henry Viscardi School for children with physical disabilities, where Adelphi education students do fieldwork and get valuable,
on-the-job experience.

“The students were the ones who told me that Adelphi is really disability friendly,” Bedard said. Growing up in West Hempstead, New York, with a cousin who earned an M.A. in education from the University, Bedard said it was an easy decision to make. “I was Adelphi-bound from the very first day I went to school,” he said.

The promise, he added, held true.

“The education is excellent,” Bedard said. “They have note takers, they have extra time if I need it, they have all the things that I need to prosper in my education.”

Rosemary Garabedian, Adelphi’s director of the Student Access Office, has known Bedard since he was at the Viscardi School, and said that even then she saw in him the “skills for self-advocacy.” “From the first time that we met, I knew that he would be one of the students who would be successful,” she said.

Garabedian’s office is responsible for such things as ensuring access to classrooms and making sure pathways are clear on campus grounds and in buildings. The Student Access Office also arranges for volunteer students to take notes and for access to technology, which can help overcome physical limitations. When she took the job in 2002, there were 70 students with disabilities enrolled at Adelphi. In the Fall 2016 semester, that number had risen to 550. Bedard, who lives on campus, apparently isn’t the only one who heard that Adelphi takes equal access seriously.

After graduating, Bedard plans to go on to law school and eventually be an advocate for disability issues in the schools.

“I want to help people get the maximum education they can,” he said.

But those aren’t his only goals.

“I stretch every day and work my muscles out,” he explained. “I expect to stand. I expect to walk, but even if I don’t, I expect to make it the best I can. My mom has always told me that the sky’s the limit.”

 

About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning.

Adelphi University is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university offering exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training with particular strength in its Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness. Adelphi is dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support student success.

Founded in Brooklyn in 1896, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. Today Adelphi serves nearly 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, and online.

More than 115,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, caring citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

 
Tagged: College of Arts and Sciences, Adelphi University, Department of English, Student Access Office