By LINDSEY CRAWFORD
Over winter break, the University of Mary Washington named Sandra Fritton as the new student disabilities director for the Office of Disability Resources.
Fritton comes to UMW from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she received a Master of Fine Arts in theatre and a Ph.D. in Special Education and Disability Policy.
Fritton has been involved with students with disabilities for more than 13 years. During that time, she worked in all different areas of special needs individuals, previously serving as a K-12 special education teacher in King and Queen County as well as Hanover County.
According to Fritton, after realizing how much she loved working with students, she quickly worked toward getting more immersed in the field.
“[The] most rewarding thing is seeing hard working students succeed in education,” said Fritton.
As the new student disabilities director, her duties consist of making sure learning is more accessible for disabled students. This includes arranging a wide range of accommodations for them and making sure all their needs are met. While her tasks as the new director are numerous, Fritton said she is ready to get started on giving students with disabilities a chance to gain a better education.
Freshman Karen Smith agrees that Fritton’s responsibilities as the new director are imperative.
“It is necessary for the University to include accessibility to students with disabilities because it enhances diversity and allows everyone a chance to succeed,” said Smith. “Without it, students with disability would have a greater risk of being left behind.”
According to Fritton, the largest challenged she has faced so far is getting equipped with the university’s computer system. Fritton said she has loved UMW and is excited to get to know the students and staff better.
“The people, students, faculty and staff have all been wonderful and welcoming,” said Fritton. “The general atmosphere of collegiality is evident here at Mary Washington, making it a very attractive place to work.”