Working in the lab, Matt Kruger, a senior environmental science major from Rice, has a visual impairment but you wouldn’t know it by
his familiarity with the lab. He helps out with the research by sieving soil, weighing samples and caring for the grasses. He’s assisted in his work by technology that reads the scale measurements and helps him take proper measurements.
To prepare for his work, Kruger worked with Professor Mitch Bender to add Braille labels to cabinets and find equipment to make the lab more accessible.
“It can be pretty dirty work in a soils lab,” Bender said. “Matt has sieved more soil than probably any other student at St. Cloud State, and all without a complaint.”
Now a senior, Kruger has also found support throughout his time at St. Cloud State from Student Disability Services, which is dedicated to providing services and accommodations to students with disabilities so they can fulll their potential in the classroom.
Student Disability Services has helped provide Kruger equal access by providing digital versions of his books and lab assistants who describe visual elements from his homework and drawings his professors make on the board during class — including producing 3D models of molecules from his organic chemistry class. The efforts of Student Disability Services are funded, in part, by donors who give through the University Foundation.