DRC Health Science Liaisons

Health Science Center and Health-Related Disciplines Learning Specialist

Lisa Diekow serves as the health science center disability liaison who works with DRC student and representatives from each college to address access barriers within didactic and clinical settings.

We are available to assist students in navigating barriers, caused by disability, which they encounter in Health Sciences and Medical Education programs. While some disabilities are pre-existing, some are recognized during their time at UF. We are here to support students through the pre-registration process and initial meeting/interactive process to discuss the disability documentation and to determine reasonable accommodations.

Students in health science center programs or health-related disciplines who are not yet registered with the DRC, should visit our Get Started with the DRC page. For general inquiries, please email accommodations@ufsa.ufl.edu.

Photo of Lisa Diekow

Lisa Diekow, M.S.Ed.

Learning Specialist
Disability Resource Center


We strive to proactively improve the student experience by addressing the access needs of DRC students in health science and medical education programs. The example below illustrates the need for proactively planning to ensure accommodations meet the technical standards of the program while addressing the student’s access needs.

In the initial years of program curriculum, students are engaged in didactic learning, which mostly consists of lecture-based and video lecture formats, as well as labs.

While by no means an exhaustive list, accommodations for the didactic setting may include:

  • Preferential seating
  • Audio recording of lectures
  • Speech-to-text software program
  • Note taking software program
  • Closed captioning for course materials
  • Additional time on exams
  • Low distraction or separate testing environment
In the final years of program curriculum, students are engaged in clinical and experiential learning, which involves clinical rotations, experiential settings and/or site fieldwork. In some programs, there may be required coursework that would align with accommodations in the didactic setting mentioned in the initial year(s) of the program.

While by no means an exhaustive list, accommodations for the clinical/experiential setting may include:

  • Ability to take time off to attend medical appointments
  • Periodic breaks to support medical condition (monitor glucose, access to nutrition, take medication, use of restroom)
  • Consideration to reduce barriers through scheduling location and sequence of clinical rotations or experiential settings
  • Smartpen
  • Amplified or digital stethoscopes
  • Use of listening or communication devices
Students are encouraged to note that board and licensing agencies frequently require more extensive documentation than the level required by the DRC for accommodations. It is important to check with each testing agency for specific documentation requirements so that there will be time to obtain additional testing if needed.

DRC Health Sciences Liaison Network

The DRC Health Science Liaison Network is chaired by Lisa Diekow, DRC HSC Learning Specialist and is comprised of representatives from the professional schools/programs within the Health Science Center and health-related disciplines.

We strive to support access and inclusion for students with disabilities in health science education. The Network meets quarterly to discuss current DRC growth trends, forecasting access issues for health science students with disabilities and to share knowledge about specific program trends, admissions criteria, and technical standards.

Dr. Mark Bishop, PT, Ph.D. FAPTA

Associate Professor
College of Public Health and Health Professions
Department of Physical Therapy

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Dr. Teresa Cavanaugh, Pharm.D., BCPS

Assistant Dean and Clinical Associate Professor
College of Pharmacy

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Jim Gorske, M.Ed.

Learning Specialist
College of Medicine

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Dr. Amanda House, DVM, DACVIM

Interim Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs
College of Veterinary Medicine

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Dr. Versie Johnson-Mallard, Ph.D, ARNP, FAAN

Associate Dean of Student Affairs &
Director of Student Success

College of Nursing

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Dr. Consuelo Kreider, Ph.D., OTR/L

Clinical Assistant Professor
College of Public Health and Health Professions
Department of Occupational Therapy

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Dr. Patty Probert, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean for Student Advocacy & Inclusion
Clinical Assistant Professor, Community Dentistry & Behavioral Science
College of Dentistry

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The Disability Resource Center is committed to continued education, engagement and involvement in the professional organizations that shape the vision of equity for students with disabilities. We encourage staff, faculty and students to have an awareness of the professional spaces that move access forward for equal opportunities in health education.

AHEAD is the leading professional membership association for individuals committed to equity for persons with disabilities in higher education.


The Coalition is a collaboration among peer institutions that aims to improve the student experience with disability accommodations in graduate health science and medical education programs. The Coalition is a preeminent resource regarding access for people with disabilities in health science education.


The Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses provides information, promotes advocacy and mentorship, and creates a network for individuals with hearing loss interested in or working in health care fields.


The National Association of Nurses with Disabilities is an open membership, cross-disability, public education, and advocacy organization that works to promote the full inclusion and acceptance of people with disabilities and chronic health conditions into nursing careers.


The Society of Healthcare Professionals with Disabilities provides resources and support for disable physicians, physician assistants, and students. The mission of the Society is to foster a supportive community and to provide resources and tools for disabled healthcare professionals and students, their family member, and their friends.


Living up to its name, #DocsWithDisabilities is a new podcast exploring the real-life stories and experiences of doctors with disabilities. A creation of MDisability, a University of Michigan Department of Medicine program, #DocsWithDisabilities provides a deeper understanding of issues, challenges and the stories of medical professionals with disabilities through critical conversations with doctors, researchers, administrators, faculty and policy makers that work to ensure medicine remains and equal opportunity profession.