The University of Texas-Pan American Rehabilitative Services Annex opened its doors to the University community and the general public during a grand opening/ribbon cutting Friday, August 29.
The annex, located next to the old Lamar Elementary School on Schunior Road, houses two projects supported by the UTPA Department of Rehabilitation - Project Enhance and the Rehabilitation Research Initiative (RRI).
"We work with people with disabilities to help them learn more about helping themselves and live a productive life," said Dr. Bruce Reed, chair of the rehabilitation department. "We have outgrown our area, and with help from the University administration we were able to secure this space to expand our program."
The public was given the opportunity to tour the new facility and see what both projects are doing to improve learning for UTPA students, the community and other education institutions. During the hands-on tour of the Enhance technology lab, visitors were shown the latest equipment used to help people with disabilities.
"I think it's very easy to support a program that does as much as the rehab program," said Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo during the ribbon cutting ceremony. "This annex brings together two very important aspects of our University - research and service. I hope that as the department grows, the types of services provided will also grow."
Project Enhance is a three-year grant program funded by the United States Department of Education. The project's main goal is to work with disability support offices on university and college campuses across the country to ensure that no student is left behind as they pursue their postsecondary education.
The RRI is a project also funded by the Department of Education and helps conduct research on ways to better serve Hispanics and other minorities with disabilities.