Sally Esposito Appointed Director of Yale's Office of Disabilities

Sally Esposito, who for the past decade has helped make life easier for people with disabilities who live and work in the City of New Haven, has taken up that cause on behalf of Yale students as the new coordinator of the University’s Resource Office on Disabilities. She began her new job on Sept. 22.

As director of the City of New Haven’s Department of Services for Persons with Disabilities, Ms. Esposito helped plan, supervise and implement accommodations for City of New Haven employees and members of the public with disabilities. In that post, she also coordinated the city’s program for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act ADA and helped promote the full participation of citizens with disabilities in city programs, services and activities. She served as an adviser to the mayor on various disability issues and conducted numerous training sessions on the ADA for city staff.

At Yale, Ms. Esposito will work in conjunction with faculty, students and staff to meet the special needs of undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities so that they can participate as fully as possible in the University’s programs and activities. The Resource Office on Disabilities, a separate program within the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs, maintains a library of catalogs, newsletters, magazines and other publications concerning disabilities and also loans special assistive devices to students with disabilities, such as laptop computers for class note-taking, equipment for persons who are hearing-impaired, tape recorders and cassettes, and a scanning system which converts written text into spoken words.

The office also coordinates the services of scanners, readers, sign language interpreters, notetakers and others who assist people with disabilities, and is a resource for information concerning municipal and state services available to members of the Yale community. As the coordinator of the office, Ms. Esposito will oversee all of these related functions and programs, and will help to inform students with disabilities and others on campus about the office’s various resources.

Ms. Esposito says that she’s no stranger to some of the issues facing administrators who are trying to accommodate students with disabilities nor to the issues confronting the students themselves. “Over the years, I’ve worked with Fran Holloway [director of Yale’s Office for Equal Opportunity Programs] on a variety of issues, ranging from building issues to snow-removal concerns,” notes Ms. Esposito. “I’m looking forward to working with students again and learning more about the University from the inside.

“I think coming to Yale is a great opportunity,” Ms. Esposito adds. “I have a good understanding of what the barriers are in New Haven, and even though it will be a little different to see them from the eyes of students, basically barriers are barriers, whether they’re physical or attitudinal. So my new job is really a continuation of what I’ve been doing: to help individuals get around those barriers.”

Ms. Esposito earned a B.A. degree from Albertus Magnus College and a M.S. degree in counselor education from the University of Bridgeport. She has served as a history teacher at Hillhouse High School; a vocational counselor and coordinator of the Federal Women’s Program for the Manpower/CETA Administration’s Skill Center in New Haven; regional director of counseling and a counselor at the Region #14 Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, Connecticut; and the project coordinator of Transition from School-to-Work, a federal pilot program to improve post-secondary school options for youth with disabilities operated under the auspices of the Connecticut State Department of Education. She became director of the City of New Haven’s Department of Services for Persons with Disabilities in 1987.

Ms. Esposito succeeds Fay Hanson, director of the Resource Office on Disabilities since 1989, who retired in June.

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