Staff & Contact Information
Disability Resources for Students
110 Wilder Tower
Memphis, TN 38152-3520
Phone: 901-678-2880 V/TTY
Tara Buchannan has been advocating for students with disabilities in higher education for the past 19 years. She previously served as the Director of the Disability Resource Center at Western Illinois University (WIU). During her tenure as director, she founded University Partnerships for Accessible Solutions, which was featured in the second edition of Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice. Prior to her employment at WIU, she worked as a learning specialist for Student Disability Services at the University of Iowa for 5 years. Her professional interests include the application of the social justice model of disability and Universal Design in higher education. She received her bachelor's degree in kinesiology and her master's degree in rehabilitation administration and services from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Amanda Rodino is the Associate Director for Digital, Physical, and Communication Access at Disability Resources for Students. She earned a Bachelor's degree in History and Political Science from Tulane University and Master's degree in College Student Services Administration from Oregon State University. Amanda has worked in higher education since 2002 in various roles within residence life, leadership development, organization advising, and currently disability services. At DRS, Amanda coordinates accommodations for students with chronic health conditions, neurological conditions, traumatic brain injuries, food allergies, and physical access needs. She also oversees the digital, physical, communication, and flexibility accommodation needs for all students registered with the office.
Verties Sails III
Verties has worked with students with disabilities since 2003. He first served as Coordinator of Student Disability Services at Southwest Tennessee Community College for 8 years. Since January of 2018, he has served as Coordinator of Disability Resources for Students at the University of Memphis, where he primarily serves students with AD/HD and Learning Disabilities. Additionally, he was worked in athletics, residence life and in grant programs at the collegiate level. He is currently a member of AHEAD, and earned a Bachelor of Science from Tennessee State University and a Master of Science from the University of Memphis.
Dannise Hobson-Scott is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She is currently studying English as a Second Language (ESL). Prior to working in Disability Resources for Students, she served in the Ned R. McWherter Library in Acquisitions, Information Services, and student employee management. In DRS, Dannise collaborates with students with disabilities to provide appropriate accommodations and oversees testing services. She provides customer service, support to DRS Staff, leadership to student employees, and performs various administrative departmental services.
Jaafar Al-Azzawi graduated from the University of Basrah – College of Medicine in 1986 and practiced medicine from 1986 to 2004. Since 2002, he has worked as a faculty member, and served at the University of Diyalah – College of Medicine, American University of Healing Arts, University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College, and Sullivan University. He currently serves as an Access Coordinator at the DRS where he coordinates accommodations for students with sensory disabilities and has been doing so since July of 2022. He also works in the area of assistive technology.
Katy Rentschler is an Access Coordinator in the Disability Resources for Students office. She serves students with mental health and psychological conditions. Katy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Lipscomb University and her Master of Arts degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Austin Peay State University. She has previously worked with students with various emotional, mental, psychological, and physical disabilities for the past 13 years at Youth Villages and Arlington Community Schools.
Brittany Young, Doctoral GA
Benjamin Melton, Doctoral GA
Kristy Millican, Graduate Assistant
Kazi Ohiduzzaman, Graduate Assistant
Bhanu Gaddam, Graduate Assistant