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Navy veteran Oliver Bryan starts non-profit to help those with disabilities

Posted at 8:48 AM, Sep 02, 2020

Navy veteran James Oliver Bryan nearly lost his life eight years ago when his motorcycle crashed. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and spent weeks in the hospital. It took three years of rehabilitation for Bryan to learn how to eat, walk, and talk again.

After his recovery, he enrolled in Grand Canyon University, eventually going on to graduate with two degrees.

"My ADA was instrumental in my success because it gave me the tools. Thankfully, I had the best rehab that helped me utilize those tools, but that is not common amongst individuals who receive ADA accommodations," Bryan said.

Now Bryan is hoping to pay it forward by launching his own non-profit to help college students with disabilities make the most of their accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. His work is significant because 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the legislation.

A study conducted by Brigham Young University and San Juan Counseling Center found six main reasons why college students with disabilities don't use their accommodations: a desire for self-sufficiency, a desire to avoid negative social reactions, insufficient knowledge, the quality and usefulness of the accommodations, negative experiences with professors and a fear of future ramifications.