Attending school as a parent is never easy — juggling classwork with raising a family is a balance that many students don't have to maintain, so there are special hurdles for moms and dads who pursue an education in adulthood. For University of California, Irvine Law student Tess Messiha, a pregnant future lawyer, these unique struggles were more apparent than ever midterm when she was ordered to take three weeks of bed rest for her health.
Messiha feared that such pregnancy complications would get in the way of her education, forcing her to take a leave of absence and fall behind in her studies. But thanks to her school's Disability Services Center, the pregnant student was able to continue attending and participating in her law school classes from bed . . . with a robot!
UCI allowed Messiha to utilize a roving "telepresence robot" valued at over $2,000, which The Los Angeles Times reports was part of a gift from the Class of 2016. Thanks to the generous and flexible accommodations from her school, Messiha was able to answer questions, receive assignments, and listen real-time despite her prescribed bed rest.
"The university went above and beyond to accommodate me," the mom, who gave birth to a son and has since returned to classes in the flesh, told The Los Angeles Times of her experience.
Bravo, UC Irvine! Here's to hoping that more learning institutions will support parents in similar ways based on this shining example.