Malissa Larson, Director

Hello! I am the Director of the Office of Disability Services. I attended Western Oregon University (then named Western Oregon State College) for my undergraduate degree as well as my master’s degree. I graduated with my undergraduate degree in American Sign Language/English Interpretation in 1997. My family then moved out of state for a few years and I returned to WOU in 2000 as the Accommodations Coordinator/Staff Interpreter. In Fall of 2003 I started my master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling with an emphasis in Deafness at WOU and graduated in June 2005. Before returning to Western, I worked for a brief time as a mental health counselor for Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults and a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. I started as the Director of Disability Services in January 2008. Professionally I would like to become as versed as possible in a variety of disabilities and learn how to best provide services for each person in the post-secondary education environment.



Stacey Rainey, Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services Coordinator

Stacey graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in ASL/English Interpreting and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech/Communication from Western Oregon University in 2002. She completed her Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies degree from WOU in June 2013. Stacey has been in the interpreting field for over twelve years and holds RID National Certification (CI and CT). Stacey loves the post secondary setting and is thrilled to be a part of the Office of Disability Services at WOU.



Rian Gayle, Accommodations Coordinator

Rian who hailed from Jamaica, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and a Master of Arts degree in International Development for Persons with Disabilities from Gallaudet University in 2008 and 2010, respectively. Rian communicates mainly in sign language and is passionate about working with persons with disabilities. Rian joined the staff since October 2014 and couldn’t be happier.



Louann Casares, Administrative Program Assistant

Louann Casares joined the ODS team subsequent to a career in Natural Resources with the USDA as an Administrative Professional in July 2012 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2018.  Louann is proud to call Western Oregon University her home and is dedicated to serving students in their academic pursuits.


Staff Interpreters 

  • Peter Flora 
  • My Rose
  • Stacey Stevens
  • Alyssa Hover
  • Darcie Chin