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Palmer Student Hopes to Inspire Others with Disabilities

Student Jake Koerner in the Clinic Gardens signing with hands.At the age of three, Jake Koerner started learning and using sign language. He was born 15 weeks premature, weighing only 1 pound and 12 ounces, with an eight percent chance of survival. Doctors knew if he survived, he would be fully deaf and have vision issues, among a plethora of other complications. That never stopped Jake from bringing a smile to everything he does in life — and doing everything he can to achieve his goals.

“I just kept fighting,” says Jake, a sixth-trimester student on Palmer’s Main Campus.

In his first trimesters as a student, Jake was surprised by the overwhelming support of fellow students and Palmer faculty. By working with Jake to understand his needs, the College was able to provide him with real-time captioning during his classes. This accommodation not only allowed Jake to take notes but also enabled him to catch everything his professors said and fully participate in the curriculum. He has also networked with his peers to bring more awareness to the deaf community and has joined many extracurriculars on campus.

“Palmer’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility has been truly commendable as they continue to strive to create an environment where all individuals can grow and succeed,” Jake says.

Jake was drawn to Palmer’s Main Campus after hearing the story of the first chiropractic adjustment performed by D.D. Palmer on Harvey Lillard. That story showed Jake that choosing a career in chiropractic could help many people with other disabilities. “I grew up using sign language from a young age, so being able to continue using my hands as a powerful tool is incredible.”

He hopes to show other students with disabilities that a career as a Doctor of Chiropractic is possible. “Disability won’t hold you back unless you let it.”

Jake wants others like him to continue to advocate for themselves and for their own needs. He hopes to start his own practice one day but to start as an associate under an established Doctor of Chiropractic. “I’ve dedicated my time and my efforts to continually perfecting my skills and will continue to do so. I truly cannot wait to change the lives of so many people one adjustment at a time.”

Information in this article was provided by the student, as Palmer strictly adheres to FERPA and ADA requirements.