AUGUST 2011 ALERT
Letter From The Editor
Message From AHEAD President
Conference Updates: 2012--Looking Forward
Professional Development Opportunities
Shifting Focus: New Thinking On Old Topics
Standing Committees And Partners
Welcome to the start of another academic year! Each year Beloit College puts out The Mindset List (http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2015/). As I read this year’s list about the class of 2015. There were two items that caught my attention when thinking about the students we work with:
- States and Velcro parents have always been requiring that they wear their bike helmets
- Their school’s “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.
Bike helmets are one form of protection from getting hurt. We hear a lot from parents about protecting their students and wanting us as DSS professionals to do the same. As we all know, we cannot protect them from everything. As I told a group of parents just recently, sometimes the best way to learn something is to make a mistake. If we think back to our own lives, I am sure most of us can say that the most valuable lessons we learned in life have been when we have made mistakes. I am sure many of us have encountered the parent who says their student is failing and they want us to throw them a life vest and save them from this terrible disaster. Of course we will do our best to reach out to the student and do what we can to assist. But, it is the student who is going to have to make the effort. Perhaps when the student was younger the parent could insist that they wear their bike helmet to protect them from danger. But, now that they are adults and living on their own, sometimes they have to fall down to learn that not wearing their bike helmet was probably not a smart idea. And then they will come ask for help.
That would be the smart thing to do. Over the years I have noticed that students are getting smarter. They are kind of like a “smartboard”. Of course many of them are book smart. But others are logic smart. Have you ever noticed how some students are always looking for ways to outsmart people on campus? While technology continues to advance, so do the students. They are always looking for new and better ways to do almost everything. As this new group of students arrives on campus this fall, I am looking forward to seeing what new ways they will try to achieve their goals and hopefully not fall on their head without a helmet. And what things they will try to show how inventive and creative they are. We all love our work and the students we work with and no matter how many times or how hard they fall, we will continue to be there to do what we can to help them succeed! Best wishes for a great fall semester.
Emily (Singer) Lucio
The summer solstice has occurred, telling us that we are moving now toward fall. For those of us in higher education, the word “fall” is synonymous with the semester or term that follows summer regardless of when it occurs. For most of us it is the busiest time of the year, the time when the most new students arrive on campus, with or without disabilities, and it is a time of renewal and excitement across campus. New faculty arrive, new buildings open and often we have new staff too. Perhaps your department or office has some renewed spirit and perspectives to accompany the new school year. Maybe you looked at how you announce your resources and services. Perhaps you saw a need to move to a less legally framed welcome and purpose to one that emphasizes the ways in which your campus unit collaborates and facilitates for improved access and accommodation between students, faculty and staff. It’s possible you revisited expectations for what documenting information a person will need in your academic environment to be provided with accommodations. In my last ALERT column I mentioned the concept of “reasonable documentation. ” The emphases are on reasonable and on information that helps the DS professional get the nexus between the disabling condition and the accommodation. Not on door keeping.
I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the many AHEAD members who were able to attend this year’s AHEAD Conference in Seattle. Over 1,100 people were there! From the opening plenary with Dr. Victor Pineda to the banquet presentation by Dr. Marilyn Bartlett and Jo Anne Simon, and the closing session with Paul Grossman and Jo Anne Simon on the Legal Year in Review, the Conference was electric. Special thanks to Margaret Camp, Program Chair, and Bree Callahan and Rob Harden who were the Local Co-Chairs for making the Conference just perfect. Sessions were stimulating and well attended, many attendees came from other countries and partook of specially designed international events, the Exhibit Hall was packed, and a host of friendly volunteers were available at every turn during the entire Conference. Hopefully the travel wizards will shine on you so that you can attend the 2012 AHEAD Conference in New Orleans July 9-14, 2012. The call for proposals for the New Orleans Conference will come out before long!
An exciting and exceptional opportunity was available for Seattle conference attendees – listening in and giving public testimony at the Department of Education’s meeting of the Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities Commission (shorthand AIM Commission). On Tuesday, there was a five hour open comment period. During the Seattle comment period, many AHEAD members shared their thoughts and concerns about issues being dealt with by the Commission and at their institutions. In fact, I was told that the number of contributors during the Seattle open hearing session was the highest they had had over the various meetings during 2010-2011. Bravo AHEAD members! The AIM Commission will issue its findings in late September. We will be looking forward to its report with hope that workable solutions to long-standing challenges for disability professionals and students will be the outcomes.
As you may know, over the last few years AHEAD and the Society for Disability Studies (SDS) have been working together more closely. AHEAD, per contract, provides administrative services for SDS. Beyond handling day-to-day operations for the two organizations, the AHEAD staff and Board have come to know the SDS leadership and visa versa. Thanks to Dr. Devva Kasnitz, President of SDS’ Board of Directors, AHEAD research projects are moving forward and will most likely expand. Perhaps in the not too distant future AHEAD and SDS might co-sponsor professional events, as do AHEAD and PepNET from time to time. It was wonderful to see great attendance at a Seattle Conference session on disability studies and disability services interlinking, and I look forward to more sessions of this nature in the coming years.
AHEAD continues to be represented and active in workshops and events beyond the organization’s borders. Department of Labor Summits to promote employment of people with disabilities are being attended as are various workshops/conferences including those on study abroad and students with intellectual disabilities.
The AHEAD Board of Directors will meet in October. Should you have ideas that you’d like discussed there, please let me know. All the best as you begin another school year!
Jean Ashmore, President
Upcoming 2012 AHEAD Conference – New Orleans, Louisiana July 9-14, 2012
The 35th Annual AHEAD Conference will be held July 9-14, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Sheraton Hotel in the heart of the Big Easy on Canal Street. You won’t want to miss experiencing the spirit of New Orleans while participating in unparalleled professional development opportunities. After the workshops be sure to enjoy some beignets with café au lait, shop in the French Market, relax in Jackson Square and listen to some of the world’s best jazz performers.
The conference hotel is conveniently located within walking distance to Bourbon Street, the French Quarter, the national D-day museum, world-renown restaurants and popular nightlife. Take an accessible streetcar ride up Canal to continue exploring New Orleans beyond the downtown district.
The 2012 conference committee is seeking chairs and committee members from the ahead membership to assist the conference planning and preparations. If you are interested in volunteering to serve in some capacity, be sure to contact conference committee co-chairs, Jennie Bourgeois (email@example.com) and Amy King (firstname.lastname@example.org). Many volunteer opportunities are available and are needed to make this a memorable learning experience.
We are looking forward to seeing you there!
A Clean Lens
Director, Ross Center for Disability Services
Although I did not attend the annual AHEAD conference this year, I was away for a week at the annual Project ShIFT training institute. For me, a wonderful advantage of being away is that when I come back I can sometimes see more or see differently. It is like my lens has been cleaned. Getting back into the normal work routine in the disability services office, I notice this:
- Many students and their families come to the office with questions about admissions and enrollment procedures at the University. Since they have a disability, they assume that the disability services office can answer all those questions. Or they have been sent back to the disability services office from another office because they have a disability. We are still too compartmentalized! I need to do more work to reduce those barriers that exist before the student even gets into school. I will have to reach out myself to the other departments to address this problem in order to create a more seamless process.
- Many students ask about what types of accommodations we “provide”. It seems like they want to choose from a laundry list or menu, not understanding the interaction between the instructional environment and their individual strengths. I want to improve our message about universal design and the importance of designing environments that include and expect disabled students. I will need to continue to improve the information on our website and ensure that in the office at least, we all send the same message regarding inclusion and design.
- Some students find it difficult to use all the assistive technology that is available. Some technology may be complex and they do not have the skills or in some cases, the right technology. I need to develop more collaboration with our IT department and computer labs to identify what strategies we can use to reach more students, and make our training more effective and usable.
I am overwhelmed coming back from this training experience. I have so much information to continue to digest, and I am thinking about where to begin and what steps to take first. I can identify some priorities just from having that cleaned lens and doing some casual observing. I don’t have to conduct a survey or develop a strategic plan. By noticing what is present, I can see the path to create organic changes for maximum impact in my goal to create a campus environment that welcomes and plans for disabled students, minimizing the need to retrofit activities.
Ahead of the ADA Access Curve: Part 7
DOJ’s new ADA requirements: Six MORE common myths and mistakes
This is the seventh in a series of articles, “AHEAD of the ADA Access Curve,” to assist disability service providers, ADA Coordinators, and others in promoting compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, section 504, and the Fair Housing Act. This series approaches physical access and other issues as key to the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. It is intended to provide some helpful tools in a time of shifting requirements and shrinking resources.
This article looks at six more myths or mistakes that have come up in discussions of the new Department of Justice regulations with colleges and universities, and sets out the “real deal” (to the extent that DOJ has made it clear) as to each one. My prior Alert article addressed the first six myths and mistakes about DOJ’s updated ADA regulations, which became effective for most purposes about five months ago, on March 15, 2011. (The new accessibility standards become binding a year later. ) Many of the provisions are relatively straightforward. But some are the source of confusion or misunderstanding, which these two articles attempt to resolve.
Myth number 7: We have to make our campus facilities accessible to devices like Segways and golf cars.
Facts: The 2010 revised regulations do require that you allow people who use motorized devices such as Segways and golf cars as mobility devices to operate them in your facilities where doing so is reasonable under the circumstances. The decision is to be based on such factors as the nature of the facility, the class of device, and safety considerations. But the regulations do not require that you make changes to facilities in order to do so.
Myth number 8: Disability services offices should make sure that documentation is current, that is, no more than three years old.
Facts: The 2010 regulations clarify a number of issues about documentation for testing accommodations. The DOJ regulations are specific to testing agencies, but it is advisable for colleges and universities to follow the requirements as well. For example, the regulation specifically says that any request for documentation must be reasonable and limited to the need for the particular modification requested. An entity must give “considerable weight” to documentation of past modifications or accommodations in similar testing situations, as well as those provided in an IEP or a section 504 Plan.
As to “recency” of documentation, DOJ gives some specific examples in its “preamble,” or regulatory guidance, to settle one issue: Documentation does not have a shelf life. In other words, there’s no three-year expiration date (or other expiration date) for documentation of a disability and a need for accommodations. DOJ notes with approval the comment of one organization that requiring an individual with a long and early history of disability to be assessed within three years of taking a particular test is burdensome, because persistent conditions such as dyslexia and attention deficit do not abate with time.
Myth number 9: We need to bring all our facilities on campus up to the 2010 Standards by March 15, 2012.
Facts: The basic principles haven’t changed: new construction and alterations have to be accessible, and existing facilities that are used by title II (public) entities must be accessible if they are used for the accessible delivery of services and programs. That’s the familiar concept of program accessibility. Program accessibility also must be achieved, under section 504, by public or private colleges and universities that receive federal funds. If you’ve met the program accessibility requirements by eliminating barriers to access under the 1991 Standards or UFAS for a particular building, you don’t have to bring those same buildings up to the new standards (unless you alter the buildings). Under a concept new to the 2010 revised regulations, they fall under a “safe harbor. ” But there are some important exceptions; if the 1991/1994 Standards didn’t have specific requirements for a particular type of facility, those facilities can’t benefit from a safe harbor, and they must be brought up to the 2010 Standards to the extent they’re required to be accessible for the sake of program accessibility. For example, swimming pools, play areas associated with child care centers, and exercise equipment are newly covered by the standards. Your campus should evaluate whether particular spaces of this type need to be modified.
This explanation only skims the surface. For more, see my “Tips for the Transition to 2012” at http://ada-one.com/pdf/tips-for-transition.pdf.
Myth number 10: If our college or university follows the 2010 ADA regulations and Standards, we’re also in compliance with section 504 and the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA).
Facts: Let’s start with section 504 and the accessibility standards. Almost all agencies’ regulations “deem” UFAS (the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards, issued in 1984) to be the accessibility standards for new construction and alterations by entities that receives federal grants or loans, as almost all colleges and universities do. DOJ has said that it will be working with federal agencies to revise their section 504 regulations (those that apply under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) to adopt the 2010 Standards as the appropriate accessibility standard for their recipients. In the meantime, in March of this year DOJ issued a directive to agencies that provide federal financial assistance (such as the Department of Education, which is responsible for section 504 compliance as to educational entities, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which funds some college housing projects). DOJ said that the agencies could issue guidance saying that compliance with the 2010 Standards is an acceptable means of complying with section 504 accessibility requirements for new construction and alterations. But in the meantime, some agencies are requiring compliance with UFAS. If you wish to follow the ADA standards until more guidance comes, the safe course is to also make sure you’re also complying with the parts of UFAS that are stricter than the ADA standards. Don’t forget that the Fair Housing Act has its own accessibility guidelines and a number of standards that are considered “safe harbors” for compliance. Your architects and designers should be sure that all the bases are covered for all the applicable statutes. In other areas – such as policy, communication, etc. – if you follow the ADA requirements you will generally be in compliance with section 504 as well.
Myth number 11: The 2010 Standards require that exercise equipment be accessible.
Facts: The Standards do require that in new construction or alterations, there be an accessible path to, and clear for space at, one each type of machine (e.g. , treadmill, stair climber, stationary bike, biceps curl machine). But the operable parts and controls of the equipment are not required to comply with requirements for height/reach range, maximum force required for operation, etc. Specific requirements for features such as these are pending.
Myth number 12: If our college or university follows our state accessibility code, we are in compliance with the ADA because both basically adopt the International Building Code.
Facts: There’s good news and not-so-good news about the consistency of state and local codes and the new standards. While one purpose of the revisions to the ADA standards is to bring more consistency to the various applicable codes and regulations, we’re not there yet. The model and state codes change more often than the federal standards do, and there are some ADA requirements that are included in the 2010 revisions but are usually not found in state codes. For example, DOJ requires that in alterations to primary function areas, additional funds (up to 20% of the planned cost of the original alterations) be spent on improving accessibility of the “path of travel” (restrooms, accessible route, drinking fountains, etc. ). This provision is not found in the model codes or most state codes.
Many of you are continuing to assess your policies for compliance with the new ADA regulations (as well as the ADAAA regulations from the Equal Employment Opporunity Commission), even as the effective date for most of those has passed. While the new DOJ regulations don’t change everything, they may also require some changes to your facilities by March 15, 2012. If you haven’t started to implement the new policies and to educate others about the changes that may be needed to facilities, start now. You can find more details at DOJ’s website, www.ada.gov.
The content in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not and shall not be deemed to be legal advice or a legal opinion. You cannot rely on the content as applicable to a particular circumstance or fact pattern. If you need legal advice about a particular issue and particular facts, you should seek professional legal advice. This series of articles is provided as a member service by Irene Bowen, J.D. , with ADA One, LLC. Until August 2008, Irene was Deputy Chief of DOJ’s Disability Rights Section. She is also former Deputy General Counsel of the Access Board. ADA One provides consulting, training, and alternative dispute resolution services related to the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar laws. You can contact Irene at IreneBowen@ADA-One.com or by phone at 301 879 4542. Her web site is http://ADA-One.com.
SAVE THE DATE!
Thursday, November 3 - Friday, November 4, 2011
The George Washington University
This two-day symposium works to consider some of the ways that disability studies and disability culture are transforming higher education and to assess how academic spaces and programs might be generated to respond to that transformation. “Composing Disability” brings together Disability and Deaf Studies, Writing Studies, Education, and Global Cultural Studies for spirited, collegial dialogue, about the production of disability culture, disability writing, and disability representation in and beyond academia today.
For more information, visit http://gwired.gwu.edu/dss or call GW’s Disability Support Services at 202-994-8250
Michael Davidson – author of Concerto for the Left Hand: Disability and the Defamiliar Body. Davidson is a Distinguished Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego.
Terry Galloway – a deaf and queer, writer, performer, and author of Mean Little deaf Queer. Galloway is also the co-founder of Actual Lives, a writing and performance workshop for adults with and without disabilities, and Mickee Faust Club, a performance group responsible for award-winning video parodies.
Merri Lisa Johnson – author of Girl in Need of a Tourniquet: A Memoir of Borderline Personality Disorder and the editor of Jane Sexes It Up: True Confessions of Feminist Desire. Johnson is the director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate.
Representatives from 21 affiliates participated in the AHEAD affiliate luncheon during the 2011 National AHEAD conference in Seattle, Washington on July 14, 2011. President-Elect, L. Scott Lissner provided an update regarding AHEAD’s new standing committees. Terra Beethe, was appointed the Board of Directors liaison to the Affiliate program, while Margaret Camp with SUCCEEDS (South Carolina University & College Council of Educators Empowering Disabled Students) was elected the 2011-2012 Lead Affiliate Representative. Please feel free to contact Terra or Margaret with inquiries, ideas or questions about the affiliate program. Their contact information may be located on the regional affiliate page of the AHEAD website. http://www.ahead.org/affiliates
The affiliate program would also like to thank Kathy McGillivray, outgoing Board of Directors liaison, for all of her support and work the past two years. We appreciate Kathy’s leadership and contributions in helping the affiliate program continue to thrive. Thanks!
Terra Beethe, M.S.
- OHIO-AHEAD will hold its Fall 2011 conference on Friday, October 21, 10:00-4:00, at Bowling Green State University-Firelands in Huron, Ohio on the shore of Lake Erie between Toledo and Cleveland. Scott Lissner will be the keynote speaker for the morning session, and there will be four breakout sessions in the afternoon. Contact Jennifer Radt at <email@example.com> for more information. Everyone is welcome!
- NCAHEAD’s Fall Conference is being hosted by Maranda Maxey at Appalachian State University October 13-14.
- Indiana AHEAD is having our Fall Conference at Bradford Woods, October 20th and 21st. Our contact person is our President, Courtney Jarrett, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wisconsin AHEAD is hosting the annual fall conference in Madison at Madison Area Technical College’ downtown campus on November 17th and 18th in Madison. This is event is co-sponsored with Madison College’s Counseling Department and will have an mental health focus on the first day with highly acclaimed Dr. David Mays presenting on mental health issues facing college students today as well as serious mental illness and risk assessment. Then later on Thursday and the whole day Friday, Scott Lissner (Ohio State University) and Paul Grossman will be presenting on variety of topics including the ADAA, new documentation standards, service animals and Segways and working with wounded warriors (Friday morning). Details are still being worked out contact Sandy Hall @ email@example.com
What’s all this about the “D” word? Pride or Delusion
Bill Pollard, Program Director
University of Massachusetts Boston
The descriptors “disabled people” are primarily used in this writing, since disability studies scholars and disability rights activists generally prefer these terms. To understand the rationale for this choice, please refer to Claiming Disability (Linton, 1998) and Controversial Issues in a Disabling Society Swain, (French, & Cameron, 2003).
Recently, I found myself reflecting on my life as do many folks when they hit my age (64). This activity can be discomforting, but always enlightening. AHEAD has had a significant impact on me politically as well as professionally and the influence AHEAD members have had on all aspects of my life is fully appreciated. So, please bear with me as I roll down memory lane.
I sustained my spinal cord injury in 1968, three year after my high school graduation, four years into the Age of Aquarius, and five years into US involvement in Vietnam. It was a good time to become disabled; the world was changing and it forced me to change as well. My full reflections of those early days are best left to ponder at a later time.
I joined the Association (AHSSPPE) in 1979, when I was the assistant director of the disability services office at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The director at that time was Andrea Schein. Andrea was non-disabled but believed with both great compassion and an iron fist that the civil rights of disabled people at the post-secondary level must be carried to the streets to have any real impact. To this day, Andrea continues to fight that fight.
My beliefs about disability at that point in time were of disassociation and whimsy. I worked in disability services to complete my education. I was passionate about wheelchair sport, women, and causing non-disabled jaws to drop. It all worked as many of my friends were also playing in the theater of the absurd. I was proud of the “Super Crip” label. To me it signified that my identity was not handicapped or disabled; not service provider or advocate. My lofty self-identity meant that I was never discriminated against. I was a poster child for the medical/rehabilitation conceptualization of disability. I was “normalized. ”
I have been lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Living in Boston in the 80’s was an exciting time to be involved in the disability rights movement locally as well as nationally. To interact with and learn from Irv Zola, David Pheffierr, Gerban DeJong, and Terry O’Rourke on any level was to engage in dialogue and academic truth. Discrimination of disabled people was real, prevalent and institutionalized. In 1980, I attended my first AHSSPPE conference. There I met Jane Jarrow, Rich Harris, Ron Blosser, Ward Newmeyer and others who were strong advocates, embraced 504 as civil rights legislation, and built their advocacy on this premise. Many within the association also believed in the need to build a strong and politically sophisticated professional association.
Sometime in the 90's AHEAD and disability services departments began to focus heavily on compliance. It seemed that the dominant narrative on college and university campuses became one of "what must be done? what does the law say?" Questions like "what can we do?" or "what is the right thing to do?" were lost in conversations about case law, documentation, eligibility, and reasonable accommodations. Service offices and service providers seemed to have little connection to the thinking and work of disability rights activists and disability studies scholars.
I became disheartened that the service work for the most part was gathering documentation, fretting over who is disabled, what is reasonable, and planning simulations for disability awareness' events. AHEAD was losing its relevance with me as a disability activist.
After the 2000 AHEAD conference in Kansas City, Universal Designs in Higher Education, several members explored ways to continue the discussions on universal design. In July of 2002, AHEAD hosted a Think Tank on universal design at the annual conference in Washington, D.C. Using the principles of Universal Design and the Interactional Model of Disability, participants spent a day developing a vision, applying these philosophical constructs to the information and curricular environments, exploring roles of DS providers in building the capacity of campus communities to reframe disability and redesign environments, and developing recommendations for AHEAD. As a member of the Think Tank I again became energized and optimistic as association seemed interested in this new direction.
After the 2002 conference a small group of us formed the UD /JUST Change Initiative. We developed annual priorities and implemented activities. To date this AHEAD initiative has accomplished:
- 3 UD Brochures (including revised versions)
- 3 Leadership Institutes (based on the principles of universal design and the interactional model of disability)
- 1 On-line Course
- 2 Audio Conferences
- 3 JPED Special Issues (one in the pipeline)
- A universal design photo contest
- 15 Articles in the ALERT (related to reframing disability and redesigning environments)
- Just Change certification for the 2011 conference
Additionally the initiative offered ideas and suggestions to the Board so that AHEAD's strategic plan could accurately reflect new thinking about disability within the profession. I was excited to embrace the new vision for the Association and its values:
“AHEAD envisions educational and societal environments that value disability and embody equality of opportunity”
Philosophy, thinking, and paradigms that view disability as the interaction between persons and environments;
- Diversity within all aspects of the Association;
- Equitable, sustainable, and usable postsecondary environments;
- Professionals who respect and nourish student autonomy and works as allies to design inclusive communities ; and
- Organizational strength that sustains essential resources and supports growth”
In 2011, this grass roots initiative to increase knowledge and understanding of disability, social justice, and design within the association was ended. The AHEAD Board decided to coop the unique work of the JUST CHANGE Initiative and two other initiatives into standing committees. Typically when grass roots efforts become a committee, passion is stifled.
"I am uncertain what the motives are behind eliminating JUST Change and the other initiatives. Regardless of the intention, it is critical that this voice not be silenced lest the Association fall back into the comfort of the law, the accommodation model, person first language, and professional practices that pathologize disabled individuals." Who will carry the torch for social justice, diversity, inclusive design and a reframed view of disability? Committees typically do not have the passion that grass roots groups have for a cause.
I am concerned for the students we serve, the new professionals who rely on the association for their professional development, and for AHEAD. DS providers must be change agents for the campus, helping the community to not only change their thinking about disability, but also to design environments that alleviate the need for accommodation. DS providers must be engaged with disability studies. Knowledge of disability history and politics and the early pioneers in the disability rights movement can provide opportunities for DS providers to connect students to this history and facilitate their reflection on the social justice movement and its role in their lives.
Self-esteem, personal identity, and a sense of well being are critical to our ability to function in the community with a sense of independence, control, and self-confidence (Weisman, 1999).
We as educators, service providers and allies must look beyond just the provision of accommodations and daily dealings with faculty and administrators. We must engage the campus community in academic discourse to infuse disability into course content, programs, and diversity initiatives as well as to design courses, activities, and services that are welcoming and inclusive, allowing for full participation.
What a perfect time for AHEAD to get out front on this. The organization of scholars who have established an academic discipline, Disability Studies, currently is housed with our association.
Disability Studies plays an important political, social, and economic role for society as a whole, including disabled and non-disabled people. It is the examination of disability as a social, cultural, and political phenomenon and explores the way disability is defined and represented in society, in contrast to clinical, medical, or therapeutic views of disability (Zola, 1982).
AHEAD and its members have a great opportunity to engage with Society for Disability Studies and its members to provide our campus communities with teaching and research that will help change the dominant disability frame.
The journey we are on requires AHEAD members to embrace social justice, reframe disability, and redesign its professional practices as outlined in the ADA AA. The torch of passion for social justice and disability rights has been re-ignited within the organization. Who will carry it forward? Who will keep it burning?"
Intercultural Exchange Opportunities for Your Professional Development
MIUSA: Mobility International
Most higher education professionals recognize the advantages that intercultural exchange can offer to students’ enrichment. As disability service providers, you too can find opportunities to educate yourself through international involvement. By learning how your vocation is practiced abroad and developing professional relationships with your overseas counterparts who also want to learn from you, you stand to gain exposure to other cultures’ perspectives and attitudes towards disability. There will be potentially rich discussions and observations on foreign institutions’ approaches to accessibility, and new strategies that could increase opportunities for students with disabilities in higher education at home and in other countries. When exploring the following options for internationalizing your career, consider the ways in which your institution and students will also benefit, and how you can assist in paving the way for international colleagues just getting started abroad, in the same way that others have done for you.
- When international visitors are scheduled to tour your campus, invite them to visit the disability services office. Ask your international programs office for notifications, or learn about upcoming visiting delegations through the International Visitor Leadership Program (http://www.nciv.org/Members/community-test.html), Humphrey Fellowship Program (http://www.humphreyfellowship.org/), American Fellows Program (http://www.partners.net/partners/American_Fellows_Program.asp?SnID=2), or the Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program (http://www.cies.org/sir/).
- Connect with colleagues overseas to learn what higher education institutions in other countries are doing to serve students with disabilities. Use the Member Directory in AHEAD’s International Portal to network with colleagues around the world. http://www.ahead.org/international-portal/resources
- Share your expertise with international education advisors. EducationUSA, a global network of more than 400 advising centers supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, invites U.S. higher education institutions to post videos or send materials about their institution, do web conferences with students abroad interested in study in the United States, and host the on-campus portion of the Fall 2011 EducationUSA Training Institutes. The training includes a module on resources for students with disabilities. http://www.educationusa.info/highered.php#TrainingInstituteFall2011
- Apply for an overseas professional development training:
CIEE International Faculty Development Seminar on “Disability in Situation: French Notions of Disability and Difference”
This seminar, to take place in Paris, France in 2012, will examine French disability policies, with a focus on the educational domain. It will bring together French scholars, university access professionals, and disability rights activists to share their scholarship and experience in a collaborative setting with U.S. faculty, administrators, and activists.
Rotary Group Study Exchange
The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a cultural and vocational exchange opportunity providing travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members meet professionals from their respective vocational fields, make presentations to Rotary clubs, participate in formal visits and social events, take cultural and site tours, and live with host families. Contact the Rotary club in your area for application materials and deadlines. Link: http://www.rotary.org/en/serviceandfellowship/fellowship/groupstudyexchange/pages/ridefault.aspx
The Fulbright Specialist Program
Throughout the year, Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP) awards grants to qualified U.S. faculty and professionals, in select disciplines, to engage in short-term collaborative projects at host institutions in over 100 countries worldwide. Project activities focus on strengthening and supporting the development needs of host institutions abroad.
Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad
The purpose of these short-term study and travel seminars abroad is to improve U.S. education professionals’ understanding and knowledge of the people and culture of other countries. There are approximately ten seminars annually, conducted in the summer.
Many higher education institutions form commitments to internationalize students’ educational experiences. To support these efforts, think through the skills you require to better serve your institution and students with disabilities, then ask how intercultural exchange can help you reach your professional development goals.
Contact the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) for free referrals, outreach materials, tipsheets, and more, or share your best practices. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel/TTY: 541-343-1284, Web: http://www.miusa.org/ncde. Find resources specifically helpful to disability services professionals in the AWAY Topics: Disability and Higher Education Abroad issue at http://www.miusa.org/publications/books/awaytopics3. The NCDE is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Mobility International USA to provide free information and referral on people with disabilities inclusion in international exchange opportunities.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (COSD)
Alan Muir, Executive Director
Founded in 1999, COSD is a national association of more than 650 colleges and universities and 600 private and public employers all focused on the career employment of college graduates with disabilities. Our primary focus is on campus professionals and the creation or strengthening of a collaborative relationship between Disability Services and Career Services to assist college students with disabilities to easily be referred to Career Services on their campus. This collaboration provides the much needed push for students to receive the career development, instruction and exposure to employers to help these students be prepared and competitive when recruited by employers coming to campus. In general terms, college students with disabilities are not as well prepared and competitive for employment as their counterparts without disabilities. A student’s exposure to an internship experience, for example, is a major component to help these students clearly exhibit their abilities to work and to perform well in a workplace environment.
COSD is ready to assist Disability Services professionals to learn more about how they can ensure the students they serve receive the needed training, exposure and experience for them to be highly competitive in the current job market. We provide services to higher education and employers through a number of avenues, but I would like to highlight two of those services here.
COSD 12th Annual National Conference – Thursday November 3, 2011, Morristown, NJ
The Annual National Conference, which welcomes Disability Services and Career Services professionals from campuses and employer representatives of Diversity, HR, Campus Recruiting and Talent Attraction to meet together in a highly unique conference. Please take a look at the details of the Conference on our website at http://www.cosdonline.org/cosd-annual-national-conference. There, you can view our agenda that is packed with great sessions ranging from an Employer Best Practices Panel, a Higher Education Best Practices Panel and a presentation on Returning Veterans to a Student Led Discussion Group that will have six students discussing their career search experiences, as well as separate focused sessions on Psychiatric Disabilities and Asperger’s Syndrome. The Keynote Speaker will be named shortly, but he will be a prominent attorney with a disability and vast experience working with employers seeking college graduates with disabilities. The Conference registration cost is $250 for higher education professionals. We will be meeting at the Hyatt Morristown with a Conference rate of $119 plus tax per night.
COSD FULL ACCESS Student Summit – Friday & Saturday November 4 – 5, 2011, Morristown, NJ
FULL ACCESS is a unique and exciting regional networking event for up to 66 college students with disabilities and eleven employers. Over these two half days, students receive training, hear a world-leading performer with a psychiatric disability talk about her “lived experience” as a person with a psychiatric disability and number of opportunities for relaxed conversation with representatives of some of the largest employers in the country. Students who are Sophomore through Post-Doc and graduates of up to five years out of school are eligible to apply online. There is NO cost to students to attend, other than transportation to the Hyatt Morristown. A one night’s hotel stay and meals are provided to each accepted student. For more details, please visit our website at http://www.cosdonline.org/students-new-jersey. Many of you, who are in the New England and Middle Atlantic regions have received e mails regarding this event and I would encourage you to check it out, think of students with whom you work who would be interested and share the information with them. We hope to see students from your campus at FULL ACCESS in November.
ACE Provides Tips for Accommodating Traumatic Brain Injury, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on Campus
Washington, DC -- As millions of returning service members and veterans enter higher education, the American Council on Education (ACE) offers tips in a new report for faculty and staff who may be working with students suffering from "invisible injuries" like traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Accommodating Student Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Tips for Campus Faculty and Staff offers information about these most prevalent battlefield injuries for today's returning service members as well as examples of promising practices. Among these practices are ensuring students (who are often just learning to cope with newly acquired disabilities) understand their rights under federal disability law; establishing a strong working relationship with staff in the disability services office on campus; and utilizing methods of instruction that ensure accessibility for all students, not just those with TBI or PTSD.
The report, available as a free PDF, was produced in partnership with America's Heroes at Work, a project of the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD), with the generous support of The Kresge Foundation.
"When we hosted the Veteran Success Jam last year, it was a unique opportunity for veterans, campus representatives, and policy makers to share honest feedback on how to best address the barriers that still exist for veterans and service members," said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. "We heard from many campus leaders that one of the primary areas in which they were in need of guidance was working with students who have been impacted by these 'invisible injuries. ' Working with our partners at America's Heroes at Work and AHEAD, we are pleased to offer some concrete guidelines for campuses welcoming increased numbers of veterans and service members. "
"The Kresge Foundation is delighted to support ACE's work on behalf of veterans and service members," said William Moses, Kresge's program director for education. "Maintaining college accessibility for veterans is not only the right thing to do for the young men and women who have served our nation—it's the smart thing to do. Veterans bring maturity, determination and diverse experiences to colleges and universities. Supporting their transition to civilian life helps to ensure that they graduate and contribute to the nation's broader goals of increasing college achievement and global economic competitiveness. "
Student Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is part of ACE's Serving Those Who Serve: Higher Education and America's Veterans, a broad-based initiative designed to promote access to and success in higher education for more than 2 million service members and their families who are eligible for newly expanded benefits under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. The Kresge Foundation is a $3.1 billion private, national foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations in six fields: health, the environment, arts and culture, education, human services and community development. In 2010, the Board of Trustees approved 481 awards totaling $158 million; $134 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. For more information, visit www.kresge.org.