o Purpose and Initial Charge - The Standing Committee on Public Policy exists to monitor, educate and make recommendations to AHEAD members and the Board on matters pertaining to disability in a broad sphere that has direct relevance to higher education or is indirectly linked to higher education; develop or facilitate development of member resources specific to regulatory information; inform members and the Board on emerging issues in the legislative and regulatory spheres; provide guidance to the Board on areas where influence from the association is needed and assist with same.
During 2011 the AHEAD Board confirmed the need to update the 2004 documentation guidance based on seven essential elements of documentation due to changes in laws and regulations at the federal level and established a Spring 2012 release date for new professional guidance on documentation.
The AHEAD Strategic Plan was reviewed and updated during 2011 to cover the years 2012-2015. It is available in the About AHEAD/Business section of www.ahead.org. The objectives for this period relate to five core goals:
During 2011 the peer-reviewed journal published by AHEAD, the Journal on Postsecondary Education and Disability (JPED), underwent a change in publication methods. Beginning in the Fall of 2010 (Vol. 23, No. 1) the JPED was no longer primarily printed and mailed to members. It is now converted into multiple formats for member choice and accessibility. If paper copies are desired, members can purchase them when signing up for annual membership for a fee to cover printing and shipping. Dr. David Parker continues as Executive Editor of the JPED which has grown in regularity and content under his leadership.
Following a lengthy testing phase, during 2011 member access became available to the Jossey-Bass Legal Database which has monthly updates to the extensive compendium of cases, letters, and other guidance of a legal nature pertinent to higher education and disability. This database is proving quite valuable to members; it is available in the members’ only section of www.ahead.org.
As a result of continuing contract work between AHEAD and member institutions for program evaluations, in 2011 AHEAD premiered a set of program surveys which tap different constituencies on campuses; disabled students, faculty and administrators as well as a self-assessment tool for use by disability service directors are available. AHEAD’s expertise in program evaluation is being sought with increasing regularity; program evaluations, both through survey instruments and site evaluations, are a source of revenue for the association.
An array of professional training is offered by AHEAD every year. During 2011 trainings were offered on an array of topics and across modalities including captioned webinars, face-to-face workshops and the annual conference, and audio with topics selected in response to member interests and emerging topics. A tele-institute was held in 2011 focused on the ADA Amendments Act which was extremely well attended and reviewed. Attendance at all AHEAD training continues to grow annually. The 34th annual summer conference was held in Seattle, Washington with keynote addresses from Victor Pineda and Marilyn Bartlett.
The AHEAD Affiliate Program is made up of 33 regional and state organizations who, while operating independently of AHEAD, are similarly engaged with promoting inclusive education and providing professional training. Representatives of the AHEAD Board and the Executive Director appeared as speakers at 14 regional meetings during 2011.
Proposals to establish means for defined linkages with AHEAD by either groups or formal organizations in other countries were submitted to the Board by the Standing Committee on Member Development during 2011. Details will be completed and the opportunities for engagement available during 2012.
During 2011 AHEAD published the results of its 2010 biannual member survey.
External AHEAD involvement:
During 2010-2011 Stephan Hamlin-Smith, AHEAD’s Executive Director, served a major role in his capacity on the Department of Education’s Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials for Students with Disabilities in Postsecondary Education (AIM Commission). Additionally, AHEAD member Gaeir Dietrich chaired the AIM commission; she was elected to the AHEAD Board of Directors as a Director-at-Large during the spring 2011 election and will serve from July 2011 to July 2014.
At the Spring 2011 Board of Directors meeting, the board unanimously voted to support the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). Working with partner organization, the United States International Council on Disability, AHEAD will take actions to support U.S. ratification of this vital human rights treaty.
AHEAD has a seat on the board of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in High Education (CAS). In 2011 CAS Standards and Guidance for Disability Support Services came up for revision. At the request of AHEAD, this set of standards was renamed Disability Resources and Services. The CAS Contextual Statement, the background and framing statement for each standard, for DRS was revised by Jean Ashmore, Mary Lee Vance with input from the Board. In 2012 the DRS Standards and Guidance will be revised, and the board will contribute to review and revision of the various CAS standards.
AHEAD, during 2011, expanded its active partnerships with organizations sharing similar missions or those where the contributions from AHEAD are appropriate. In addition to many organizations with which AHEAD has long-standing working relationships, new alliances were established in 2011 with the National College Testing Association and the Association of College and University Housing-International with the objectives to collaborate for cross trainings.
During 2011, AHEAD established agreements so that the annual meetings of AHEAD and the newly established and funded pepnet 2 will be held concurrently in 2012 and 2014. This was done successfully in 2010 to the benefit of both organizations. AHEAD planners will collaborate with pepnet 2 on conference particulars.
Dr. Janet Medina, long term AHEAD member and noted expert on learning disabilities, was appointed to be an AHEAD representative with the National Joint Council on Learning Disabilities. This appointment will be for three years. She joins Dr. Christy Lendman who serves in the same capacity.
AHEAD’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30. During calendar year 2011, the FY 2010 and FY 2011 budgets for the association were balanced. At the conclusion of 2011, AHEAD’s revenues and expenses were in line with budgeted expectations. Details of the financial status of the association are available from the main office. AHEAD’s financial records and books are audited annually. The 2011 audit was performed by McCafferty and Company.
During 2011 severe weather caused many registrants from traveling to the Management Institute. Losses were recouped through event insurance. Additionally, a change to the contract for the 2015 conference scheduled for Orlando resulted in change fees being paid to AHEAD.
During 2011 AHEAD awarded seven $1,000 scholarships to disabled students and disability professionals.
AHEAD continues in its capacity as executive office for Society for Disability Studies which is a revenue as well as expertise source. The AHEAD/SDS contract runs through 2015.
Respectfully prepared by Jean Ashmore, President 2010-2012