Featured Presentations & Events

Opening Reception

Tuesday, July 15, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

At the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers, in California’s beautiful Central Valley, Sacramento sits amid the amazing farms that produce so much of America’s fine food, and the valleys from which great wines come. This capital city of California has a rich history, largely influenced by the gold rush of the 1800’s and the settlers who followed. Join us for a gold-rush themed wonderful sampling of local farm-to-fork fare, great music, and time to reconnect and connect anew during what promises to be an opening reception not to miss!

Opening Plenary-Syncretism: Going Beyond Diversity and Universal Design

Wednesday, July 16, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Thomas K. Holcomb, PhD Professor of Deaf Culture, Deaf Education and Interpreting, Ohlone College, California

Erika Shadburne Associate Professor of ASL- ESOL and Assistant Dean, Arts & Humanities, Austin Community College

Syncretism describes the melding of dissimilar philosophical or religious beliefs. In the disability world it can apply to the evolution and merging of approaches to disabilities. The ADA and Section 504 increased access for postsecondary students with disabilities. More recently, Universal Design challenged our thinking and asked that we reduce or eliminate the need for accommodations by building academic communities—buildings, products, and environments— that are inherently accessible to all. The syncretism of these approaches provided the framework for the next phase – a phase that recognizes that students with disabilities are not only integral to the colleges and universities they attend but that their presence changes the cultural climate of those institutions. This presentation will examine the tools, cultural implications, opportunities, and outcomes that result from the syncretism of the disability communities and will look at the benefits for the larger academic community. Dr. Thomas Holcomb’s and Erika Shadburne’s education, and their careers as educators, administrators, and authors make them uniquely qualified to present on this topic.

Image of Thomas HolcombDr. Thomas K. Holcomb is a Professor at Ohlone College in California where he teaches courses related to Deaf Culture, Deaf Education, and Interpreting to both deaf and hearing students. He previously taught at San Jose State University and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Tom’s academic credentials include a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Gallaudet University, Master’s degree in Career and Human Resources Development from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Rochester. His published works include Introduction to American Deaf Culture (2013), and Deaf Culture, Our Way: Anecdotes from the Deaf Community (2011). He has produced educational videos including See What I Mean: Differences between Deaf and Hearing Cultures (2009) and A Sign of Respect: Strategies for Effective Deaf/Hearing Interactions (2008).

Image of Erika ShadburneErika Shadburne is an Associate Professor, ASL- ESOL and Assistant Dean, Arts & Humanities at Austin Community College (ACC) in Austin, TX. The ASL-ESOL Department at ACC provides L2 English reading, writing and L1 American Sign Language (ASL) grammar courses taught in ASL. Erika earned her B.S. in Deaf Education from the University of Texas in 1993 and her M.A. from Gallaudet University in 1995. She began as a high school English teacher and then as an English Curriculum Specialist at the California School for the Deaf, Fremont. Erika moved back to Austin in 2001. After a year of teaching at the Texas School for the Deaf, she began working with ACC in 2002 to develop the ASL-ESOL program that now serves more than 200 Deaf students. In addition to teaching at ACC, Erika has worked to establish the Gallaudet University Regional Center at ACC and build a partnership with Rochester Institute of Technology-National Technical Institute for the Deaf through the National Science Foundation DeafTEC grant. Erika has given many presentations at professional conferences on best practices in Deaf Education such as the importance of L1 ASL Grammar courses, direct communication in language learning classrooms.

AHEAD Awards Luncheon

Friday, July 18, 2014 12:15 pm – 2:00 pm

You won’t want to miss the Conference’s most popular event, when we all gather for a complimentary “Farm-to Fork” meal to meet old friends and new colleagues. You’ll hear about the many activities of AHEAD and pepnet 2 this year, and honor those who have made a difference in disability services in higher education, including special recognition of pioneers in our field.

Closing Plenary–Technology: The Path We’re On and How to Change It

Saturday, July 19, 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Terrill Thompson–University of Washington, DO-IT Center

In keeping with our theme and goal of “Access Always, in All Ways” we welcome respected AHEAD presenter, Terrill Thompson from the University of Washington’s DO-IT Center to give us a look at emerging technologies that will impact college students and instruction.

Revolutionary information technologies, from the printing press to television to the Internet, have always excluded groups of people. Those without access have had to work and fight to gain access. In some cases inaccessibility was the result of technical limitations; in others it was attitudinal, political, and societal. Today, as higher education embraces emerging technologies in delivery of programs, services, activities, and resources, we must anticipate new directions and fight to ensure accessibility is built in, rather than bolted on. How can we do this? This session will explore strategies for influencing the path of technology innovation, and is rated NT (Non Technical). Technical chops are not required to influence technology change, nor are they required for this session.

Image of Terrill ThompsonTerrill Thompson is a technology accessibility specialist with the University of Washington. In this role, he works to promote information technology accessibility through policy, trainings, online resources, consultation, support, and research. He does this for the UW community as part ofUW-IT Accessible Technology Services , and does it for the rest of the world through The DO-IT Center (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, & Technology). Terrill has twenty years experience in the IT accessibility field, and has presented at numerous conferences and consulted widely with government, private industry, and K-12 and postsecondary education entities on IT accessibility issues.