Preconference Institutes

The AHEAD 2014 Preconference Institutes provide opportunities for attendees to participate in intensive, topic-specific, workshop-style events taught by notable and well-respected experts in their field. Ranging from 3 1/2 hours to two full days, the Institutes are an outstanding chance for Conference attendees to receive in-depth professional development. 

Preconference Institutes do require advance registration by July 12, 2014 and an additional tuition fee (separate from the Conference registration fee). On-site registration for Preconference Institutes is not available. Registration for Preconference Institutes includes all instruction materials and refreshment breaks. Meals, housing, and travel are not included unless noted. Please see the registration form for applicable tuition charges. 


Two-Day Preconference Institutes
Monday July 14 & Tuesday July 15 • 9:00 am-5:30 pm each day

Full-Day Preconference Institutes
Monday July 14 • 9:00 am-5:30 pm

Full-Day Preconference Institutes
Tuesday July 15 • 9:00 am-5:30 pm

Half-Day Preconference Institute - AM
Tuesday July 15 • 9:00 am-12:30 pm

Half-Day Preconference Institute - PM
Tuesday July 15 • 2:00 am-5:30 pm


Two-Day Preconference Institutes 
Monday July 14 & Tuesday July 15  • 9:00 am-5:30 pm each day 

#PC1 Introduction to Disability Law for DS Professionals
L. Scott Lissner – The Ohio State University
Paul Grossman – Hastings College of the Law; Retired Chief Regional Attorney, OCR, San Francisco 

This presentation will give DS professionals a comprehensive introduction to postsecondary disability law and establish a framework for answering the questions they encounter on a daily basis. This institute will begin with a review of the history of discrimination against individuals with disabilities and the emergence of the disability rights movement culminating in the adoption of disability laws. We will learn what legal traditions and concepts all antidiscrimination laws share and then what is unique to disability law. As the law shifts emphasis from who is an individual with a disability to qualification how are the responsibilities of a DSS Officer impacted.

We will provide an exploration of the practical implications of the ADAAA’s definition of disability and the implementing EEOC and impending DOJ regulations, as well as their relationship to the AHEAD Guidance on Documenting Accommodations. Once disability is established what must be done to make programs and facilities accessible to persons with disabilities? What accommodations are, or are not, required in the college and university setting. This will include an exploration of service and comfort animals, housing, ticketing, mobility devices and more. Topics unique to higher education, such as admissions, discipline and conduct, academic accommodations, and internships will be covered. Individuals with expertise in students with psychiatric disabilities and facilities access will join the presentation team. We will cover procedures to ensure compliance, common pitfalls to avoid, handling internal complaints of discrimination, cooperation and noncooperation by faculty, the scope of the duty to provide accessible websites, alternative media, and assistive technology. 

Audience: All

#PC2 Learning Disabilities/ADHD, Psychoeducational Assessment, and Professional Judgment 
Rhonda H. Rapp – St. Mary's University

It is a well-known fact that students with learning disabilities and/or ADHD are two of the largest populations of students with disabilities on college campuses today. Most colleges and universities require recent, comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations of students with learning disabilities/ADHD in order to best shape the students’ academic accommodations and related services. However, many postsecondary disability services professionals come to their positions with little knowledge in the complexities of learning disabilities/ADHD and the administration and/or interpretation of psychoeducational evaluations. Now under the ADA, as amended, acceptable sources of documentation for substantiating a student’s learning disability and/or ADHD and subsequent request for specific accommodations can take a variety of forms.

This institute will provide information focusing on the assessment of learning disabilities/ADHD from a psychoeducational perspective and from a professional judgment perspective, as well as focusing on how to use the obtained information when providing accommodations and other service for students with learning disabilities/ADHD. The goal of this institute is to provide an in-depth understanding of learning disabilities/ADHD; to make psychoeducational reports accessible, meaningful, and useful; and to demonstrate how the information gathered through “student self-report” and/or through “observation and interaction” can be meaningful and useful as information obtained during formal LD/ADHD standardized assessments. 

In light of the ADAAA, AHEAD posits that the first two levels of “acceptable documentation” (Student’s Self-Report at the primary level and Observation/Interaction at the secondary level) rely heavily on the disability service provider’s “professional judgment.” In addition, the possible breadth and depth of the information available at both the primary and secondary levels of acceptable documentation could entirely negate the need for tertiary level documentation (psychoeducational evaluations).

In addition, participants in this session will get a chance to experience first-hand the true purpose of a psychoeducational assessment through participation and/or observation during the administration of several portions of a psychoeducational assessment. This two-day institute will be highly interactive and hands-on; designed to provide ample time for specific questions, examples, demonstrations, case-studies, and discussion. 

Audience: Novice to Intermediate

#PC3 AHEAD Start: Setting the Landscape for New Professionals​
Carol Funckes–University of Arizona 

Designed specifically for disability resource professionals who are new to the field, this two-day preconference session offers a comprehensive overview of the issues that shape postsecondary disability services. No longer only a service office for students, the disability resource office is an vital center of information, collaboration, and technical assistance for the campus community. Higher education administrators, faculty, and students rely on disability resource personnel to provide effective consultation and services to lead the institution in creating inclusive, welcoming campus environments.

Through lecture, discussion, and resource sharing, we will explore how legal principles and philosophical constructs intersect with the practical realities of working in higher education disability services today. We will discuss strategies for moving our campuses beyond a compliance narrative and provide the opportunity for participants to develop a professional network and find confidence in their dual role of service provider and campus consultant. Topics to be covered include: 

  • basics of disability service in higher education, including foundational legal concepts, perspectives of disability, the power of design, and lessons from history and disability studies; 
  • promising approaches for using interview and a variety of forms of information, including third-party documentation, to assess barriers and plan individual accommodations; 
  • strategies for designing service delivery practices that minimize extra efforts by disabled students and frame problems of access as resulting from poorly designed environments; 
  • the institution-wide role of the disability resource office in collaborating and consulting on physical, curricular, policy, and information access; 
  • office management: record keeping, budgeting and resource management, and program review and assessment. 

AHEAD Start; Audience: Novice 

#PC4 OUT OF THE BOX, III : Exploring Power and Privilege Dynamics in Disability Services​
Amanda Kraus–University of Arizona
Sharon Downs–University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Many of us are drawn to disability services work because of our commitment to social justice and inclusion. System change requires continuous reflection on our individual roles and responsibilities in the larger system. In this two-day preconference workshop, we will explore dynamics of power and privilege and how they inform our thinking as well as work with students, faculty and other campus constituents. 

We must enter into this work with a reflective posture, as we must recognize that we too can be part of the problem—inadvertently contributing to dynamics that maintain the status quo. Participants will reflect on their personal power and privilege and connect to professional practice in disability services. 

By situating disability along other community and identity experiences, participants will have time and space to reflect on their personal power and privilege. We will relate to professional practice by exploring how our professional positions may impact building authentic relationships with disabled students and how we may represent disability to campus audiences. 

We will then move on to explore how these dynamics impact contemporary and professional concepts of disability. Borrowing from disability studies and disability history, we will look at how disability is currently framed in society. We will explore conscious and unconscious biases about disability and how these ideas may shape our personal and professional ideas. 

After reflecting on the impact of bias on disability services, we will focus specifically on disability-related microaggressions, an emerging area of scholarship with important implications for our work. We will review the literature and work collectively to unpack examples of microaggressions and the role we play in either perpetuating or dismantling these experiences. 

Finally, we will discuss our roles as allies and advocates. Ally development is a powerful, but potentially contentious, way to declare support and commit to change together – disabled and non-disabled people alike. As disability services professionals, are we de-facto disability allies? Together we will explore questions authenticity in ally development and representation in disability services. We will end with participants developing and discussing specific action items. 

Out of the Box III
Audience: Intermediate to Advanced 

Back to top

Full-Day Preconference Institutes
Monday July 14, 9:00 am-5:30 pm

#PC5 Social Model at Work: Shifting Office Practices ​
Adam Meyer–University of Central Florida 
Kimberly Tanner–Valdosta State University 
Margaret Camp–University of South Carolina, Upstate​

At the past two AHEAD conferences, there has been an increased emphasis on the social model of disability as an emerging focus for higher education disability offices to consider in working with the campus community and students with disabilities. The primary idea is that the greatest barrier for students with disabilities is not the disability itself but rather the environment and the interaction between the person and the environment. The focal point of accessibility and accommodations should be on the limitations of the environment as much as and even more so than on the limitations of the student. This shift in thinking can have a profound impact on how a disability office conducts its operations. 

This institute session is designed for people already familiar with the social model of disability and interested in incorporating the concepts into office practices. The ideal attendee will be able to influence changes in their office but are unsure how to best make this happen. During this interactive one-day session, participants will work with each other to review and to consider modification of the following: 

  • Office mission statement 
  • Documentation practices 
  • Initial interview with student 
  • Office language and terminology 
  • Accommodation letter process and language
  • Syllabus statement
  • Website and brochure language  
  • Position descriptions 
  • Faculty outreach 

By exploring language and focusing on various aspects of the above list, participants will be gain skills that can be generalized to all core aspects of the office operations.

Audience: Intermediate 

#PC6 Accessible Instructional Materials Program Design and Management ​
Ron Stewart – Alt Format Solutions 
Teresa Haven–Northern Arizona University​ 

Providing Accessible Instructional Materials continues to be a challenge in higher education. How do you ensure appropriate materials are available to your students? Based on the six days of face-to-face training developed by the AHEAD Instructional Materials Accessibility Group, this training will provide foundations for designing and managing an AIM program that fits the needs of YOUR institution. 

Audience: All

Back to top

Full-Day Preconference Institutes
Tuesday July 15, 9:00 am-5:30 pm 

#PC7 Strategic Leadership and Enhancement of Disability Services – Concepts & Practices​?
Emily Lucio–Catholic University of America 
Tom L. Thompson–Higher Education Consultant 
Karen Pettus–University of South Carolina 

DS providers today need to adapt to changing times with a clearer vision of our mission and purpose, assessment practices, and the development of financial resources. In this one-day workshop, participants will review a conceptual management framework of Disability Resources with four key components: Strategic Planning, Assessment, Operations and Resource Development. The presenters, from a private university, a public university and a suburban community college, will share examples and experiences from their campus backgrounds relevant to these components. 

Participants will have an opportunity to consider and discuss their current role in relation to these four components, i.e. how much time they are able to allocate to each of these activities in the course of a semester or academic year. Participants will be guided in developing an action plan for the coming academic year in which they can allocate time to one or more of the four components. The emphasis will be on understanding what the work of a Disability Resources department encompasses and how to have a greater impact on the campus community as a whole. 

The presenters will guide participants through three forty-five minute case studies where they will work individually and in small groups. Case studies will include a small college with a one-person office, a midsize college and a larger university or community college. Participants will examine different issues in each case study that will be related to the four highlighted components of Disability Resources management. 

The case studies will be constructed to identify and elucidate how other Disability Resource providers have identified and addressed development issues in their work. There will also be time for participants to interact with one another and the presenters to discuss their own management issues. 

By focusing on strategic planning, assessment, operations and resource development, DS providers can influence changes in their office that will improve the provision of accommodations for students with disabilities and which can lead to greater campus access and inclusion. DS providers will learn how they can embrace a vision of their work that goes beyond direct support for individual students and which includes a view of disability as a universal human condition that impacts all aspects of campus life. 

Audience: Intermediate to Advanced 

#PC8 An Interactive Introduction to Faculty Development: Reshaping the Focus of Disability Services ​
Elizabeth Harrison–University of Dayton 

This interactive preconference workshop will (1) introduce participants to faculty development; (2) explore ways to insert inclusive design into faculty development work so that faculty developers, instructional designers, and ultimately faculty will embrace it; and (3) provide opportunities for participants to practice talking about accessibility in faculty development terms. The presenter has extensive experience in faculty development and universal design. 

Audience: All

#PC9 Playing a Key Role in Getting Your Campus to Measure Up to the ADA 
Irene Bowen–ADA One, LLC 
James A. Bostrom–U.S. Department of Justice 
John H. Catlin–LCM Architects, LLC 

More than twenty-three years since the ADA was signed, physical access on campuses is still a work in progress. And, with revised regulations and ADA Standards now effective, new requirements apply to existing and new facilities. This one-day session is geared to enable DS professionals, ADA Coordinators, facilities staff, and others to be a key part in moving a campus toward full inclusion of people with physical disabilities in all activities. Whether you are new to the ADA and access, or you have been working with access requirements for some time, this session cover the basics and will also include discussion on applying the requirements using real examples. 

After a refresher on the basic accessibility requirements of the laws and of the Department of Justice’s 2010 ADA Standards, participants will learn how to apply them and to find information when they need it. Using photographs, drawings, and other visual aids, we’ll tackle the issues that may present the most challenges: the new approach to campus housing, assembly areas, recreation facilities, equipment, sororities and fraternities, and labs. In hands-on exercises, you’ll learn to read plans and understand how the capital planning process works and how you can affect it. We’ll explore approaches to providing access to existing buildings and facilities and how to incorporate ADA requirements into future planning, design, and construction. We will engage participants in discussion and include substantial time to answer questions. Our goal is to equip attendees to return to campus ready to help implement the changes along with those responsible for facilities and planning. 

Join a DOJ deputy chief who supervises architects and technical specialists, a former DOJ official, and an architect in private practice who specializes in accessibility as they cover key changes that will affect your campus and how to work toward compliance. 

Audience: All

#PC10 ASD from A-Z: How to Serve this Increasing Population with Pro-active, Positive and Penniless Approaches ​
Lisa Meeks–University of California, San Francisco 
Michelle Rigler–University of Tennessee-Chattanooga 
Garrett Westlake–Arizona State University 

As the population of college students with ASD continues to grow, it is imperative that professionals be prepared to proactively and appropriately support this population. Panelists will present a comprehensive model of support that includes transitional support into, during, and after matriculation, without taxing the disability resource budget. Panelists will guide all participants through the development of positive approaches to working with the ASD population, including ready-to-go relatable presentations for faculty.This workshop is appropriate for all level and is specially designed with a basic and advanced track. 

Audience: All

#PC11 Accessing Student Potential Through ADHD/EF/LD Coaching ​
Jodi Sleeper-Triplett–JST Coaching, LLC
Christina Fabrey–Green Mountain College ​

ADHD/EF/LD coaching focuses on unlocking students’ potential to facilitate progress and success by providing choice and fostering empowerment. The presenters will introduce the concept of coaching with discussion, demonstrations and group exercises, sharing how to incorporate coaching techniques to help students access their potential. This interactive session will provide practical activities and resources for post-secondary professionals interested in incorporating coaching into their work. 

Audience: All

Back to top

Half-Day Preconference Institute–AM
Tuesday July 15, 9:00 am-12:30 pm  

#PC12 Universal Design & Online Learning: What Does the DS provider Need to Know?
Kelly Hermann–SUNY Empire State College 
Jane Jarrow–DAIS/DCCOL 

In the 2011 Survey of Online Learning for the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board, ( Elaine Allen and Jeff Seamon discovered that online study continues to grow on college campuses, at a rate approximately 10 times that in all of higher education. From hybrid classes (those that have a traditional, seated component along with required online activities) to hybrid students (those who are taking some of their coursework through traditional classes and some online), to those students who are enrolled solely in online classes (and whom you may never meet!), higher education is embracing the potential that the internet brings to learning opportunities. Now is the time for disability services professionals to acknowledge that new delivery methods for education create new challenges to our assigned role in assuring access for students with disabilities. 

Faculty increasingly turn to DS professionals for advice on making online curriculum accessible. At the same time DS staff try to determine best practices in serving remote students, and implementing accommodations in the virtual environment. For example, how will we determine how much time is enough time for testing when, instead of a pencil-and-paper test, the student is working from home, online, using technology, in an open book/open notes format? How do you best serve an online learner whom you will never meet face-to-face?- We have lots of practice in organizing traditional services and streamlining their delivery. We know how to set up effective and efficient note-taking systems, how to set parameters for adaptive testing, and how to arrange reader/scribe services when necessary. Are any of these services necessary for online learners? How will the services be delivered? What other accommodations will be necessary for virtual learning? Who are our campus allies in designing and delivering accessible online classes? 

These questions emphasize the need for the campus to be prepared by utilizing the principles of universal design throughout the course design process. The presenters will demonstrate how universal design can be applied to an online course to maximize accessibility. Participants will leave with a list of tools, resources and strategies that will allow them to provide the advice, guidance and service on their campus to ensure accessible online courses for their students. 

Audience: All 

#PC13 Post Production Captioning: Myths and Facts ​ 
Cindy Camp–pepnet 2; Jacksonville State University 
Beth Case–University of Louisville
Post-production captioning has become a hot topic on many campuses due to the increasing number of instructors who are incorporating video content. Who is responsible for making the video accessible? What some best practices for policy and procedures? Can’t we just use automatic speech recognition? If these are some of the questions you are facing at your campus or institution then this pre-conference is right for you. We’ll explore technological advances with can both help and hinder the captioning process. We’ll discuss how to set up a system for making videos accessible. And hopefully we’ll answer many of your captioning questions. 

pepnet2 Training Institute; Audience: All 

Back to top

Half-Day Preconference Institutes - PM 
Tuesday July 15 & Tuesday  • 2:00 pm-5:30 pm 

#PC14 I Have a Deaf/Hard of Hearing Student Enrolling. Now What?! A Look At This Low-Incidence Population
Lisa Caringer–pepnet 2 
Cassie Franklin–pepnet 2 

This pre-conference institute is geared toward those professionals who may be new to working with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Aspects such as diversity of communication preferences, transition issues, and strategies for determining appropriate accommodations will be covered. Through cultural competence training and activities, with an introduction to Deaf culture and examples of adaptive technology, we will learn strategies for ensuring D/HH students have equitable access on your campus. Participants will have the opportunity to apply what they learn to practical scenarios using the interactive process model. 

pepnet2 Training Institute
Audience: All

#PC15 In-depth Exploration of Mobile Applications for Learning ​  ​
Deanna Arbuckle–University of Dayton 

As students transition to college, they are faced with many changes including new freedoms, responsibilities and in many cases, technologies. This presentation will take a deeper look at learning applications with a focus on function and accessibility. Detailed information will be addressed on selected apps include Reading, Text-to-Speech, Time Management, Concept Mapping, Recording, Stress Management, Note Taking, Writing, etc. pepnet2 Training Institute

Audience: All

Back to top