Are you in your first three years of disability resource work? Are you hiring staff new to the field? Do you notice gaps in your knowledge that a foundational experience would help to fill? If so, this is the event for you.
The AHEAD Start Academy will offer a foundational experience to disability resource professionals just acquiring or continuing to build fundamental knowledge and skills. With a team of highly experienced, nationally-respected presenters and three full days, you’ll have the chance to explore, discuss, and apply concepts important to building equity on college campuses. The Academy is designed to orient, refresh, and engage those newer to the field. The curriculum is based on, but expanded from, the AHEAD Start workshops that have trained over 500 disability resource staff members over more than 10 years. This new event takes the comprehensive goals of that workshop and expands them to prepare participants with the knowledge and skills to address disability-related barriers and engage campus stakeholders.
Disability resource staff enter the field with a variety of backgrounds, from student affairs to the K-12 system to vocational rehabilitation and the law. While each of these fields provides pertinent information, in isolation they cannot provide the breadth of knowledge and critical judgement necessary to analyze access barriers, apply consistent principles to diverse situations, and impact established systems that do not anticipate difference.
Recognizing that disability resource professionals set the tone for how a campus frames and responds to disability, the Academy begins with a foundation in disability studies, social justice, and civil rights. After framing disability in diversity and exploring essential legal principles, participants will be guided in their exploration of common and emerging issues. Topics include:
- Disability studies: critical analysis of disability in society, media, design and services
- Legal concepts: the interactive process, fundamental alteration, undue burden, direct threat, reasonable accommodations; 504, the ADA as amended, case law and settlement agreements
- The interactive process: student interview, documentation, and decision-making in context
- Access barrier analysis and accommodation delivery: service design, assistive technology, accommodation coordination, and faculty interactions
- Outreach and consultation: campus leadership and influence in the instructional, physical, technology, and policy environments
- Hot topics: animals on campus, attendance and assignment flexibility, housing, leaves of absence, technical standards
Unlike online trainings and other forms of distant education, the AHEAD Start Academy provides the opportunity for attendees to engage with others to develop a professional network, the most valuable professional development tool available! Follow-up activities connect and support participants when they return to their campuses. Whether you work alone, with a large staff, or address disability as one component of a larger role, join us for this comprehensive, 3-day introduction to a dynamic field.Back to top