2020 Concurrent Sessions

Block A

Wednesday, July 11, 2020
11:00 am -12:30 pm

A.1:  OCR Year in Review
Mary Lou Mobley, U.S. Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education

The Office of Civil Rights assists individuals with disabilities who face discrimination and guides institutions in developing solutions to civil rights problems by investigating complaints, initiating compliance reviews, and providing technical assistance. OCR representatives will review recent, illustrative OCR decisions.

A.2:  Everyday Ableism - Exploring Disability Bias and Microaggressions
Amanda Kraus, University of Arizona

When we understand disability in a context of social justice and ableism, a cultural experience shaped by dynamics of power and privilege, we can begin to unpack the many ways disabled people are targets of bias and microaggressions. Emerging research on bias challenges us to appreciate bias as unintentional or even well-intended, behaviors and attitudes. As disability services professionals, it is important to have awareness of disability bias and the many ways bias manifests in higher education. This workshop will include discussion of research on bias and microagressions and relate it to practice.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Friday, July 24, 2020

A.3:  Implementing Campus-Wide Digital Accessibility: One Community College’s Journey
Susan Muma, Lancing Community College
Andrew George, Lancing Community College

Lansing Community College (LCC) has undertaken a campus-wide digital accessibility initiative over the last two years with the goal of 100% accessibility for all webpages, course materials, forms, and other documents. This presentation will discuss the history of LCC's initiative, the work undertaken by various stakeholders to spread awareness about accessibility (and the impact that it has on students and members of the campus community), the implementations of various trainings and resources on this and related topics, the quality assurance process to ensure compliance, and steps we plan to take in the future to maintain and improve accessibility at the college. Participants will learn about the pitfalls and triumphs experienced by one community college, with the hope that they are instructive to other institutions considering a similar initiative, particularly those operating outside of a unified state university or community college system.

A.4: BIT, SOC, CARE Team, Title IX and Students with Autism
Jane Thierfeld Brown, Yale Child Study, Yale Medical School
Lorraine Wolf, Boston University

Students on the autism spectrum can face challenges with a variety of campus policies and committees, leading to disability resource professionals being called in to consult. We will address many of the issues that challenge students and discuss the role of disability resource professionals in addressing them: how and when we should assist and what does and does not fall within our purview?

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Block 1

Wednesday, July 22, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

1.1:  Building a More Accessible and Inclusive Learning Environment in Higher Education: Outcomes of a Training Program for Faculty and Staff
Marla Roll, Colorado State University
Matthew Malcolm, Colorado State University

As the number of students with disabilities continues to rise, higher education institutions experience increased demands to make electronic learning materials accessible. Most institutions provide some assistive technology supports to students with disabilities, but such support must be matched with training for instructors who increasingly rely on electronic materials. Colorado State University's Assistive Technology Resource Center implemented a successful pilot of a train-the-trainer professional development course across the entire College of Health and Human Sciences. As part of the training pilot, we examined its effectiveness in terms of participants' increased knowledge and their ability to create more inclusive learning materials.

1.2:  Working with Faculty to Guide Students on Creating Memory AidsKari Hanken, Portland Community College
Phyllis Petteys, Portland Community College

Many higher education institutions set up guidelines for the accommodation of memory aids, but even with these guidelines, knowing what constitutes a memory aid and how to construct one can be confusing. As a result, students often create memory aids that do not fit the guidelines, often containing vocabulary or other content that would is not considered a mnemonic device or memory trigger. As a result, instructors are not comfortable approving them for exams. At Portland Community College (PCC), Disability Services teamed up with Biology Faculty to address this confusion. We have created a variety of memory aids (including digital examples) based on subject-area content to fit the guidelines and give students concrete examples.

1.3:  Adapting to the Needs of Diverse Learners: A Closer Look at Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Erica McMahon, Forsyth Tech. Community College

Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) represent a growing population at colleges and universities. Therefore, it is vital that we learn to support them. Despite sufficient cognitive abilities, many student with ASD struggle with communicating with their fellow students and instructors, as well as adapting to the ever-changing college campus. This often leads to higher incompletion rates for these students. Through a shared activity and presentation, participants will become more aware of how best to support students with ASD and be given specific examples of accommodations to "level the playing field" for these students.


1.4:  It takes a Village! How Cross Departmental Collaboration Enhances Support for Online Students
Ana Quiroz, Los Angeles Pacific University

How can you become the leader in creating partnerships throughout your campus to better serve online students? In this session, you will learn about how Los Angeles Pacific University went from placing main responsibility for serving students with disabilities on the Disability Office to shifting the focus and responsibility to a campus wide commitment by collaborating with various departments. Attendees will learn about the barriers online students encounter and key ways to collaborate with different stakeholders throughout campus to meet the needs and better serve this student population.


1.5:  5 Data Driven- Storytelling with Numbers
Kelly Loftis Dormer, Wayne State University
Leslie Johnson, Michigan State University

Data is critical in understanding the populations we serve, helps focus efforts, measure outcomes, and secure funding. With so many types of information to gather, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. This session will examine the benefit of data, strategies for getting started and examples of data driven successes. With the right tools, data collection can go from tedious and time-consuming to stress-free and exciting!


1.6:  Global Access: A Renewed Partnership to Expand Equitable Access Abroad
Rachel Anderson, University of Minnesota
Peggy Retka, University of Minnesota
Molly Giffin, University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota’s Disability Resource Center and Learning Abroad Center collaborated to refresh the accommodation process for students with disabilities interested in studying abroad. The original processes, developed over 20 years ago, were ground-breaking at that time. In 2019, our offices came back together to enhance accessibility and efficiency and to clarify and fine-tune the use of the interactive process. Studying abroad is a unique opportunity for students to gain insight into our world that has lasting impacts on their lives. By addressing the nuanced barriers that students with disabilities might experience while studying abroad, we have created a more equitable learning experience for students with disabilities.


1.7: A Higher Education and Community Organization Collaboration regarding STEM Education and Preparation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Secondary Students Nationwide: The National Technical Institute for the Deaf and Communication Service for the Deaf
Denis Kavin, National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Davin Searls, Communication Service for the Deaf

Historically, there has been low participation of deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) individuals in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers. This is compounded by a lack of role models and lack of access to appropriate career awareness materials. This presentation expounds on a new collaborative effort between an institution of higher education, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and a community organization, the Communication Service for the Deaf, to expose DHH middle school students to DHH role models in various STEM careers.


1.8:  Creating an Accessible Recruitment Experience
Jamie Bojarski, Vanderbilt University
Lindsey Goldstein, University of California, Los Angeles

Professionals in the field may not have much experience with other student groups on campus. This session will introduce the Greek Life culture and provide an overview of formal and informal recruitment processes. Participants will identify potential barriers students with disabilities may face and ways to address them. Participants will have info to take back to campus and share with their Office of Greek Life.


1.9:  NCCSD Congressional Report Overview
Wendy Harbour, National Center for College Students with Disabilities

In 2020, the National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD) at AHEAD published a report to Congress on the “conditions of postsecondary success for students with disabilities.” The NCCSD summarized its activities and research since the Center began in 2015, combining that information with published literature to create a big-picture view of college students with disabilities in the US, their services, and what helps them succeed. We will discuss critical findings, with plenty of time for people to ask questions and discuss the report. Everyone attending will get a hard copy of the report (an accessible digital version is available online at www.NCCSDonline.org).

1.10:  Working with Students with Diabetes and Chronic Illnesses on Campus: Bridging the Knowledge Gap through REACH
Margaret Camp, Clemson University
Anna Floreen-Sabino, College Diabetes Network

As part of its REACH initiative, the College Diabetes Network (CEDN) is proud to collaborate with organizations like AHEAD to educate and engage members to better serve students with diabetes. During this session, students and campus faculty/staff will share their experiences living with diabetes and present targeted resources to better serve this growing population. CDN prioritizes narrowing the gap between students' lived experiences and campus administrators' knowledge of type one diabetes (T1D), while empowering students to continue to pursue their dreams without compromise.

1.11:  Exploring Vocational Mentorship: A Method to Improve Graduation Rates among Disenfranchised Students
Marcelle Daniels, Cal State San Bernardino
Agustin Ramirez, Cal State San Bernardino

The interactive session explores two vocational mentorship programs constructed to improve graduation rates by fostering a sense of belonging to professional networks for two historically disenfranchised student populations -- those with disabilities and military veterans. Participants will learn how to build congenial relationships between faculty, students, and professionals focused on vocational preparation and intellectual skills development and how mentorship can counteract discrimination.

1.12: Transition Programs- two examples of successful transition programming for students entering college

  1. How to PREP students for their Transition to College
    Julie Scaff, Saint Mary's College of California

    Saint Mary's College of California is in its fifth year of offering the PREP (Providing Resources for Educational Progress) program to incoming first year and transfer students who have disclosed a disability and expressed interest in extra support with the transition to college.  Come find out how this small college has created a robust program including peer mentors to support students through a three-day early move in program. Program details, including positive student outcomes, such as sense of belonging and self-efficacy, will be shared with suggestions on how to scale the program to your college size and budget.


  1. Pioneering Pre-Orientation Programs
    Natasha Geyer, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
    Brenda Sunderdance, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

    Transition to College is challenging for all students. SWD often face additional challenges related to disability barriers and navigating college. SWD are often learning new systems, strategies, or technology in addition to the typical orientation to campus that all students experience. Pioneer Access Orientation (PAO) was developed to assist students with the transition process, self-advocacy, and allow opportunities to learn about assistive technology and campus software before starting their classes. PAO was intended to improve resiliency, retention, and confidence of new students. Learn how to create an effective transition program that improves access and connectiveness of students with disabilities.

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Block B

Wednesday, July 11, 2020
3:30 pm -5:30 pm

B.1:  Legal Year in Review
Paul Grossman, Hastings School of Law
Jo Anne Simon, New York Assembly

This past legal year has proven to be one of setbacks and advancements, with some new opportunities and some very dangerous curves, including the threat of regulatory rollbacks and problematic policy clarifications. Protections against harassment appear under threat. ESA documentation may be getting even more problematic. On the other hand, advocacy groups have achieved some expansive and ground-breaking settlements in the digital and alternate media worlds, as well as with regard to students with mental health disabilities. The “condition, manner, or duration” requirements of the ADAAA, primarily meant to help students with learning disabilities and AD/HD secure accommodations on high stakes tests, are finally getting full recognition by the courts. AHEAD’s legal experts will analyze ten court cases and OCR letters from the past year of great significance to AHEAD members.


B.2:  Leadership Up, Down and All Around
Adam Meyer, University of Central Florida

During this brisk moving, highly interactive session with periods of small group conversation, we will analyze these four areas of leadership: 1) What is leadership and how to potentially define it? 2) What are critical internal perspectives and approaches to being an effective leader? 3) Ideas for supervising people effectively. 4) Ideas for managing your boss effectively. The goal of the session is to provide foundational concepts to further your leadership journey regardless of your current title.


B.3:  Dissecting Decisions in the Health Sciences: A Review of Three Case Studies
Jan Serrantino, Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education
Lisa Meeks, University of Michigan, School of Medicine

Using a modified version of problem-based learning (PBL) participants will work in small groups to address three health science cases (beginning to advanced). Through the review, participants will address reasonable accommodations, fundamental alteration of the program, ability to meet program technical standards and determine when a student is “not otherwise qualified.”


B.4: Bridging the Gap between College and STEM Careers
Michelle Maybaum, Desiderata HR Consulting
Marcia Kolvitz, DeafTEC

The transition from college to career isn’t always easy. However, internships and co-op positions can help college students – especially those in STEM areas -- gain much-needed experience in real-world settings. It also gives employers an opportunity to know potential career employees as they look to expand their workforce. The panelists, representing Disability Services, employers, and former co-op students, will discuss topics related to transition to employment and accessibility in STEM careers.

B.5: What Do We Do Now? Using Accessibility Data and Lessons Learned to Improve Online Courses
Kelly Hermann, University of Phoenix
Daja McCleve, University of Phoenix

There has been a lot of discussion about what happens before and while a student with a disability takes an online course, but what happens after the course? We will take a look at how one university closes the loop with instructional design and faculty to use accessibility information to improve future course accessibility and student outcomes.

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Block 2

Thursday, July 23
11:00 am - 12:30 pm

2.1: Let's Talk: Captioned Media!
Stephanie Zito, National Deaf Center
Lauren Kinast, National Deaf Center

The National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) frequently fields questions about providing captioned media services from higher education disability services professionals. This session will address common questions including: how to establish campus-wide captioned media policies, how copyright laws impact accessibility laws (and vice versa), and how to approach coordinating captioned media requests. Using an open forum dialog, presenters will share case studies to discuss strategies for navigating captioned media.


2.2:  A Comprehensive Look at Note-Taking Accommodations: From Coordination through Technology
Paul Harwell, Purdue University

Note-taking is among the most commonly requested accommodations in higher education. Traditionally, it has been addressed through peer notes; however, there are numerous ways to support students whose disabilities impact their independent note-taking skills. We will discuss research, best practices, policies and procedures, and assistive technologies.


2.3:  Ready to Learn: Supporting Access to Accommodations for Students with Intellectual Disability in Higher Education
Cate Weir, ICI, UMass Boston
Clare Papay, ICI, UMass Boston
Michelle Mitchell, Lehigh Community College

Students with intellectual disability have access to higher education at more than 275 institutions of higher education in the U.S. Yet disability service professionals may lack the knowledge and resources they need to be able to effectively support these students. This session gives an overview of academic accommodations that can be used by disability service professionals to support students with ID in accessing college/university classes and provides strategies to build partnerships and capacity on campus to support student success, whether those students are attending a special certificate program or accessing individual classes.

2.4:  Three Campuses, One Goal: Addressing Institutional Barriers and Fostering Access and Equity for College Students with Autism Who Are Minimally Speaking
Valeri Cirino-Paez, California State Channel Islands
Dillian Barmache, California Lutheran University
Samuel Capozzi, California State University - Channel Islands
Emily Faith Grodin, Los Angeles Valley College
Edlyn Vallejo Pena, California Lutheran University
Talar Touloumdjian, Los Angeles Valley College

Autistic students who communicate using assistive technology are increasingly enrolling in 2 and 4-year colleges. However, they continue to face institutional barriers as they transition and persist in postsecondary programs. This presentation uses video clips of three student presenters who share their experiences and barriers for participants to solve and offer their perspectives on how to rectify barriers. By engaging in these interactive case studies, disability support personnel will become equipped with strategies to create equitable opportunities that foster an inclusive campus climate for this growing college student population.

2.5:  Research Briefs- Learn about three research studies relevant to higher education disability services and their implications for practice.

  1. Self-Determination of Students with Disabilities in their First Year at College
    Bridget Green, Duquesne University

    Students with disabilities are attending college at increased rates. Little data has been collected on students who self-identify as having a disability and their intentions for seeking university-related support services. Using a conceptual framework of self-determination, this presentation will review CIRP data from first-time college students with self-reported disabilities to discuss the prevalence of disability at college, intentions for seeking help across campus, and their feelings during classes.


  1. "I Didn't Want to Fight with a Professor:" How College Students Discuss Accommodations and How We Can Move Towards More Equitable Approaches to Access
    Justin Freedman, Rowan University
    Casey Woodfield, Rowan University

    This presentation provides insight into how college students advocate for disability-related accommodations. Students participated in a simulated meeting to discuss accommodations with an actor-portrayed professor. Group and individual reflections followed the meeting, including students watching and discussing a video recording of the simulated meeting The results provide unique insight into how students respond when they encounter barriers to accessing their accommodations. Further, the results suggest simulated meetings can provide a low-risk opportunity for students to practice self-advocacy.


  1. Exploring the Impact of Perceptions of Faculty Support and Bias on Students with Learning Disabilities
    Carolyn Corbran, Fordham and Seton Hall

    This session will review the results of the presenter’s dissertation study where interviews were conducted with college and graduate students at several institutions exploring their experiences with both supportive and unsupportive faculty when accessing their accommodations in their courses.  Students shared powerful messages related to how these experiences with their faculty members influenced their self-efficacy, study strategies, and motivation in their courses in both positive and negative ways.  This study has been transformative for the presenter in terms of how she engages with her students seeking accommodations.  Implications for practice for disability support services providers will be discussed.


2.6:  Who IS an Otherwise Qualified Student with a Disability?
Jane Jarrow, Disability Access Info and Support

Who is an "otherwise qualified person with a disability?" We recognize that phrase from the Section 504 regulations that promise such an individual will not be subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability. But what does "otherwise qualified" mean? It must be there for a reason. Otherwise, the regs would simply require that we give anyone with a diagnosed disability services (as is done in the K-12 system). This session will explore both the meaning of that terminology and the practical application of that concept in our work.

2.7:  The Black Panthers, the Butterfly Brigade, and the United Farm Workers of America: Their Role in the Disability Rights Movement
Jamie Axelrod, Northern Arizona University
Paul Grossman, Hastings College of Law

The Section 504 sit-in is a watershed moment for disability rights. It is still the longest occupation of a federal building in U.S. history. Its success was due to a broad coalition of civil rights organizations. In the end it was the participation and support of African-American, LGBTQ, Latin, and multiple other civil rights organizations which made it possible for the 504 sit-in to succeed.

2.8:  Critical Conversations: Sex Ed, Title IX, and Disability on a College Campus
Cate Smith, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Anna Ward, Appalachian State University
Rebekah Cummings, Appalachian State University

All institutions of higher education are tasked with meeting the needs of a diverse community, including those with disabilities. To meet these diverse needs, stakeholders must engage in conversations around issues of gender identity, sexuality, and relationships as they impact students with disabilities. Creating an inclusive postsecondary experience includes the need to design policies that address young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who may have been excluded from previous sexual health conversations and education. This session will provide information on our evolving approaches to these topics and allow for question and answer opportunities.


2.9:  Research Year in Review
Sally Scott, AHEAD
Nicole Ofiesh, Potentia Institute 21
Manju Banerjee, Landmark College

What's happening in research related to disability access in postsecondary education, and why do you need to know? Join our panel of expert researchers as they share their top picks of recent research that matters most to our work in disability resource offices. They will highlight implications for practice and allow time for questions and discussion.


2.10:  Cultural Implications and Multicultural Competencies in Working with Latino Students with Disabilities
Vivian Hardison, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Stacie Robertson, California State University, San Bernardino

To improve the services provided to Latino populations, this presentation will address issues on cultural beliefs regarding disability, collectivist views regarding family responsibility, culturally competent rapport building, and multicultural competencies. Focusing on the importance of culturally competent counselors and culturally integrated services, our presentation will address the concepts of culture and "familismo" when working with Latino students with disabilities. Known barriers to working with Latino students with disabilities and how to combat these barriers will be covered, as well as intervention strategies that integrate Latino cultural values, beliefs, and practices.


2.11:  The Documentation Disconnect: Are LD Students in Public Schools Getting the Documentation Needed for High Stakes Tests and Postsecondary Education?
Manju Banerjee, Landmark College
Monica McHale-Small, Learning Disabilities Association of America, Temple University
JoAnna Barnes, Learning Disabilities Association of America

The recent college admissions scandal brought to national attention the issue of documentation of disability for the purpose of accommodations on high stakes assessments and in the postsecondary setting. While there may be a small number of individuals who have been able to scam the system, the bigger scandal may be that public school students are not always provided quality or timely evaluations and documentation. For students with learning disabilities, access to higher education requires proper documentation. Do public schools students have equal access to the necessary documentation? What are the components of a quality evaluation, and what documentation is needed? What about districts using RTI (Response to Intervention) for SLD (specific learning disability) evaluations?


2.12:  Learning from Each Other: Developing an Effective Peer Mentoring Program for Students with Disablities to Facilitate Access and Community
Ryan McCombs, Purdue University
Jennifer Biggers, University of California Riverside

In order to independently and successfully navigate college, students with disabilities need to hone their skills to navigate what can sometimes be an inaccessible or non-inclusive environment. Peer Mentor Programs at Purdue University and the University of California, Riverside are examples of programming initiatives designed to support a student’s transition to college. Participants will learn how to establish an enriching peer mentoring program for students with disabilities. Participants will have the opportunity to learn strategies for recruitment, training, leadership development, and data collection. Participants will hear from a student panel about the benefits of their participation in the program.

2.13:  Essential Assistive Technology Tools to Add to Your Toolbox
Rachel Kruzel, Texthelp

The field of assistive technology is constantly changing, and disability resource providers are being encouraged to use these tools whenever possible as a method of accommodation provision. As a result, knowing common assistive technology tools used to provide accommodations to students, as well as cutting edge ones just hitting the market, is essential for any disability resource provider. This session will provide demonstration and discussion of common tools, free and low-cost options, as well as tools to keep one’s eye on as they begin to enter our market and the way we support students. Attendees will leave with countless tools to fill their AT Toolbox and bring back to their campuses for immediate implementation with students.

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Block 3

Thursday, July 23
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

3.1: Institutionalizing Advance Planning of Accessible Instructional Materials
Stephanie D. Dawson, Miami University - Oxford, Ohio

Advance planning and collaboration between students, faculty, DS providers, and alt format producers is essential to ensure timely delivery of accessible instructional materials. Campuses can foster a more inclusive culture through implementation of structured processes that engage stakeholders in advance planning. This session will share one university's experience with institutionalizing a proactive approach to preparing accessible instructional materials for students with vision and hearing disabilities.

3.2:  Opening Doors and Trading Places: Survival Guide for Campus Collaboration
Michelle Shaw, Florida Atlantic University
Carissa Taylor, Muskingum University

Are you dealing with faculty who push back on accessibility in the classroom? We will share research-backed strategies to improve communication between Disability Services and faculty and staff. Learn strategies for educating faculty about the need for accommodations and helping them understand the how, what and when. We’ll discuss effective communication techniques: picking your battles, being proactive, meeting faculty in their space, and talking so faculty will listen.


3.3:  Lessons Learned from the First Year as a Disability Services Leader
Kevin McCracken, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
Myeshia Smith, Trinity University

This interactive session will draw upon the wisdom of the presenters and participants. Participants will leave with a list of “lessons learned,” materials for creating a prioritization grid, and contact information for participants in their discussion group. In addition, they will receive a list of tasks one might complete during the first year in a leadership position.

3.4:  Mentoring University Students with Autism: Experiences of Mentors and Mentees
Tara Rowe, University of North Florida
Tyler Charles, University of North Florida
Kendall Haselwood, University of North Florida
Nicole Coplin, University of North Florida

The use of peer mentors can improve both student engagement and academic performance in higher education. Transition to Health, Resources, Independence, Vocation, and Education (THRIVE) is a support program for degree-seeking students with Autism Spectum Disorder (ASD) at the University of North Florida offered through the campus Disability Resource Center (DRC). THRIVE was developed to target nonacademic areas needed to increase academic progress rates (APR) for students with ASD. THRIVE provides support in key areas, including independent living, social communication, career development, and executive functioning. THRIVE mentors are trained and certified to support program participants. Current mentors and students will share benefits and experiences of mentoring. Recommendations and strategies for developing similar mentor programs will be explored by the program director.

3.5:  Research Briefs- Learn about two research studies relevant to higher education disability services and their implications for practice.

  1. From Research to Practice: A Strategic Planning System for Postsecondary Education ProgramsBridget Paula Kohler, University of Central Florida
    Janice Seabrooks-Blackmore, University of Central Florida
    Drew Andrews, University of Central Florida

    Through innovative legislation, Florida provides supports for postsecondary education (PSE) programs for students with intellectual disabilities across the state, including the Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities. We foster program development in universities, colleges, and career technical education centers. We describe how we identified evidence-based and promising practices regarding postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities and integrated that information into a strategic planning process and a Team Planning Tool for program development.


  1. Academic Attendants for ASD: A Decade of Data
    Jamie Penner, University of Manitoba

    The academic attendant program is designed to provide students with assistance on campus, in and out of the classroom. It has been running successfully at the University of Manitoba for a decade. The presentation will highlight the duties of the Attendant, review the training and hiring process, discuss the growth of the program with some statistics on its usage and success rates of participants and share the strengths and weaknesses and hoped-for goals in the next 10 years.

3.6:  Just What are Your Effective Communications Obligations
William Goren, Esq., of William D. Goren

Regardless of whether you are covered by Section 504 to Rehabilitation Act, Title II, or Title III of the ADA, you have effective communication obligations. In this session, we will discuss what those obligations are and, how they differ depending upon the type of entity you are.

3.7:  Tutoring with Technology: Say Goodbye to Pen and Paper
Ann Hager, University of Rochester/National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Kelly Metz-Davis, University of Rochester/National Technical Institute for the Deaf

Today’s college students use their cell phones, tablets, and laptops to read their textbooks, do their online homework, participate in group project assignments and conduct research to complete any number of assignments. As tutors, we have long utilized a variety of teaching and learning strategies which traditionally have been demonstrated through visual examples on a white board or by pen and paper….until now. We will demonstrate the innovative use of iPad technology with the Notability App to show how it has effectively reinforced the student learning process for Deaf and hard of hearing students at the postsecondary level.

3.8:  A Partnership: Disability Support and Housing
Lindsay Northup-Moore, American University
Nicole Nowinski, American University
Christopher Silva, American University
Schuyler Asman, American University

Disability Support and Housing offices should have a natural partnership; however, this relationship is not always as collegial and collaborative as it could be. This presentation will provide inside information from housing professionals and tips from disability professionals on how to build a partnership that enhances the student experience. The presenters will take attendees through their holistic approach and discuss upcoming housing needs that both offices should consider proactively.


3.9:  Student-to-Staff Ratios: Caseload Benchmarking and Budget Advocacy for Disability Services
Kirsten Brown, Edgewood College
Autumn Wilke, Grinnell College
Maria Pena, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Student-to-staff ratio (caseload) is a metric used to justify budgetary requests. In this session, we present caseload data for disability professionals using a random, national sample. We disaggregate this data by institution type, enrollment size, reporting structure, office size, and AHEAD membership. Then, we discuss, from a social justice perspective, why caseload can be problematic as a metric of practitioner workload. Finally, disability leaders from public research and private liberal arts institutions describe seven budgetary strategies they employ to use caseload metrics, in combination with other data-driven tools, to advocate for socially just staffing practices.


3.10: Working with First Generation/Low Income Students with Disabilities: Guidance for Staff at Private Institutions
Robyn Bahr, Harvard University
Grace Moskola, Harvard University

Many private and elite colleges are striving to welcome more students from across the socioeconomic spectrum; however, institutions often struggle to adapt their environments to the unique needs of students from low-income households. Students with disabilities who come from these backgrounds experience difficulties accessing healthcare and support before attending college, thus putting them at a distinct disadvantage when seeking accommodations. Learn more about how Harvard College’s accessibility office addresses the challenges these first generation and low-income students face and how you can apply this to your program.


3.11:  Top 10 Tricks for an Accessible Online Class
Christine Scherer, Northwestern University

Accessibility is crucial across campus, including in the digital realm. But many disability resource staff aren't trained in the technical side of accessibility-- and many IT staff aren't aware of the importance of accessibility and assistive technology. This presentation seeks to bridge the gap with ten simple steps that anyone can implement. From process to planning to the details of heading tags, attendees will leave with knowledge of how to make an online course site an accessible and welcoming experience for all students.


3.12: Confidentiality in the Disability Resource Office
Elisa Laird, Samuel Merritt University

While FERPA gives us permission to share information on a “need to know basis,” how do we determine what to share and with whom? How do we address a student’s hesitation to use accommodations for fear that classmates or instructors will find out about their disability, or respond to a faculty member who believes she needs detailed information about a student’s disability to understand the need for accommodation, or respond to administrators who ask for list of students with psychological disabilities to proactively address campus safety out of unwarranted fear and misunderstanding? Participants will leave with an understanding of the confidentiality principles that inform our work.

3.13:  Service Animal Policing: The slippery slope from Enforcement to Harassment
Patricia Kepler, Portland Community College
Robert Wendler, Custom Canines
Phyllis Petteys, Portland Community College

Is your school experiencing a rise in students being accompanied by less traditional service dogs? We all know about dogs that guide the blind, assist people utilizing mobility devices, and assist those who are deaf. But exactly how do dogs accompanying people with invisible disabilities work? How do we make sure they are legitimate? This workshop focuses on dogs trained to assist people with invisible disabilities and discusses the additional barriers often imposed by well-meaning college staff.

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Block 4

Thursday, July 23
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

4.1: Testing PDFs for Accessibility and Standards Conformance
Paul Rayius, Florida State University

In this session, attendees will increase their understanding of the PDF accessibility standards and requirements, compare three of the most popular PDF testing tools, and learn where automation can fit into the workflow.

4.2:  Explaining Extended Test Time to Concerned Faculty Members
Nicole Ofiesh, Potentia Institute 21

There are still faculty members who resist or resent providing extended test time to students with disabilities. Using research findings, we will take a critical look at common misperceptions about extended time, including the beliefs that everyone would do better with more time, that the need for more time suggests a lack of content mastery, and that faster means better and smarter. Strategies for working with resistant faculty by unpacking their concerns, focusing on the purpose of testing, and problematizing test design will be discussed. Understanding the science of the brain and how time can ameliorate the impact of a variety of conditions will provide participants with tools for addressing faculty concerns.


4.3:  Mental Health Accommodations Utilizing AHEAD's Documentation Guidelines
Don Pool, Jamestown Community College

With the growing number of students identifying with mental health challenges, many disability service professionals are overwhelmed and under-prepared to determine appropriate accommodations for these barriers. This session will address those concerns and give participants some of the tools they need to work with students with mental health diagnoses.

4.4:  In Their Own Words: College Students on the Autism Spectrum
Jane Thierfeld Brown, Yale Child Study, Yale Medical School

We often hear from "experts" about issues for students with autism. Let's hear directly from the people experiencing our campuses, the true experts. Students from various majors and with varying years of college experience will enlighten us with their views of college.

4.5:  Compassion Fatigue: Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired?
Karen Andrews, University of California Irvine
Frances Diaz, University of California-Irvine

As advocates dedicated to accessibility, our work is rooted in empathy, care and compassion. With increasing demands, limited resources and an influx of need, the ability to remain fully present in the work without impact is impossible. Compassion fatigue, often associated with health care providers working with trauma, is gaining attention in higher education disability services professionals. This program provides broad understanding of compassion fatigue and shares strategies to mitigate impact and reduce burnout and turnover.

4.6:  Identifying and Removing Barriers to Access: Using a Framework to Guide Considerations of Complex Requests
Adam Meyer, University of Central Florida
Jamie Axelrod, Northern Arizona University

When more complex requests, such as extended time for deadlines, are presented to us, it can be difficult to know how to assess the reasonableness of the request. Much time can be spent analyzing how to proceed. In the end, how do we know if the accommodation will actually address and remove the barrier? In this session, thoughts to this question will be explored along with a framework for how to consider these challenging requests. The extended time for deadlines accommodation will be used within the proposed framework as a concrete way to consider the reasonableness of an accommodation request. While the framework is not meant to be a checklist, using a structured approach can increase confidence in decisions made.

4.7:  Meeting the Student Veteran with Disabilities Where They Are: A Collaborative Campus Resource Presentation
Hira Byrne Paulin, Rochester Institute of Technology
Kimberly Bell, Norco College
Terence Nelson, Saddleback College
Mike Sauter, Saddleback College
Donna Lange, Rochester Institute of Technology

Meeting every student veteran where they are is crucial to their success. It is imperative to understand a student veteran’s connection to military culture when addressing acquired disabilities and learning. Three institutions share the programs they have created to specifically address the experiences of student veterans with disabilities. Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) shares information on a professional development focused on student veteran data and universal design practices to address barriers to learning. Saddleback College shares a student development course dedicated the student veteran transition experience into the classroom. Norco College shares their 9 Line Project, a disability support program specifically designed to be approachable to student veterans.

4.8:  Cultural Change Through Purposeful Disability Programming
Ryan McCombs, Purdue University
Julie Alexander, Purdue University
Amanda Bell, Purdue University
James Marconi, Ball State University
Margaret Fink, University of Illinois at Chicago
Lily Diego-Johnson, University of Illinois at Chicago

As disability in higher education professionals, our job is to identify barriers and create solutions to those barriers. We do this daily in practical ways. This is most commonly seen with classroom accommodations or working directly with campus housing, dining, and parking. The barriers that often go unaddressed are attitudinal barriers. Every day, students face stigma that is more disabling than environmental designs that create the need for accommodation. We can address these attitudes one-on-one when we encounter them, but we also have a responsibility to proactively address barriers to inclusion. This panel presentation will address the importance of purposeful disability programming to the overall mission of disability resource offices.


4.9:  From Classroom to Dorm Room: Serving Survivors of Sexual Assault with Disabilities
Kaitlin Shetler, Vera Institute of Justice

Student survivors of sexual assault with disabilities remain largely invisible to campus organizations and systems designed to support survivors. This session will explore the unique dynamics of sexual assault of students with disabilities, discuss common barriers that survivors with disabilities experience when accessing support and healing from campus programs and services, and provide tools for bridging the gap between the disability services office and the Title IX office. This session will offer key considerations and practical suggestions staff and faculty can use to create more accessible, welcoming, and inclusive services for survivors with disabilities.


4.10: Small Victories: Helping Students with Disabilities Embrace Their Identities and Empower Themselves
Cort Schneider, Queens University of Charlotte

This presentation will articulate an approach that embraces the idea that disability is a shared cultural identity. The paradigm that views disability as a cultural identity can help disability services professionals reframe disability for students and help students with disabilities embrace their identities.


4.11:  Transition Is a Journey: Supporting Students as They Chart Their Course
Robert Plienis, Educational Testing Service
Courtney Jarrett, Ball State University
Nora Pollard, Educational Testing Service
Larry Markle, The Gregory S. Fehribach Center at Eskenazi Health

Transition often represents an opportunity for growth, but transition can be difficult, scary, and downright overwhelming for students with disabilities (and their parents). Many questions arise as students move from high school to college and from college to graduate school and/or employment. Our ability to assist students as they encounter transition points is often determined by our own professional experience. What can we do as professionals to better prepare students for success? This panel presentation will discuss transition points for students with disabilities from high school all the way to employment with the goal of educating professionals so they are equipped to be the best possible resource for students.


4.12: Harness your Coaching Superpower to Build Leadership Skills and Strengthen Relationships
Christina Fabrey, Prescott College
Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, JST Coaching and Training

Do you ever walk away from a meeting and wonder what would have made the outcome more successful? Have you felt that you "played small" when advocating for a student or expressing your opinion with colleagues and supervisors? You are not alone! Managing difficult situations takes leadership skills to strengthen relationships while you defend your position in an appropriate and professional manner. Coaching skills are beneficial in all crucial conversations with colleagues, direct reports, campus stakeholders and management. In this session, the presenters will share coaching "superpowers" that can be harnessed by directors and providers to use when in difficult conversations in both intradepartmental and interdepartmental situations.

4.13:  Disability Studies Academics, Access, and Accommodation as Activism and Leadership
Joanne Woiak, University of Washington; Society for Disability Studies
Sara Acevedo, Miami University of Ohio
Matthew Wangeman, Northern Arizona University
Holly Pearson, Florida State University

Disability studies and disability student services each arose from collective action that includes political activism, academic research, and teaching. This presentation gathers together a diverse panel of past and present Society for Disability Studies Board members and leaders to discuss how disability studies faculty and disability services leaders work together to benefit the experiences of all people on campus now and into the future. Come join the conversation.

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Block 5

Friday, July 24
9:00 am - 10:00 am

5.1: Transitioning AT Test Accommodations from the Classroom to the High Stakes Test Environment
Debbie Bergtholdt, Pearson VUE
Brad Held, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Testing accommodations in the college setting include many accessible technologies, such as speech to text, screen readers, and magnification. However, when students transition to high stakes certification exams, these assistive technologies may or may not be available. We will discuss the AT, why it may not be an option on high stakes tests, and options for accommodations that will provide a similar candidate experience.

5.2:  Students with Disabilities: Ensuring Equal Access and Upholding Standards of Practice
Lisa Meeks, University of Michigan

Students with disabilities (SWD) are an emerging population in health science education. This talk will challenge the audience to “reframe” disability, recognize the benefits of SWD, “bust” the most prevailing myths, and demonstrate how SWD can meet the competencies of health science programs in a safe and effective manner.


5.3:  Inclusive Emergency Preparedness: Partnership to Prepare
Anne Marie McLaughlin, New York University

From severe weather to active threat preparedness, university campuses are increasingly focused on threats and hazards. How can disabilities professionals help campus authorities engage in planning that is inclusive of the whole community? This presentation will provide some examples of collaboration including outreach materials, training topics, and an inclusive active threat video developed by New York University.

5.4:  Collaborative Opportunities between Disability Services and Housing: How University Students with ASD can Benefit from Living Learning Communities
Tara Rowe, University of North Florida

Living on campus can provide additional opportunities for students to engage in campus activities. However, for students with autism (ASD), living on campus can also present significant challenges which can lead to isolation, depression, anxiety, and behavior concerns. Transition to Health, Resources, Independence, Vocation, and Education (THRIVE) is a cost-free, supplemental support program offered to students with ASD (Rowe, 2019). THRIVE has partnered with housing and residence life administration to create a unique Living Learning Community for THRIVE students living on campus. With the support of peer-mentors, and other program support, THRIVE students are able to fully engage on campus with neurotypical peers.

5.5:  Research Briefs- Two researchers share their research on students with autism and discuss its implications.

  1. Academic and Social Supports in University Programs for Bachelor's Degree-Seeking College Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Daniel Greenberg, University of Minnesota

    This presentation highlights the findings from a dissertation study completed on the experiences of bachelor’s degree-seeking undergraduate students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) participating in targeted support and transition programs for students with ASD at American universities. The study centers on an examination of the relationship between students’ use of academic and social supports offered by their transition and support programs, students’ perceptions of the helpfulness of categories of those supports, and students' overall adaptation to college. Program structures and analyses of results from an online survey of twenty students will be considered.


  1. From the Source: Understanding the Needs of College Students with Autism
    Jessica Monahan, University of Delaware
    Brian Freedman, University of Delaware
    Pam Lubbers, University of Delaware

    There is a growing presence of students identifying as autistic on college campuses. There remains little research documenting common needs, challenges, and helpful resources. The University of Delaware conducted a survey of current students with autism in preparation for developing a comprehensive support system. Twenty-two students shared quantitative and qualitative information about their experience. Some supports (e.g., tutoring) were found to be more helpful than others (e.g., counseling center). Students also identified common challenges (e.g., noise in residence) and concerns (e.g., lack of awareness among professors). Opportunities for improved campus collaboration and building stronger support systems will be discussed.

5.6:  Workplace Accommodations: Are The Different?
L. Scott Lissner, The Ohio State University

Disability resource offices are often asked questions about workplace accommodations, especially in student employment situations. Join us for a discussion of the pros and cons of the various roles a disability resource office can play in employment accommodations: no role, advisory, technical assistance, decision-maker, case manager. Our discussion of these different roles will set the stage for an examination of the similarities and differences between program accommodations and employment accommodations. We will consider reasonable accommodations across the range of employment including volunteers, work study, graduate assistants, staff, and faculty.

5.7: Using Lightboard Studio Concept to Breathe Life into the Classroom
Kelly Metz Davis, Rochester Inst of Technology

How can static topics be brought to life with Lightboard Studio Concepts in classrooms with Deaf or Hard of Hearing students? This equipment is cutting edge, state of the art, dynamic, and a game changer in the academic world. It allows educators to teach and demonstrate topics that may seem difficult to convey in an online/flipped classroom by changing the way we teach. It also provides the ability to make class materials accessible to those with/without disabilities at any time.

5.8:  Disability Services and Student Vets: Building Bridges to Success
Michelle Resnick, California State University Channel Islands
Jay Derrico, California State University Channel Islands
Bonnie Landau, California State University Channel Islands

This program showcases how an innovative partnership between Veteran's Affairs and Disability Accommodations and Support Services (DASS) can have a positive impact on a student population in great need of support. In a joint effort to confront barriers to success, Veteran's Affairs and DASS have been piloting a program based on a research-based public health model to help build bridges to success for student veterans. Through this collaboration, we have been able to the bring power of our joint expertise to confront barriers and build bridges to student success.


5.9:  Courage, Change Agent, and Daring to Lead: Working Toward Inclusion of Disabled Individuals Campus-wide
Enjie Hall, University of Toledo

Whether we lead a team of disability resource professionals or are the lone voice for disability access on campus, it takes courage to be an advocate and change agent. If neither your title nor status holds the key for effective change, what is the formula for making an impact? Come learn and discuss how to lead with courage based on concepts from Dare to Lead by Dr. Brene Brown and guidance from other authors. This presentation will include everyday examples of interactions you can use to advocate for and implement disability access, inclusion, and equity.


5.10: The Last Bastion of Prejudice: Students of Size
Maria Pena, University of Nevada Las Vegas

Students of size are entitled to accommodation. Not because it is legally mandated (technically, the courts vacillate on this issue, and the ADA affords protection only if the obesity is as a result of another illness or disability), but because it is ethical from a social justice perspective. How can we best accommodate students of size so they are not forced out of college due to a lack of accommodations and services to support their access? This presentation will address the barriers these students face and offer solutions.


5.11:  iPhones and WiFi, Oh My! Disability Management for the Next Generation: Gen Z
Alison Luke, University of California San Diego
Alejandra Cervantes, University of California San Diego
Kimberly Herold, University of California San Diego

Disability Service professionals now interact with a different generation of students. Gen Z students bring with them a unique set of positive qualities, as well as challenges for disability service professionals. We need to better understand these students and how to best support them during their college years. During this presentation, we will highlight the distinctive traits of Gen Z students and discuss how Gen Z students differ from previous generations, such as Millennials or Gen Y. We will discuss pain points in our interactions with Gen Z students and best practices in working with and supporting this new generation of students.


5.12: Student with Anxiety and Disability
Jo Anne Simon, New York Assembly

A growing number of disability resource offices report that most of their new requests for accommodations come from students with anxiety-related conditions. However, these students are often not approved for accommodations or recognized as “disabled” because they have no documentation or established history of clinical anxiety. Since the primary age of onset of mental health conditions is between the ages of 17 to 25, students may arrive on our campuses without a formal history or first begin to develop symptoms while studying at our institutions. When do students with mental health conditions become eligible for accommodations, and what information is needed to establish a need? Join us to explore this growing area of request.

5.13:  Tips for Promoting Accessible IT Campus-wide Within the Context of a Universal Design Framework
Sheryl Burgstahler, University of Washington

Universal design (UD) has emerged as a paradigm to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the design of a broad range of applications that include technology, physical spaces, instruction, and student services. Engage with the speaker and other participants in discussion of how promoting the UD paradigm in all aspects of campus life can influence the expectation that technology procured, developed, and used on campus will be accessible.

5.14:  The Accessibility Scavenger Hunt
Lauren Copeland-Glenn, Northern Arizona University

Can accessibility be improved on your campus? Would you like to engage facilities professionals in productive conversations about campus accessibility? Are you looking for an alternative to disability simulations for your student groups and faculty? The Accessibility Scavenger Hunt (ASH) offers you a template for designing an experience at your campus to address these questions. As part of the ASH, you and a group, including individuals with disabilities, will explore spaces and features in and around the conference site for the degree to which they enable or constrain individuals with disabilities. Following the exploration, you will participate in a conversation to process the experience with your colleagues. An integral element of the ASH is the participation of individuals with disabilities in these explorations, offering personal perspectives from lived experiences…not the presumed experiences that often result from simulations. Bring your phone so that you can tweet images and comments to discuss after the exploration!

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Block 6

Friday, July 24
11:30 am - 12:30 pm

6.1: Phone Apps for Student Success
Tayler Nichols, San Diego City College

The presenter will present a live demonstration of phone apps that can help college students with disabilities. Individuals will gain knowledge about and the use of phone apps. The presenter will provide information and a guide to how to use phone apps that are free and low-cost for college students with disabilities. Participants will have a greater understanding of how to use phone apps to aid students in college.

6.2:  Results from a Survey to Measure the Benefits of Accessibility and Universal Design Topics in Course Curricula
Howard Kramer, AHEAD

This presentation will share the results from a national survey conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder to gauge the student benefits of taking accessibility and universal design topics in post-secondary courses into account.

6.3:  Collaborative Strategies for Creating Accessible Open Educational Resources: Materials with Low Impact on Accessibility Service Officies' Resources
Jason Altmann, Harper College
Robert Uhren, Harper College

In response to an ongoing demand to provide affordable class content for students in higher education, an increasing number of community colleges are adopting "open educational resources" (OER) as an opportunity to provide faculty members with an ability to develop and create their own instructional materials in a digital format. We will provide effective strategies for working with administrators, faculty members, and other stakeholders to ensure that OER materials are readily accessible with minimal impact on the accessibility service office's resources.

6.4:  Think Like a Business and Other Lessons Learned: Internship Programming for Students with ASD
Jamilah Anderson, George Mason University
Linn Jorgenson, George Mason University

Successfully persuading students to add relevant work opportunities to their already busy academic schedules in order to develop career-related skills and build their resumes is no easy feat. However, the world of competitive employment expects it. This session will focus on the successes, pitfalls, and lessons learned in developing workplace readiness programming and supportive business partnerships in George Mason University's autism support program, MASI (Mason Autism Support Initiative). As we share our own ideas and experiences, we invite participants to share their own and contribute to the developing best practices in this work.

6.5:  Research Briefs- Two researchers share their research on students with autism and discuss its implications.

  1. When You Think You Know: Restorative Justice Between a Faculty Member and a Student
    Lissa Stapleton, California State University Northrdige
    Donna Duarte, San Diego State University

    Most students enter classrooms assuming their learning spaces will be fully accessible. However, this is often not the case for students with disabilities. Using Scholarly Personal Narrative methodology and Restorative Justice principles, we focus on the narratives, conflict, and healing between a first-year Black female hearing assistant professor and a Deaf + Jewish student from her class. We will perform three vignettes focusing on the need to be vulnerable when you do not know, the healing possibilities of restorative practices between teachers and students with disabilities, the complex web of intersectional privileged and oppressed identities within the classroom and addressing…When you think you know, but you have no idea!


  1. Few and Far Between: Deaf Faculty of Color at Postsecondary Institutions
    Rezenet Moges-Riedel, CSULB

    This talk will address the lack of Deaf Faculty of Color (DFOC) at predominately hearing and white postsecondary institutions. A growing population of (Deaf) Students of Color at postsecondary institutions across the nation raises the question why the representation of their minoritized identities are not being met with their faculty members. While there are a small number of DFOC, their burden of being a minority is doubled than their peers of a majority at their postsecondary institutions. This burden can jeopardize their chances of being retained in the academy. This talk will cover some concerns about these underserved and underrepresented populations, their intersectionalities and critical theories with Deaf lens.

6.6:  Coming out of the Closet Twice: Disability, Gender, and Sexual Orientation
Maria Pena, University of Nevada Las Vegas

Within the social justice paradigm is the concept of intersectionality. When providing accommodations for postsecondary students with disabilities, it is imperative that disability service providers be conscientious of and sensitive to the diversity of student identities. Knowing how students identify themselves is an important component when engaging in the interactive process. In this session, the presenter will explore differing identities with respect to disability, gender, and sexual orientation.

6.7: Department of One: Creating Campus Partnerships
Allison Fuller, Maryville University

As a department of one and the only individual on campus responsible for providing accommodations and creating an inclusive campus climate for individuals with disabilities, you may feel over your head the majority of the time. How can you manage your time to accomplish your goals? What partnerships are imperative to students' success? What is the best way to delegate, and what can be delegated? How can you develop positions that don't create a financial obligation for your institution? How can you creatively get the support you need? This session will help other "departments of one" creatively navigate a budget-restrictive landscape and provide better support to students.

6.8:  Law Schools Can and Should Do Better For Students with Disabilities: Here is How
Arlene Kanter, Syracuse University
Annette Jenner-Matthews, Syracuse University

Students come to law school with different experiences, abilities, and needs. Law school can be a supportive environment or one in which students doubt themselves and their potential as lawyers. Countering ableism in law school presents many challenges, especially while keeping secret the student's disability identity. Law students have the right (and many choose) to protect the confidentiality of their accommodations, which may be critical to student success in law school, on the bar exam, and in bar admission. This presentation by a law professor and disability services coordinator offers solutions to the many challenges students with disabilities face in securing accommodations, while retaining their anonymity.


6.9:  ADA Coordinators: Campus Structures and Roles Based on the AHEAD 2019 Topical Report
Gabriel Merrell, Oregon State University
Sally Scott, AHEAD, National Center for College Students with Disabilities

We will take a deep dive into the 2019 research report on the roles of ADA Coordinators on college campuses. We will present findings of the survey on structures and reporting lines for ADA Coordinators and share and discuss campus data on structures for serving employees with disabilities, handling ADA/504 grievance procedures, accommodating student employees with disabilities, and more. Come join the conversation, and learn how you can use this data on your own campus.


6.10: Why Disability Service Professionals Belong on Every School’s Behavioral Intervention Team
Jon McGough, Western Washington University

DS professionals play a critical role in supporting students, faculty and staff on Behavioral Intervention Teams (BIT). They are an important asset in navigating ADA compliance, engaging in creative problem solving, and building rapport with neurodiverse students. If you’re already on your institution’s BIT, we’ll name the many roles you can take on. If you’re not, we’ll discuss the many reasons you can share with your administration to get there!


6.11:  But We've Always Done it That Way: Best Practices for Making Big Changes and Getting Campus Buy-In
Norma Kehdi, University of California, Los Angeles
Chris Elquizabal, University of California, Los Angeles

During the past few years, UCLA's Center for Accessible Education has made significant programmatic, policy, and procedural changes. These changes have significantly impacted how campus partners (faculty, staff, student affairs partners, academic partners, etc.) and students engage with the office. The process of making these changes - and more importantly - getting buy-in from constituents was not without its share of challenges. This program will share best practices for facilitating "big" changes: pitfalls to avoid as disability services offices navigate the change process and strategies for getting buy-in from campus partners so changes are rolled out with the least amount of resistance from people on campus who are used to "doing it the way we've always done it" possible.


6.12: In Their Own Words: What Causes and Alleviates Course-Related Stress for Students with Disabilities?
Sue Wick, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Donna Johnson, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Expecting that students with disabilities would have higher levels of course-related stress than other students, we conducted a survey to learn what instructor behaviors and policies prevent or cause unnecessary stress. We asked students how much stress they perceive in all aspects of their life, to what degree course-related stress impacts their total stress level, and to what degree they are managing stress. Of the 661 responses, 116 were from students who identified as having a physical, mental health, or learning disability. While their answers on what caused or prevented unnecessary stress were similar to those of all respondents, students with disabilities report higher overall and course-related stress levels and a lower degree of stress management.

6.13:  Writing for the JPED
Roger Wessel, AHEAD, Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability

Researchers and practitioners in the disability, technological, career, and higher education fields, among others, regularly submit manuscripts to AHEAD's Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability (JPED). This session is designed for those who are considering writing articles. It will include a review of current topics, a description of what the JPED Editorial Board looks for in successful articles, and a walk-through of the manuscript submission process.

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Block 7

Friday, July 24
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

7.1: Not 100% Accessible? Develop an Alternate Access Plan Ahead of Time
Nicolas Crisosto, College of the Desert

Wouldn't we like to believe technology can be made 100% accessible? But there will usually still be a need for accommodations. This does not have to be a barrier for institutions to meet Section 508 accessibility goals and obligations. Instead, each time an institution reviews an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) product, it can be part of a collective effort to reduce the accessibility barriers for students, faculty, and staff, anywhere the product is used. In this session, participants will learn how a product's Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) can help an institution develop an Equally Effective Alternate Access Plan (EEAAP) and ensure the institution is taking steps towards achieving Section 508 compliance.

7.2:  You Can Improve Math Success: Learning Strategies, Apps, Mindfulness, Memory Aids, Workshops, 3-D Accommodation, Co-requisites and Substitutions
Paul Nolting, Hillsborough Community College
Aimee Stubbs, St. Petersburg College

Research says that math and poor strategic learning are the two major reasons students are unsuccessful. Offices can learn how to help students improve math success. Participants will learn math study skills, test anxiety reduction, processing deficits, classroom/3-D accommodations, testing accommodations, and substitution strategies. Participants will also learn how to conduct student workshops, strategies to help students in co-requisite courses, and how to develop individual math success plans. You don’t have to break the bank to provide accommodations. Group discussion and a question and answer period will conclude the presentation.

7.3: The PCC Accessibility Council: Creating Structure to Build Institutional Capacity
Kaela Parks, Portland Community College

In 2015 Portland Community College created an Accessibility Council with defined working groups and lines of accountability as a way to build institutional capacity. This session will provide details around the structure that was put in place, with examples of how this model has promoted more inclusive business practices at scale.

7.4:  Effective Ways to Support Students with Traumatic Brain Injuries: Perspectives from a Provider, Researcher, and Survivor
Emily Tarconish, The University of Connecticut

This session will present strategies and tools to help students experiencing Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI )to deal with a variety of symptoms. As the symptoms of TBI are vast and can affect cognitive, emotional, behavioral, physical, and self-awareness abilities, accommodations, learning strategies, and other tools will be discussed to address each area of impairment. The presenter will discuss a range of possible accommodations and approaches, including cognitive rehabilitation approaches, typical accommodations, assistive and cognitive support technology, self-accommodation strategies, and metacognitive training. She will discuss this content from the her perspective as a researcher, a former disability services provider, and a survivor of a severe TBI herself.

7.5: Getting to "Yes:" Using Alternative Sources of Disability Documentation
Nora Pollard, Educational Testing Service
Loring Brinckerhoff, Educational Testing Service
Morgan Blisard, Educational Testing Service

With over 15,000 requests per year, accommodation requests abound at ETS. Unfortunately, frequently the documentation submitted may not support the need for the requested accommodations. In our endeavors to reduce the burden on test takers requesting accommodations, ETS is now looking at other types of supportive documentation. During this session ETS will discuss these changes to get to "yes" more quickly for students on your campus. A case study will be presented demonstrating the types of alternative supportive documentation that has led to an approval.

7.6:  Service & Assistance Animals in a Changing Landscape
L. Scott Lissner, The Ohio State University

A discussion of the social and legal landscape for service and assistance animals on campus will map the critical contours of a comprehensive campus policy. Short scenarios will highlight documentation; progression from pet to ESA to service animal; exotic animals; balancing conflicts (allergies, fear, religious objections); behavior issues; and animals in different campus environments (residence, classroom, labs, etc.).

7.7: If STEM is the Answer, What Are the Questions?
Michelle Maybaum, Desiderata HR Consulting

Many community college students are now participating in STEM majors, but are they accessible for students with disabilities? A panel of disability services professionals and STEM faculty members will share their experiences and perspectives related to supporting accessibility and Universal Design for Learning in STEM programs. They will address topics such as strategies for access in classrooms and “hands-on” settings, faculty mentoring and/or staff development opportunities, and practical tips for promoting student access and success.

7.8:  ADA Accessibility Issues: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Michelle Shaw, Florida Atlantic University
Jennifer Dandle, University of California San Diego
Jimmy Cong, University of California San Diego

Are you dealing with parts of campus that are not physically accessible? How does this affect student access and services? How can you effectively negotiate with the campus community to make changes for full access? In the presentation you will learn how to identify important partners for addressing inaccessible facilities. Find out about commonly overlooked barriers students may encounter outside of the classroom. Learn how to be proactive and use strategies to empower others to identify and report barriers to access.


7.9:  Framing your Data story for Decision-Making and Advocacy
Ronda Jenson, Northern Arizona University
Linda Thurston, Kansas State University

Having a strong program evaluation can provide disability support professionals with essential data for informing program, policy, and systems-level decision-making. This session will show disability support professional how to tell their program's data story within the context of the ever-changing postsecondary environment and using an approach that is authentic to the voices of multi-stakeholders (students, faculty, and administrators). Using an evaluation framework that has been fine-tuned by the presenters through many years of evaluation, disability, and postsecondary experience, participants will reflect on their own program components and engage in discussion regarding the potential impact of their own data story.


7.10: The Disabled Perspective: Through The Eyes Of Disabled Disability Services Practitioners
Ryan McCombs, Purdue University
Julie Alexander, Purdue University
Amanda Bell, Purdue University
Antonia DeMichiel, University of San Francisco
Margaret Fink, University of Illinois at Chicago
Lily Diego-Johnson, University of Illinois at Chicago

The ability to understand someone’s disabled experience is a fundamental part of working in disability services. While many practitioners have the experience of observing and learning about disability, few know how it feels to be disabled. Currently, research discussing the disabled perspective as it relates to disability services, focuses on the student experience, not the experiences of disabled practitioners working in disability services. In this interactive panel discussion, participants will engage with current disability services practitioners who identify as disabled and how their lived experiences inform their practice.


7.11:  Advancing the Craft of Disability Resources: A Panel Discussion
Tom Thompson, TMLS Consulting
Nicole Ofiesh, Potentia Institute 21
Paul Grossman, Hastings College of Law

Members of a panel of experienced practitioners including a disability ressource administrator, a researcher/educator, and legal educator will discuss the growth and changes in our field: where we've been, where we might go, and how we might get there.


7.12: From Intention to Action and Beyond: Proposing a Retention Program for First-Year Students Dealing with Mental Health Issues
Sara Antunes-Alves, Carlton College
Larry McCloskey, Carleton University
John Meissner, Carleton University

Mental health and retention are two of the biggest challenges facing colleges and universities today. While we are in an era of arguably the greatest mental health awareness yet, our capacity to serve the surge of students demanding mental health services is lagging. FITA, From Intention to Action, is a mental health program to support students on academic warning or who identify as “overwhelmed.” We will provide an overview of student mental health, the efficacy of the FITA program, and the transferability of a FITA-like program to other campuses.

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Block 8

Friday, July 24
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

8.1: Let’s Talk Communication Access: Assistive Listening Devices, Interpreting, and Speech-to-Text Services!
Lauren Kinast, National Deaf Center
Stephanis Zito, National Deaf Center

The National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) frequently fields questions about providing assistive listening devices, interpreting and speech-to-text services (CART, C-Print, and TypeWell). This session will provide responses to commonly asked questions and encourage participants to discuss current practices, strategies, and resources for managing devices and services effectively. Participants will leave with tools designed by NDC to support disability service providers working with a variety of deaf student communication access needs. Join us for this interactive session and let’s work together to enhance accessibility on your campus for deaf students.

8.2:  Beyond Accommodations: Collaborating with Teaching and Learning Centers to Create Accessible and Inclusive Learning Environments for All Students
Emily Shryock, University of Texas at Austin
Adria Battaglia, University of Texas at Austin

As the number of students with disabilities on campuses increases, more proactive approaches are needed to truly shift campus culture and academic environments to expect and anticipate the diverse students who are coming to our campuses. Disability service (DS) offices and teaching and learning centers (TLCs) are uniquely situated on campuses to encourage and support this shift by working with instructors to adopt a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework in the course design process. This presentation will share examples of a UDL collaboration from the University of Texas Austin's DS and TLC that are having a positive impact on creating more accessible and inclusive learning environments for all students.

8.3: Intersections Impacting Two-Year and Community College Students: Embracing strengths, Combating Challenges
Michelle Mitchell, Lehigh Carbon Community College
Everett Deibler, Lehigh Carbon Community College

Come share your perspective in a facilitated discussion on intersectionalities and how they impact students at two-year and community colleges. You will be guided through an experience full of group activities, where we will examine what makes community and two-year college students different from our four-year counterparts; how does the presence of open enrollment impact the environment of a community college; are our populations really that different? As we work through these and many other topics, let’s explore together uncovering the strengths and challenges of our populations and developing personalized strategies for positive change at our institutions, while networking with like-minded individuals to build a network of support.

8.4:  Campus DREAM Chapters: A Guide to Assisting Students in Establishing a Local Chapter
Christy Galatis, Endicott College
Moriah "Mo" John, Merrimack College
Emily Tarconish, University of Connecticut
Richard Allegra, National Center for College Students with Disabilities / AHEAD

Learn what it takes to build a student organization and establish local chapters or affiliates of DREAM on your campus. From the initial proposal to student recruitment to fostering student ownership, hear from student activists, advisors and the pioneers of the early chapters of DREAM as they share their thoughts, ideas, and words of wisdom on establishing these student-run affinity groups.

8.5: Sharing the Load: Developing an Accessibility App Vetting Rubric and Database
Cary Brown, IMS Global
Kelly Hermann, University of Phoenix

The Accessibility Innovation Learning Network of IMS Global has been working to share best practices and pain points related to evaluating tools and content for conformance with accessibility guidelines. And we want to hear from you! This session will be a discussion around accessibility concerns and pain points to help inform our work and a presentation of the work done so far to develop the shared accessibility rubric/database.

8.6:  Individualization, The Interactive Process and Fundamental Alteration
Jamie Axelrod, Northern Arizona University
Paul Grossman, Hastings College of Law

In this session, we will look at three key issues that commonly arise in OCR letters and court cases: individualization, the interactive process, and fundamental alteration determination. It turns out that focusing your office practices on these important concepts will help you make more informed and helpful decisions when working with students and faculty.

8.7: Under Siege from Demanding Stakeholders? How Access/Disability Services Can Remain Cool, Calm, and Collaborative
Neal Lipsitz, College of the Holy Cross
Eileen Berger, Harvard University
Michael Berger, Simmons University

This session presents a user-friendly model that helps access/disability services staff maintain perspective and professionalism and provide effective service delivery, satisfying students with disabilities, faculty, administrators, staff, and parents in the context of a demanding work environment. The model, developed by the presenters, offers an empirically-based framework that encourages collaborative practices promoting inclusion and equity in the classroom, administrative offices, and community.

8.8:  Let's Talk About Sex: The importance of Sex and Disability Discussions in Higher Education
Jessica Guess, University of Cincinnati
Cole Eskridge, University of Arizona

As folks who work in higher education, we can't deny that conversations around relationships, consent, and sexuality happen every day. Yet, how many campuses create programs that center the disability community or are disability-inclusive? As disability professionals, we are in strategic positions to support disabled students as they engage in conversations they have likely not had access to before. This presentation will be a space where we all can explore possibilities to host sexuality programming and/or connect students to relevant supports. We will also share and discuss a collection of digital resources designed to support participant conversations and help with creating collaborations on their own campuses.


8.9:  Academic Ableism and Higher Education's Debt to (Dis)Abled Bodyminds
Brittany Gregg, The University of Alabama

In this interactive session, Disability Studies will be used as a framework for conceptualizing how academic ableism operates structurally within the academy to exclude people with disabilities. Educational debt analysis will also be applied to demonstrate practices contributing to disparities in opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities. To move toward repaying this educational debt, higher education must reject ableist practices and embrace a liberatory framework. Through group discussion and active learning, participants will learn how to apply this liberatory framework to daily practice.


8.10: Critical Lenses for Disability Services
Jon McGough, Western Washington University

For new disability resource professionals institutional shortcomings and complex student concerns are prevalent, but it’s tough to know where to turn for the “right” answer to these issues. Ask a question on a listserv and get a dozen different answers: someone will quote a court case and OCR Resolution Agreement, another colleague will bring up universal design, and a third will provide an explanation based on systems of power, privilege, and ableism. This is what makes listservs confusing but also wonderful! ADA compliance, universal design, student development theory, and disability studies are not mutually exclusive schools of thought; they are critical lenses to analyze and inform our work. We’ll cover these “lenses” and share case studies outlining the importance of each.


8.11:  Decisions, Decisions: Helping Students with Psychiatric Conditions Navigate Disclosure in the Academic Environment
Brittany Stone, Rutgers University
Amy Banko, Rutgers University

The decision to disclose a non-apparent disability is a personal one that can be particularly complex when it comes to a psychiatric condition. Unanticipated inquiries by professors or classmates about disability status, nature of the condition, or abilities can lead a student to disclose more information than they intend which can hinder the academic experience. This workshop will provide strategies to better engage students around the disclosure decision-making process and will include a structured approach to assessing personal disclosure preferences in academic and social situations that may arise in the educational environment. Attendees will receive a resource titled Disclosing Psychiatric Disabilities in the Educational Setting.


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