Featured Presentation of the Day (90-minutes)
Legal Year in Review
Paul Grossman, Hastings School of Law
Jo Anne Simon, New York Assembly
What a year this has been! As we have all pivoted to an on-line presence, exemplary court-ordered and court-approved remedial plans have been issued. Two highly significant cases on captioning have been settled. It is only logical that by July, we will begin to get the outline of post-secondary student disability law as it directly pertains to COVID-19: including EEOC employment guidance that is pertinent and analogous to the treatment of students as they return to campus and insights into whether students with COVID-19 or a record of COVID may be considered individuals with disabilities, some entitled to accommodations. COVID-19 has rekindled the historic question of whether and when it is ever ethical and legal to treat individuals with disabilities as “disposable people.” Though this is usually a question limited to scholarly debates, these days, it may affect you or someone you love as they enter the ER, unable to breath. Of course, the law marches on in other areas, including service dogs and on campus transit.
Presentation Block 4; 3-Concurrent Options (90-minutes):
4.1: Testing PDFs for Accessibility and Standards Conformance
Paul Rayius, Florida State University
In the current climate of social distancing and remote learning due to the COVID-19 crisis, it’s now more important than ever to ensure content is accessible. While many organizations have adopted accessible learning systems, popular shared content, like PDF documents, is often inaccessible. So how do you guarantee that PDF documents are accessible? In this session, attendees will learn PDF accessibility standards and requirements. Accessibility testers who attend this virtual session will know the technical requirements for verifying PDF documents meet accessibility standards, be aware of the tools available for compliance testing and, most importantly, gain a full understanding of how to read and interpret the reports created by these programs
4.2: Building Strong Relationships in a Virtual World
Christina Fabrey, Prescott College
Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, JST Coaching and Training
As disability support providers, our relationships with students and others form the foundation of learning and growth. Our ability to connect is challenged as our institutions shift to distance learning and our communities grapple with the difficulties presented by physical distancing. It takes skills to manage communications using a virtual platform and strengthen relationships at a distance. Coaching skills are valuable in conversations with students, colleagues, direct reports, institution stakeholders and management. We’ll explore how to build strong relationships in a virtual world using coaching techniques and appreciative strategies that disability support providers can easily integrate in their interactions with students and staff to increase motivation, reframe challenges, and instill self-confidence as we navigate this “new normal.”
4.3: Discussion: Returning to Campus in the Fall
Jen Dugger, Portland State University
Many colleges and universities are planning for an incremental return to campus in the fall. In what ways and how can we contribute to the success of this next transition? While “going remote” has created many challenges, a return that includes restricted on-campus access alongside continued virtual remote learning is likely to feel pretty daunting. Join colleagues for community and collaboration in anticipating access barriers and identifying solutions in moving back to campus during the upcoming period of social distancing.
Presentation Block 5; 3-Concurrent Options (60-minutes):
5.1: Collaborating with University Partners for Inclusive Engagement in the COVID Campus
Chris Stone, Washington University in St. Louis
RJ Kilgore, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Jon Kapell, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Stefanie Norris, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Our colleges and universities—faculty, staff, and disability professionals¬¬—are now charged with placing a significant emphasis on turning traditional learning environments into inclusive online colleges. Additionally, we are tasked with connecting and building affinity within the student population. As a result, we’re seeing a proliferation of online programming for campus activities and recreation centers to support student connection during this unique time. As disability resource professionals, we assist our institutions in ensuring disabled students are considered as this programming is developed. Presenters will discuss their strategies for keeping access and inclusion in the conversation from Day 1, not as an afterthought or “extra burden” that disrupts established planning. Disability Resource and Campus Life professionals will detail the rationale for proactively designing activities for engagement of all students, including those with disabilities. We’ll offer suggestions for integrating access in a broader conversation of diversity and inclusion and leveraging campus partners to further university objectives.
5.2: Considerations for Online Course Testing and Remote Proctoring after the Pandemic
Brad Held, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
With this unexpected online environment for students and the increase of digital course offerings, accommodated testing and remote proctoring should continue to offer an accessible academic experience. Accessibility Service Providers have historically played a collaborative role in ensuring faculty provide access and accommodations in the physical exam settings. Why does this partnership need to be different when everyone is working from home? We will tackle some of the challenges that technology creates in online testing and important considerations for remote proctoring. Learn innovative ideas to encourage student independence while addressing any new barriers.
5.3: 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.