MC1: Disability Resources in Health Science Programs: Advanced Training for Equal Access
Lisa M. Meeks, Ph.D., M.A., University of Michigan Medical School
Jan Serrantino, Ed.D., Meeks and Company Consulting
Health sciences programs are high stakes, multi-layered, nuanced and complex. This poses unique challenges for disability resource professionals, especially those unfamiliar with the culture and hierarchy of clinical education. This master class will empower participants by refining their expertise on disability in health science programs and giving them the tools they need to skillfully ensure equal access for qualified students with disabilities.
This case-based training is highly interactive and dynamic, utilizing elements of problem-based learning (PBL) and role play, drawing on actual cases, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) complaints and resolutions, and Department of Justice (DOJ) guidance, The AAMC report on disability and Dr. Meeks’ newest book Disability as Diversity: A Guidebook for Inclusion in Medicine, Nursing, and the Health Professions.
The course goes beyond the scope of disability practice and covers several advanced topics, to be finalized by group needs, but may include the following topics:
- Didactics, anatomy labs, clinical rotations, standardized patient exams, and board exams.
- Dynamics of relationship building in clinical education
- Disability as a function of diversity, equity and inclusion
- Wellbeing and disability
- Develop sound and meaningful technical standards-including a general review and self-study, group exercises, and an editing session with the facilitators
- An introduction to advanced assistive technologies
- Responding to complaints and appeals
- The use of inclusive Language
- Support and preparation for board exams
- Forward facing messages (websites, policies, orientation materials)
A copy of Dr. Meeks’ book and the AAMC Special Report Accessibility, Action, and Inclusion in Medical Education will be included with registration for this course.
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MC2: Disability Law: Lessons in Application for the Advanced Disability Professional
Jamie Axelrod, M.S., Northern Arizona University
Paul D. Grossman, J.D., OCR, Chief Regional Civil Rights Attorney, San Francisco, retired; University of California, Hastings College of Law
Mary Lee Vance, Ph.D., California State University Sacramento
The higher education environment and the legal concepts intended to ensure its accessibility are multi-faceted and ever-changing. It can sometimes feel as though the more we know, the more challenging it can be to find the salient issues in novel situations and apply the relevant legal concepts. Nonetheless, the law is an effective tool for both securing students’ civil rights and setting limits.
This advanced training will highlight long-standing and widely-accepted judicial precedents and principles, as well as the latest decisions on emerging issues, and provide an interactive exploration of their practical implications. We will succinctly cover the law, including cutting-edge principles, and facilitate best practice discussions through multiple case scenarios. Within a team of experienced colleagues, you will have the opportunity to become facile with the law by applying it to realistic and complex hypothetical questions, sharing your ideas and solutions and exploring approaches to effective implementation. Together with your colleagues and the presenters, you will explore these difficult issues and assess practical policies, processes, and procedures that provide effective access in accordance with legal obligations. Many of our hypotheticals will be based on OCR/DOJ findings, letters, and court decisions that reflect common and recurring situations; participant scenarios are also welcome.
This certificate-bearing master class will include 16-hours of face-to-face discussion and instruction. Participants will be sent four seminal rulings related to disability law in postsecondary education to review prior to our time together. The training is fast-paced and assumes competence in the basics of the ADA and disability resources. Therefore, participants must have a solid background in applying disability access principles in higher education; on-site work will focus on application in the following areas:
- DOJ Title II and Title III regulations concerning who is an individual with a disability, including the emphasis on “condition, manner, and duration” analysis
- An advanced walk through the regulations
- Review of basic claims and defenses
- Who is a qualified individual with a disability?
- Individualization and interaction in the development of accommodations
- Fundamental alteration and undue burden process and procedures
- How the courts may be using “programs as a whole” language in the regulations as a limitation on program access
- Service animals and ESAs
- Internships and field work
- Self-injurious students
- Discipline of students with disabilities
- Grievance and complaint procedures
- Veterans issues
- Digital equality
- Responding to sexual violence
- Students on the autism spectrum
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MC3: Working with Faculty to Facilitate an Understanding of Accommodations
Nicole Ofiesh, PhD, Stanford University and Potentia Institute21
Christy Lendman, PhD, Stanford University and Independent Consultant
As disability service personnel, many of us encounter faculty members who are reluctant or resistant to accommodations. While the level of this resistance may vary based on the structure and mission of the institution, most of us have had to confront some level of faculty push-back in our work. In addressing concerns, we may have resorted to the simple explanation that accommodations are legally mandated. While this is true, the ability to go beyond the legal explanation to describe the science behind providing accommodations is crucial to having our opinions valued and to developing campus allies. When we work with, instead of against, faculty resistance, we can make a positive difference in our school’s climate and the stigma so often associated with disability.
To facilitate change takes both knowledge of the research on accommodations and perspective shifting. We must understand faculty members’ concerns and address them head-on. Only then can we affect change so that the role of accommodations is understood, students have equitable experiences, and faculty begin to see the benefit of designing inclusive learning experiences.
This 16-hour, interactive, research-based certificate program is designed to equip disability service personnel with the knowledge and practice they need to facilitate a better understanding of accommodations with resistant faculty. As the most commonly requested and resisted accommodation, we will focus much of our time on test accommodations and take lessons from that area into other faculty-based conversations. This focus will increase participant’s knowledge and awareness of the cognitive and behaviorial science behind accommodations and support them in making better accommodation decisions. Perhaps even most importantly, sharing the information can help students gain greater insight into how they learn and why accommodations meet their unique needs.
Key questions that will guide our work include:
- Why is extended time so often recommended?
- What are the key areas of cognition and behavior that we accommodate in higher education?
- How does anxiety and depression impact a person in the classroom and on tests?
- How does ADHD impact a person in the classroom and on tests?
- Is a reading disorder the same as dyslexia, and do they affect reading performance?
- Why do deaf individuals need extended time to read?
- What are faculty most concerned about and how can we answer those concerns?
- How do accommodations change in the online environment?
- How do we begin conversations with faculty who are reluctant?
- How do we address faculty’s key concerns with empathy but also build empathy for why the accommodation is needed from a research-based perspective?
- What types of materials can we generate to help faculty understand that accommodations are more than a legal mandate?
- How can we move the needle on inclusion for all learners using our knowledge of cognitive diversity?
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MC4: Advanced Practices for Data Use in the Disability Resource Office
Sally Scott, Ph.D., AHEAD
Kaela Parks, Portland Community College
Randall Ward, Purdue University
In an age of accountability, disability resource professionals are often placed in a position of having to prove the effectiveness of the office, justify use of resources, and document the value of their work to support the division or campus mission. As offices are asked to do more with less, data becomes an essential tool for understanding the impact of diminishing resources on students. It also opens doors for creating greater awareness of the work of the disability resource office across campus. This master class will challenge participants to take a critical look at their data collection practices, share and explore innovative approaches to data use, and consider new ways to expand their own professional growth through the use of data in their work.
This master class will begin with a critical examination of everyday data collection practices. Is your data collection mired in old ways of thinking about disability? Just because you can measure something, does that mean you should? How can the old adage, what gets measured gets done, inform our data collection?
After setting the stage with critical conversation around what data we collect and why, we move into a focus on becoming a data power user. Using both participant and facilitator expertise and experience, we will explore using data in strategic ways in our work to advocate, educate, collaborate, and evaluate. Each approach will begin with an introductory discussion of effective practices followed by samples, models, and resources. Participants will identify the challenges and successes on their own campuses and select elements to bring back to their own setting.
From this foundation of exploring a broad repertoire of data use and applications to benefit the work of your office, how can you continue to advance your data use practices? Our focus will shift to ways you can share data-based practices through professional venues. Are you ready to present your data at a professional conference? Have you thought about writing up your work for possible publication? Opportunities, tips, and resources will be shared for stepping up your data-based practices, joining the professional dialogue in new ways, and pushing your own growing edge of professional practice.
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MC5: Concomitant Disabilities: Learning Disabilities and Other Disabilities Considerations and Next Steps
Rhonda Rapp, Ph.D., Educational Consultant
Providing services for students with learning disabilities is usually fairly straightforward. However, more and more students with learning disabilities are entering college with one or more disabilities concomitant to the learning disability. This seems to be happening because larger numbers of diagnosticians are conducting diagnostic workups without preconceived ideas of what the individual’s disability might be. Plus, K-12 districts and doctors are realizing that individuals “on the spectrum” are in groups of one; the entire population does not have the same mix of strengths and areas of opportunity. Just like individuals with learning disabilities, those who have attention disabilities and psychological disabilities and those on spectrum should have a complete diagnostic assessment to understand how disability uniquely impacts them.
While diagnostic assessments and the reports generated from diagnostic assessment share basic commonalities, the impact (functional limitations) of each uncovered disability may require very different accommodations and related services.
This case-based training will be highly interactive and provide a guided journey through the ins and outs of diagnostic testing reports of individuals with one or more learning disabilities and one or more additional disabilities.
The 16-hour, in-depth training goes beyond basic knowledge of diagnostic testing and testing reports and assumes experience in using diagnostic test reports to ascribe accommodations and understand educational implications for students with learning disabilities, attention disabilities, and psychological disabilities and for students on the spectrum.
To ensure appropriate background, all registrants will be sent the recording of AHEAD’s webinar Learning Disability Diagnostic Testing Reports: What Does it All Mean? (December 2018) and should watch it prior to the master class. The webinar will provide foundational information for the class, including:
- What is the true purpose of diagnostic testing? Not what the testing results are used for, but the purpose of the testing itself.
- What is tested by various subtests of a diagnostic testing battery?
- Possible weaknesses of diagnostic tests and diagnostic testing reports and how to overcome them.
- Where is the most important information is in the testing report?
- What do you do when the testing data contradicts itself?
- What should you consider, if anything, when two or more disabilities are uncovered by the testing, especially if the disabilities are disparate?
With this common background, we will take the next steps in analyzing what can be gleaned from individual students’ assessment reports. Registrants will have the opportunity to bring anonymous diagnostic test reports with them to enrich the conversation and ensure that it is both practical and relevant as well as theoretical.
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