2023 AHEAD Management Institutes

January 26 - 28, 2023

DoubleTree by Hilton, San Diego Mission Valley
7450 Hazard Center Drive
San Diego, CA 92108

Continuing its tradition of in-depth professional development programming each winter, AHEAD is excited to announce that its 17th annual Management Institutes will return to being held in-person!  This year’s four in-depth, 13 hour Institutes cover a range of topics for disability service professionals, ADA coordinators, student affairs staff and administrators, TRiO personnel, and anyone working toward equity in higher education. AHEAD’s Management Institutes are facilitated by nationally-recognized faculty and offer opportunities for networking and individual support.

AHEAD’s Management Institutes offer an intimate setting, hands-on learning, networking opportunities, and experienced faculty that bring attendees back year after year. Each attendee chooses ONE two-day Institute for an in-depth focus on a specific topic, and all attendees are included in the 2-hour Saturday morning workshop, How to Become a Transformational Change Agent on Your Campus. We hope you can join us!

All registrations include a complimentary full breakfast buffet each morning.

The following four in-depth sessions will be offered this year (choose ONE):

Institute #1: The ADA Coordinator Role in Higher Education: Navigating the Essentials and Nuances

Institute #2: Removing Roadblocks to Learning, Retention, and Graduation for All TRIO Students

Institute #3: Disability Law for DSS Directors, Staff, and ADA Officers: Compliance requirements, analytical tools, and solutions

Institute #4: An Introduction to Managing Accommodations for Students in Health Science and Professional Education

Saturday Workshop:

How to Become a Transformational Change Agent on Your Campus: Make a Plan and Make it Happen!

Jamie Axelrod, Northern Arizona University
Bree Callahan, University of Washington
Enjie Hall, University of Minnesota 

On Saturday morning, all attendees will come together for a workshop designed to create actionable goals to take back to your daily work. The initial 90 minutes will cover a number of topics pertinent to work in any college of any size, including:

  • Building a network of allies
  • Creating systemic structure to support accessibility
  • Seeking opportunities to contribute
  • Maximizing opportunities to educate colleagues about disability
  • Establishing yourself as a subject matter expert for disability access
  • Collecting data to shape narrative
  • Gathering feedback and gaining buy-in

The final 30 minutes will be a workshop session where each attendee creates a personal plan to take back to their campus to achieve (at least) one impact goal of your choosing. Presenters from each of the week’s sessions will be available to circulate throughout the room and offer individual feedback as you hone your personal plans.

Institute Descriptions

Institute #1: The ADA Coordinator Role in Higher Education: Navigating the Essentials and Nuances

Bree Callahan, University of Washington
Enjie Hall, University of Minnesota 

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law and a new position, the ADA Coordinator, became required overnight across the country in many places, including higher education institutions. While the regulations outlined general responsibilities of the position, colleges were left to grapple with how and where to implement the mandates.  Many questions were posed: What areas and duties fall within the ADA Coordinator role? Where does the role fit in the organization and what is the scope? Should it be different from the Director of the disability office for students? How will this position systematically ensure equitable access across institutional programs, services and activities? Even now, higher education institutions are navigating the best way to operationalize and engage this required role while they work to meet compliance requirements. However, many institutions are also seeking to build beyond compliance and work towards proactively developing and sustaining inclusive environments. How can the ADA Coordinator role contribute to each body of work?

Do you act in the capacity of the ADA Coordinator at your institution, or perhaps you are interested in transitioning into that role in the future and want to prepare? This workshop will be led by two experienced ADA Coordinators—one who serves simultaneously as the disability office director and ADA Coordinator, and one who has held each position separately at different times within one institution. Together, they will cover a broad range of topics starting with the foundations of the ADA Coordinator role before diving into components and nuances that influence the work in higher education. The workshop will cover areas that reflect the diversity and scope within higher education and identify practical solutions anchored to relevant statutes, regulations, and case law. The facilitators will draw on their experiences, as well as those of the audience, to explore the role of ADA Coordinators serving within higher education and highlight best practices. Topics to be covered include:

  • Legal and regulation basics
  • Components of ADA coordination
  • Grievance processes
  • Equity through the interactive process
  • Organizational structure differences: Director of disability office as the ADA Coordinator vs. two separate positions
  • ADA Transition Plans
  • Access and accommodations in unique programs (i.e. athletics, residence and dining halls, employment, research labs, hospitals)
  • How to be effective as a one-person unit or larger unit
  • Applying the social justice lens to the role
  • Using data to support the work

The presenters will discuss models for implementing a coordinated program that moves your institution towards seamless access and enhances the full participation of disabled individuals in all aspects of the academic enterprise.

Cost for Institute #1:

  • On or before December 22, 2022: $495 member rate; $625 non-members
  • After December 22, 2022: $595 member rate; $725 non-members

Institute #2: Removing Roadblocks to Learning, Retention, and Graduation for All TRIO Students

Rhonda Rapp, Consultant

The intermediate to advanced level TRIO Training Institute will cover programming, strategies, activities, and shared practices that address changing student populations and the changing landscape of education at all levels. Focus will be on emerging Latino/ Latina/Latinx populations, men of color, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ students. Topics include, but are not limited to, Maslow’s Theory, social/cultural capital, student’s experiences, metacognition, the learning cycle, growth mind-set, inclusivity/accessibility, and the formation of non-cognitive skills (i.e., grit, perseverance, etc.) in a framework of creating long-term learning and success for TRIO students. 

Students of all abilities and backgrounds want educational experiences that are inclusive, accessible, formative and that convey respect. Since their inception, TRIO programs have provided a diverse array of successful educational experiences and programming for a wide variety of learners. However, the educational landscape has changed unexpectedly and may continue changing in a variety of directions. Plus, it is no longer enough to “get an education.” Higher education, graduate schools, professional schools, and future employers expect not only well-educated individuals but also life-long learners with grit and perseverance who know how they learn and how to enhance their learning. Learning is not just a destination; it is a life-long adventure!

Staff from all levels of TRIO programs are encouraged to not only attend this Institute, but to help create the group’s cadre of shared practices. This will be a hands-on, in-depth, and development-focused institute.

Cost for Institute #2:

  • On or before December 22, 2022: $495 AHEAD or TRiO* member rate; $625 non-members
  • After December 22, 2022: $595 AHEAD or TRiO* member rate; $725 non-members

*TRiO members who are not AHEAD members should email elisa@ahead.org to obtain the discount code that you must enter at registration checkout to get the reduced rate.

Institute #3: Introduction to Disability Law for DSS Directors, Staff, and ADA Officers 

Paul Grossman, J.D., Executive Counsel of AHEAD, and OCR and Hastings College of Law, retired
Jamie Axelrod, M.S., Northern Arizona University
Mary Lee Vance, Ph.D., California State University Sacramento

Back by popular demand, this updated session will give disability resource, ADA, disability law, and compliance professionals a comprehensive introduction to postsecondary student disability law, including the requirements of the Americans Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Fair Housing Act. There is no way to anticipate every question or scenario that will arise in implementing these laws. Consequently, our mission is to provide each participant with a series of comprehensive frameworks, “analytical paradigms,” and procedural tools for addressing the broad range of legal questions they are likely to encounter. The courts and the Office for Civil Rights often devote more scrutiny to the processes colleges and universities use to reach their decisions than to the decisions themselves. Accordingly, this course will present the procedures most likely to receive agency approval and deference.

This course will begin by placing the responsibilities of disability services into its civil rights context with a review of the history of discrimination against individuals with disabilities and the emergence of the intersectional disability rights movement. Participants will learn the seminal legal concepts common to all antidiscrimination laws and what is unique to disability law. With this broad foundation under our feet, we will take a quick walk through the applicable regulations and tie these concepts and regulations to a comprehensive overview of potential claims and defenses under disability discrimination law including denial of accommodation, fundamental alteration, and undue burden.

Next, we will learn to look at our daily questions as if they had been set before a judge to scrutinize. The issue underlying about 80% of all post-secondary student disability cases is whether the student complainant is “a qualified student with a disability” (QSD).   This includes focusing on who is “an individual with a disability” under the ADA as amended and what the courts and DOJ tell us about documentation of disability. We will then proceed to the second element of the QSD paradigm: whether a student with a disability can meet the essential academic and technical requirements of the institution, with or without reasonable accommodation (“academic adjustments and auxiliary aids”). This will include discussion of accommodations that are “necessary” and “reasonable” and those that are not because they either entail a “fundamental alteration” or an “undue burden.”

Finally, will devote significant time analyzing recent court decisions and OCR letters, whose discernible theme is that colleges and universities should never deny an accommodation to students with disabilities without first engaging in a case-by-case (individualized) and “interactive” consideration process, even if implementing the accommodation would require making an exception or modification to a long-existing rule, practice, policy, or assumption. Particularly at this stage, we will apply these foundational concepts to cutting-edge legal developments in some of the most challenging and complex issues that face disability resource offices. Opportunities to apply concepts will be provided through discussion of recent cases.

Cost for Institute #3:

Note: Registration for Institute #3 includes a copy of Laws, Policies, and Processes: Tools for Postsecondary Student Accommodation, edited by Vance and Thompson.

  • On or before December 22, 2022: $545 member rate; $675 non-members
  • After December 22, 2022: $645 member rate; $775 non-members

Institute # 4: An Introduction to Managing Accommodations for Students in Health Science Programs

Jon McGough, M.Ed., Consultant: Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine & Amazon Senior Accommodation Consultant
Mary Gerard, M.Ed., Bellingham Technical College

Schools that offer health science programs, including Nursing, Dental, Pharmacy, Speech/Language, Physical or Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, Veterinary, Medical, Podiatry, or other programs, face unique challenges in creating accessible programs and developing effective accommodations for students with disabilities. This introduction to disability accommodations in health science education is intended for clinical program administrators and disability resource professionals at 2-year, 4-year or graduate institutions, to provide an overview of how to address complex accommodation requests in classroom, lab, and clinical environments. Common challenges in health science education—whether a certificate program, associate degree, or professional school— include the lock-step nature of most programs, determining appropriate accommodations in patient care settings, meeting technical standards, planning proactively to anticipate accommodation needs in clinical environments, and guiding students applying for testing accommodations in licensing exams.

The presenters, one from a community college and one with experience at a four-year university with a medical school, will cover the basic tenets of practicing in this specialization, including the most relevant OCR decisions and court cases. Participants will have opportunities to work through basic scenarios. Throughout the Institute, participants will gain:

  • a practical overview of disability laws and how they apply to the health sciences, with attention to how disability laws relate to health science clinical settings;
  • an understanding of the interactive process that occurs between disability professionals, faculty, staff, and the student when determining reasonable accommodations in clinical and lab environments (such as fieldwork, internships, clerkships, preceptorships, etc., as well as OSCEs, sim labs, cadaver labs, etc.);
  • information on how to identify when a potential accommodation may affect the integrity of the learning outcomes, compromise patient safety, or challenge technical standards;
  • an appreciation of the importance of giving prospective, recently admitted, and enrolled students clear, written policies and procedures;
  • tips for developing clear processes for faculty and staff;
  • ideas for working with students and faculty to improve communication around disability-related needs and implementing accommodations;
  • skills for training faculty, including addressing common concerns about patient safety, essential requirements, and technical standards; and advising faculty and administrators who may instinctively slip from the role of faculty into their roles as health care providers when working with students with disabilities.

Participants will leave this training with tools to aid in decision-making, policy development, and leading faculty/staff development trainings.

Cost for Institute #4:

Note: Registration for Institute #4 includes a copy of Equal Access for Students with Disabilities: The Guide for Health Science and Professional Education, Second Edition (2020).

  • On or before December 22, 2022: $545 member rate; $675 non-members
  • After December 22, 2022: $645 member rate; $775 non-members

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Thursday and Friday, January 26-27, 2023

  • Breakfast buffet (included) - 8 am - 9 am
  • Session - 9 am - 10:30 am
  • Break - 10:30 am - 11 am
  • Session - 11 am -12:30 pm
  • Lunch - 12:30 pm - 2 pm
  • Session 2 pm - 3 pm
  • Break – 3 pm - 3:30 pm
  • Session - 3:30 pm - 5 pm

Saturday, January 28, 2023

  • Breakfast buffet (included) - 8 am - 9 am 
  • Session - 9 am -11 am

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Institute Faculty

Jamie Axelrod

Jamie Axelrod, M.S. is the Director of Disability Resources at Northern Arizona University and a past-president of AHEAD. Jamie presents regularly on topics related to disability access and higher education, having expertise in disability law and policy, communication and information technology (ICT) access, and the reasonable accommodation process. Jamie is a respected contributor to professional listservs, having received the Fink-Ryan Award for the quality of his guidance, and a go-to consultant for complex issues. He has worked for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s athletic department, as a mental health therapist, and for Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc., a disability rights advocacy law firm where he served as an advocate for individuals with disabilities who were claiming that their civil rights had been violated. Jamie has served as co-chair of Northern Arizona University’s Commission on Disability Access and Design and on AHEAD’s Board of Directors.


Bree Callahan

Bree Callahan, M.Ed. is the ADA Coordinator at the University of Washington and provides leadership, coordination, and oversight to advance the University’s ADA/Section 504 mission, vision, and strategic priorities relating to accessibility. Recent efforts include updating institutional ADA Transition Plans, revising grievance processes, establishing governance structures, and navigating regulatory engagements. Prior to this role, she directed disability services offices for fifteen years across three universities and has worked in a variety of higher education areas: admissions, academic advising, and residential life. She has over 19 years’ experience in higher education, determining accommodations and providing consultation on ADA compliance matters of digital, physical, and program access. Bree currently serves on the DO-IT Advisory Board and is a past Chair of AHEAD’s Standing Committee on Technology. She has presented at local, state, and national conferences on a variety of topics relating to disability and access, transition of students with disabilities to postsecondary education, and systemic change toward more inclusive campuses.


Enjie Hall

Enjie Hall (she/her) serves as both the Director for the Disability Resource Center at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and the system-wide ADA Coordinator. As a disabled individual, Enjie has passionately advocated for civil rights and full participation of disabled people through inclusive design and practices for 25 years. Enjie previously worked in the disability office at The University of Toledo serving as director and ADA/Rehabilitation Act Compliance Officer, and prior to that, worked in the disability office at The Ohio State University. She served as a director at large on the AHEAD national board from 2018 to 2022 and was a past co-chair for the Blind and Low Vision Knowledge and Practice Community. She has actively mentored for the AHEAD Start program for new/er professionals. Enjie has presented locally and nationally on a variety of topics related to disability access, DEI, leadership/influence, digital accessibility and assistive technology, and navigating the interactive process. Enjie was a co-author for a white paper and articles pertaining to navigating and documenting the interactive process; best practices for emotional support animals; and the role of third-party documentation. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) as well as a licensed professional Counselor (PC).

Mary Gerard

Mary Gerard, M.Ed. is the Director of Accessibility Resources at Bellingham Technical College. Mary is a Past-President of both the Washington State Disability Support Services Council (DSSC) and the Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability (WAPED). She has fifteen years’ experience in higher education, disability education, and accommodation provision and served for three years on the WA State Governor’s Task Force for the Transition to College for Students with Disabilities. Mary’s practice intentionally creates an environment where students with disabilities engage in their disability identity development, enhancing students’ self-efficacy and self-advocacy. She pioneered the BTC Accessibility Team in 2012, a cross-campus constituency of those committed to the work of disability allyship. This work has paved the way at her college for a greater focus on accessibility and an institution-wide commitment to supporting students with disabilities.

Paul Grossman

Paul Grossman, J.D. is the Executive Counsel of AHEAD with over 40 years of service at OCR in Washington and San Francisco, most of them as a Chief Regional Attorney. Paul also taught disability law for over 20 years at Hastings College of Law, UC. Paul remains a frequent guest lecturer for AHEAD, CAPED, Hastings, UC Berkeley, the California Community College System and the National Association of ADA Coordinators. Paul served multiple terms on AHEAD’s Board of Directors and remains a member of the AHEAD Public Policy Committee as well as the Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) Expert Advisory Board. Through investigation, decision writing, and negotiations, Paul has addressed every form of discrimination in education including race, national origin, sex and disability, often developing new approaches for protecting the civil rights of students. Paul is the author of AHEAD’s publication, The Law of Disability Discrimination for Higher Education Professionals. Paul joins Jamie Axelrod, M.S. and Mary Lee Vance, Ph.D. in two book chapters on analytical tools and procedures for DSS officers when they face their most complex and challenging questions, planned for publication by AHEAD in late 2022.


Jon McGough

Jon McGough, M.Ed. is a Senior Accommodation Consultant at Amazon and a consultant to Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. His career in higher education spans 15 years working at public and private universities, determining accommodations and providing consultation on ADA matters of digital and physical access. Jon served on the Board of the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education and is a past President of the Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability.


Rhonda H. Rapp

Rhonda H. Rapp, PhD is an educational consultant who specializes in removing barriers to learning. A trained educational psychologist, Dr. Rapp has been in the field of postsecondary disability services for over 30 years and is currently working with the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco. Prior to working with CIIS, she was the director of a TRO-Student Support Services program for 12 years.  Dr. Rapp has provided disability-related services at public and private institutions, community colleges, and doctoral-granting universities. During her tenure in postsecondary education, she has delivered a variety of services, including academic advising, career counseling, program planning, transition services, psychoeducational assessments, accommodation prescription and implementation, and individual and group counseling for at-risk students and students with disabilities. She has created and presented training for educators and support staff from kindergarten through postsecondary education on working with at-risk student populations. In addition to providing a diverse array of services for TRIO students and students with disabilities, Dr. Rapp is a disability consultant for the Kamehameha School System in Hawaii and teaches an online class in educational diagnostics for AHEAD.


Mary Lee Vance

Mary Lee Vance, Ph.D. is the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities at California State University Sacramento. During her postsecondary career, she has directed multiple student services including academic advising, career services, TRIO (McNair and Student Services), minority recruitment and retention, enrollment management, student teaching and certification, and minority affairs. In addition, she has served as the interim Director for the Office of Equal Opportunity, Title IX and DHR. Mary Lee has directed disability services at the University of California Berkeley, University of Montana, George Mason University, University of Wisconsin Superior and Orange Coast College. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses, including disability studies, and has successfully written federal grants, as well as published in referred journals, books and periodicals. She is the editor of DISABLED Faculty and Staff in a Disabling Society: Multiple Perspectives in Higher Education, co-editor of Beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act: Proactively Planning for Accessible Post-Secondary Educational Offerings Now and into the Future, and Advising Students with Disabilities: Developing Universal Success. She served two consecutive terms on the AHEAD Board of Directors, and has through the years been active with the REDD SIG. Among other honors, Mary Lee was presented AHEAD’s Professional Recognition Award in 2012 and the Duraese Hall Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award in 2020.

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Costs & Registration Information

On or before December 22, 2022:

  • Institutes 1 & 2: $495 AHEAD Members; $625 Non-Members
  • Institutes 3 & 4: $545 AHEAD Members; $645 Non-Members (includes copy of topically relevant seminal text provided at the start of the first day of the session)

After December 22, 2022:

  • Institute 1 & 2: $545 AHEAD Members; $675 Non-Members
  • Institutes 3 & 4: $645 AHEAD Members; $775 Non-Members (includes copy of topically relevant seminal text provided at the start of the first day of the session)

Refunds can only be provided for cancellations received in writing on or before December 22, 2022. A $75.00 administrative fee will be charged for all cancellations. We regret that no refunds can be issued after December 22, 2022 for any reason, but can be transferred to another attendee from the same institution.

Accommodation requests, including CART and interpreting should be made during the registration process online by December 22, 2022.

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COVID Policy

Attendees who are not up-to-date on vaccinations are asked to take an at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen test before traveling to any AHEAD meeting and should not attend if they test positive or have symptoms of COVID-19.  AHEAD will not be requiring proof of these measures, but calls on the AHEAD community to act responsibly and with consideration for the health and safety of others, including our community members who are especially vulnerable due to underlying disability and health conditions.

AHEAD expects attendees to take responsibility themselves for following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on measures to reduce infection from COVID-19 and to protect against severe complications. AHEAD urges all attendees to follow the CDC’s recommendation that everyone over age 12 receive the recently updated bivalent vaccine as soon as they are eligible to do so (e.g., 2 months past their last shot).

For more information, please review the CDC guidelines.

AHEAD’s COVID policy is subject to change based on COVID-19 community levels and any updated guidance from CDC and/or federal or state officials in localities hosting an AHEAD in-person event. Guidance on COVID-19 is continually updated, and AHEAD appreciates the understanding of its stakeholders as we seek to provide valuable, timely face-to-face programming while prioritizing the health and safety of attendees.

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Host Hotel

DoubleTree by Hilton, San Diego Mission Valley

All events and housing for the 2023 AHEAD Management Institutes will be at the DoubleTree by Hilton, San Diego Mission Valley, centrally located just minutes from world-class shopping, sparkling beaches, must-visit attractions, exceptional restaurants, and the airport.

AHEAD has secured a discounted block of sleeping rooms for the Management Institutes at a group rate of $199.00 + tax per night for single or double occupancy. To get the group rate, reservations must be made no later than Wednesday, January 4th, 2023. You are welcome to make reservations by visiting their website or by calling (800) 222-TREE and using group code AHE.

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Obtaining CEUs

To support your professional development goals, AHEAD has arranged Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). Additionally, if you maintain certification or licensure from another agency that requires continuing education, AHEAD can document your attendance at the conference to support your application for independent CEUs from your organization. Instructions for each are below.


To obtain CEU's CRC license holders must:

  1. Print and bring the Certificate Request form, or pick one up on site.
  2. Check which workshop you attended, total the hours attended (maximum 13) and have the instructor or AHEAD Staff sign and date it.
  3. Complete the form and bring to the CEU Table at Registration
  4. CEU Table staff will give you a Verification form for you to upload to your account in CRCCConnect online. Use your phone to scan or take a photo of the form as a backup. AHEAD does not keep a copy of your Verification form.
If you forget, or if AHEAD staff are not available, you may scan and email your completed Certificate Request form to ahead@ahead.org and we will send you a Verification Form.

Other CEU's or Certificates of Attendance

If you maintain certification or licensure from an employer or agency that requires continuing education, AHEAD can document your attendance at the conference to support your own application for CEU's from your organization.
  1. Print and bring the Certificate Request form, or pick one up on site.
  2. Check which workshop you attended, total the hours attended (maximum 13) and have the instructor or AHEAD Staff sign and date it.
  3. Complete the form and bring to the CEU Table at Registration. Use your phone to scan or take a photo of the form.
  4. CEU Table Staff will keep your form and send you a certificate to verify your attendance which you can use with your professional agency.
If you forget, or if AHEAD staff are not available, you may scan and email your completed Certificate Request form to ahead@ahead.org and we will send you a certificate.

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