AHEAD is proud to welcome such a diverse, talented, and thoughtful group of presenters to this year’s Conference!
University of North Florida
Dr. Andrea Adams-Manning (aka Dr. Dre) serves as the Dean of Students for the University of North Florida. She has a Doctorate of Education with a concentration in Educational Leadership, a Masters of Education with a concentration in College Student Affairs Leadership, and a Bachelor of Science, concentration in Secondary Education degree. Dr. Dre has 15 years of post-graduate higher education experience and her background includes working as the Assistant Dean of Students and Ombuds at UNF, the Conduct Officer at UNF, the Assistant Director of Student Conduct at Ohio University, and as a Residential Coordinator at Ohio University. She did her graduate assistantship in Housing & Residence Life at Grand Valley State University, MI and was a very active student leader at her undergraduate institution. Beyond serving in these positions, she actively engages in Academic and Student Affairs by serving on various committees to ensure an overall positive experience for students on campus that fosters student success. In addition to this, you may find her teaching in the Masters of Higher Education Administration program and Taylor Leadership program as an adjunct instructor.
A professional with 40 years in the field of disability, Richard serves as Director of Information and Outreach for AHEAD, where he develops resources for, and provides technical assistance to members and external audiences. He is the Managing Editor of the AHEAD Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability. His career has included developing practices for, and managing, Disability Resource and Service offices, analyzing and addressing barriers to accessibility in campus environments, creating student-centered services, curating on-trend information and resources, and mentoring new and seasoned disability professionals.
Western New England University
Ileana Alfonso, OT/s, is a second-year Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) student at Western New England University. Ileana is currently serving as the Occupational Therapy Co-chair for Interprofessional Student Alliance, an organization on campus that addresses tasks that relate to interprofessional education with a vision to help professional and graduate students develop a better understanding of the roles and values that other disciplines offer. She is also an active member of the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD) and the Pre-Occupational Therapy Committee. Ileana graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health concentrated in Pre-Occupational Therapy and a minor in dance. Ileana is interested in the practice areas of pediatrics and campus accessibility. Ileana enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, traveling, and baking in her spare time.
George Mason University
Jamilah Anderson is the Associate Director of Disability Services at George Mason University. She received her BA in Music from the University of Richmond and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership (Administration and Supervision) from Virginia Commonwealth University. In her nearly 20-year career in education, she has spent over 15 years working with and advocating for people with disabilities in the community, K-12 and post-secondary environments. After her K-12 experiences as a special educator, school-based administrator, and then district-level administrator, she made a professional transition to higher education to join Disability Services at George Mason University as the Associate Director of the Mason Autism Support Initiative in 2018. She has been the Associate Director of Disability Services since February 2020.
St. John’s University
Katherine C. Aquino received her BS degree in psychology, MA in school psychology, PhD in higher education leadership, management, and policy, and advanced certification in instructional design and delivery. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Administrative and Instructional Leadership for the School of Education at St. John’s University. Her research interests include the socio-academic transitioning into and within the higher education environment for students with disabilities and post-traditional students.
Northern Arizona University
Jamie Axelrod, M.S. is the Director of Disability Resources at Northern Arizona University and 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 regular and well-respected contributor to professional listservs, including AHEAD’s discussion boards, and is 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.
University of Denver
Emily Babb is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator at the University of Denver, where she oversees the University's Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, which is dedicated to preventing and responding to all forms of discrimination, complying with civil rights laws, and ensuring equal access and opportunity to the University community. Before joining the University of Denver, Emily served as the Assistant Vice President for Title IX Compliance at the University of Virginia and oversaw the University's compliance with Title IX. While at the University of Virginia, Emily also served as the Interim Associate Vice President for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights, leading a 15-person team responsible for the University's broad civil rights compliance, including Title IX, the ADA, and employment equity. Prior to joining higher education, Emily was a Senior Attorney at the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Dallas Regional office and the Program Manager and Acting Regional Director at the Cleveland Regional office. She is a graduate of DePauw University and earned her J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Western New England University
Alisha Bailey OT/s is an entry level doctoral occupational therapy student at Western New England University where she is diligently studying to become an occupational therapy practitioner. As a student, she is an active member of the Students of Occupational Therapy Association chapter on her campus and volunteers her time as a student ambassador and peer mentor for the doctor of occupational therapy program. Alisha obtained her bachelor of science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Connecticut (2020). While obtaining her undergraduate degree she served as secretary and later president of the Cru chapter at the University of Connecticut. Her areas of interest include childhood development, advocating to improve accessibility on her campus, and discovering new settings for occupational therapy to breakthrough. Her core values motivate her to think creatively and collaboratively within interprofessional practices so that every individual, population, and community are empowered to live life to the fullest. During her free time, Alisha enjoys reading, socializing with family and friends, cuddling with her dog, and volunteering at her church.
U.S. Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education
Chandra Baldwin is an attorney with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR). She has been with OCR since 2007. As an attorney with OCR, Chandra investigates civil rights complaints against elementary, secondary and post-secondary institutions alleging disability, sex, race, national origin or age discrimination. Chandra also provides technical assistance and training to students, parents, school districts and post-secondary institutions. Prior to joining OCR, Chandra practiced with the law firm of Squire, Sanders and Dempsey (now Squire Patton Boggs) in Cleveland, Ohio for 6 years. Her primary focus was education law, general litigation and labor & employment law. She has provided counsel to public and private school districts; colleges and universities; municipalities and other government entities. Chandra has also practiced in Chicago, Illinois and Cincinnati, Ohio with a focus on education law, labor & employment law and civil rights litigation. Chandra was admitted to practice law in the State of Ohio in 1993.
Amy Banko MS, CPRP is a full-time Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions at Rutgers University. In addition to providing Supported Education and Supported Employment course instruction, Ms. Banko serves as a lead trainer and consultant at the Integrated Employment Institute of Rutgers. Within this role, Ms. Banko facilitates Supported Employment and Supported Education training and technical assistance to enhance practitioner competencies and program outcomes throughout New York and New Jersey. Previously, Ms. Banko was a clinical contributor on three NIDILRR funded research projects. Additionally, she is coauthor of a best practices manual for the provision of career services to transition age youth. Currently, Ms. Banko serves as Co- Investigator, respectively, on two NIDILRR studies exploring: PTSD and postsecondary academic success for students with mental health conditions and supporting students with mental health conditions in Career Technical Education programs. Ms. Banko obtained both her bachelor’s degree in Psychiatric Rehabilitation and her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Rutgers University. She is currently attending her doctoral studies at Kean University for Education Counseling and Supervision with a focus on the treatment of trauma. Ms. Banko also utilizes her knowledge and competencies from her lived experience of a mental health condition to inform her practices and instruction.
University of Cincinnati
Noelle is the IT Accessibility Director for the IT department at the University of Cincinnati. She provides institutional oversight of accessibility review and testing of third party products; she also co-chairs the Accessibility Network
Seton Hill University
Kimberley Bassi-Cook, M.Ed., L.P.C., N.C.C. is the Director of Disability Services at Seton Hill University and has worked with individuals with disabilities for 30 years. As a fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, University Community Leaders and Individuals with Disabilities Program (UCLID) she was cross trained with health care and educational professionals who work with the disabled to promote innovative and community-based systems of health care and educational social services that are preventive, comprehensive, family-centered, and culturally sensitive. She has a Masters in Community Cross Cultural Counseling and is a Nationally Certified, Licensed Professional Counselor. For the last 16 years, Kimberley has served the Seton Hill University. Most recently, she was one of 32 professionals in the field of disability services in higher education who grapple with concerns about how best to support students with Long COVID.
University of Arizona
Eric Bell is the Physical Access Consultant for Disability Resources at the University of Arizona. He consults with campus colleagues, departments, and committees to promote the concepts of Universal Design and best practices to ensure a physically accessible and inclusive campus environment. Eric also collaborates with campus administrators, facilities management staff, project managers and architects, and event planners to proactively identify and remove barriers in the built environment during the planning process to decrease the need for individual accommodations. Eric earned his Bachelor’s degree in Disability Studies at the University of Washington, a Master of Public Administration at the University of Arizona, and is currently working toward accreditation as an ADA Coordinator.
University of Southern Maine
Joanne has been working in the disability services field in higher education since 2001. Her passion includes developing creative and inclusive approaches to support students in both higher education and in the employment setting. Joanne currently works at the University of Southern Maine as the Director of the Disability Services Center. She holds both a Bachelors of Social Work and Masters of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling.
University of California, Riverside
Jennifer Biggers is a disability specialist at the Student Disability Resource Center at University of California-Riverside. Jennifer works with students with psychological disabilities, chronic health conditions, and learning disabilities. Jennifer has ten years of experience of working in the K-12 setting with students with disabilities as a teacher and an administrator. Jennifer’s expertise lies in post-secondary transition readiness and has taken this experience to UC-Riverside to develop programming for first year, transfer students, and students acquire a disability during their college experience. Jennifer currently oversees the SDRC Peer Mentor Program, Time Management Workshop Series, Accountability Study Groups, and SDRC Bootcamp for new a transfer students.
University of California-Riverside Campus is No. 1 in Social Mobility (U.S. News & World Report, 2019) and No.1 Most Transformative Colleges
Sophie Bittner is a psychology student at Denison University. She studies psychology and conducts research on the neuropsychological functioning of adults with ADHD, learning disabilities, and related conditions.
University of Massachusetts Global
Rosalind Blackstar, M.Ed. serves currently as the Director of the Office of Accessible Education at the University of Massachusetts, Global. She serves as the subject matter expert for the Office of Accessible Education, provides strategic assistance to individuals and groups at the university, is passionate about creating equitable and inclusive experiences for adult learners, and helps lead initiatives to further promote the implementation of universal design for learning. Rosalind has worked in higher education since 2006, including service as an ADA Exam Coordinator, Program Operations and Student Accommodations Manager and as the Assistant and Associate Director at a large public institution. She currently provides leadership at an online/hybrid institution serving adult education learners. Rosalind holds a MA degree in Urban Education with a focus in Social Equity. Since 2018, Rosalind also has served as an educational access consultant for disability resources offices at universities across the United States. Her areas of expertise include development of disability services programmatic business processes, program improvement analysis for program operations and accommodation services, policy development and implementation, hiring, mentorship of disability resources professionals, recruitment, training and supervising professional & student staff, and has experience in implementation of student management databases.
Educational Testing Service
Morgan Blisard is the Director of the Office of Disability Policy at Educational Testing Service (ETS), overseeing the development and implementation of procedures pertaining to test takers with disabilities requesting accommodations for the GRE, PRAXIS, TOEFL, HiSET and GACE standardized assessments. Prior to this role, Morgan began her career at ETS in 2014 as a Disability Policy Consultant and then Assistant Director in the Office of Disability Policy. In earlier years, Morgan worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at Nassau BOCES, completing vocational evaluations, work readiness training, job development, and career counseling for adults with disabilities. In addition, she worked at New York Institute of Technology and Barnard College of Columbia University directing accommodation policies and procedures for students and employees with disabilities. Morgan earned her M.S. Ed. in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from Hofstra University and is currently working on her dissertation to complete her Ph.D. in Education at Temple University.
Moore College of Art and Design
Jenna Bradley provides disability support services and coordinates student disability accommodations as the Academic Services Coordinator at the Moore College of Art and Design.
Chattanooga State Community College
Jaime Butler, M.S. (she/her) currently serves as a counselor with Center for Access and Disability Services at Chattanooga State Community College. Before coming to Chattanooga State, Jaime served the Mosaic Program at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coordinating campus-wide education on effectively serving autistic students as well as overseeing the peer mentoring program. Jaime has a MS in College Student Development and a M.Ed. in Counseling Education. She serves as a mental health counselor for autistic clients in her local community and has presented on the local and national level on various topics surrounding autism and neurodiversity.
University of Kentucky
John is a Disability Accommodations Consultant at the University of Kentucky. Previously he has worked in Behavioral Intervention, Threat Assessment, Residence Life, and Student Conduct. He earned his M.Ed. in Student Affairs from the University of Maryland. The presenter draws on his lifetime of experience living on the spectrum, his career spent acting as an advocate for students on the spectrum in higher education, and his experience working with autistic organizations. John has a decade of experience presenting on the emergence of Autism as an Identity starting with a Disability KC Sponsored Presentation at NASPA 2012. In his role at UK, John is the coordinator of the Neurodiverse Educational and Social Initiative (NESI), a cross institution initiative to support the success and sense of belonging for Neurodivergent students. Additionally, he acts as primary consultant for students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. John has previously presented to numerous professional and paraprofessional audiences, state RA conferences, the 2015 Maryland Student Affairs Conference, the 2017 and 2018 Higher Education Case Management Association Conferences, the 2018 ASCA Student Conduct Administrators Conference and the 2021 College Autism Summit. John also previously volunteered with the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and worked as an editorial board member for Stairway to STEM an NSF grant funded project to support the recruitment, retention, and matriculation of Autistic students in STEM fields. John has recently co-authored a chapter on Self-Advocacy in the new book "Supporting Neurodiverse College Student Success."
Marc Callahan has 23 years of experience in the educational technology and publishing industries. He has worked extensively with Google Apps, testing and accountability, digital curriculum, RTI, and assistive technology. His presentation experience includes OETC, Closing the Gap 2020, MACUL, Michigan Reading Association, Ohio AT Vendor Fair and SPARCC.
Virginia Commonwealth University- RRTC on Employment of Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities
Jaclyn Camden, M.Ed., is a faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University and has been supporting students with disabilities in a variety of capacities for over 10 years. She has experience with research and projects that look at planning for and supporting employment for students with disabilities in K-12, postsecondary education, and in the community. She serves as the director for VCU's postsecondary education program for students with I/DD: ACE-IT in College and is the study lead for VCU’s RRTC on Employment for Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities, Effects of Trained Personnel Providing Employment Supports in Higher Education on the Employment Experiences of College students with I/DD.
A former school psychologist, Margaret Camp has worked with students with disabilities in higher education for 20+ years. She has served as ADA Coordinator and Director of DS offices on multiple campuses. She also resents at local, regional, state and national conferences and is the current Co-Chair of AHEAD’s Autism Knowledge and Practice Community.
Rob Carr, CPACC, is the Strategic Accessibility Coordinator at WebAIM. Rob has been in the digital accessibility space since 2010. He has spent loads of time training, consulting, and learning about digital accessibility topics large and small. Rob has worked with hundreds of individuals and dozens of organizations on everything from accessibility in a single PDF to integrating accessibility into organizations' digital strategies. Rob presents at national conferences, organizes the occasional conference, and tries to be more active and less snarky on LinkedIn.
Berklee College of Music
Tasha Chemel has been a staff member at Berklee since July 2019. Prior to coming to Berklee, she was a writing tutor at Suffolk University and Newbury College. Before pursuing her interest in education, she worked as a social worker and family therapist in a variety of settings. She graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in psychology, from Boston College with an M.S.W., and from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with an Ed.M. In her spare time, she enjoys pottery and rock climbing.
Janelle Chu Capwell
University of Arizona
Janelle Chu Capwell, M.A. (she/they) is a queer Taiwanese, hard of hearing, and disabled second year PhD student in English Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English at the University of Arizona. Their research focuses on accessible pedagogy, accommodation rights for students and student-workers, disability justice through an intersectional lens, audism, and archival rhetorics. Throughout their B.A. and M.A. programs they advocated for disabled tutors and have designed training workshops for equitable tutoring policies for disabled students. In addition to teaching first-year composition, they are now the Training and Program Supervisor Graduate Assistant in the Disability Cultural Center at the University of Arizona. Their work at the Disability Cultural Center is focused on presenting and creating workshops that educate and provide affirming content for students, faculty, and staff at the University of Arizona. The hallmark program the Disability Cultural Center offers currently is a four-part workshop series on ableism that aims to educate participants on disability terminology, history, accessibility, and disability justice. In addition to this work at the university, Janelle has also presented at various regional and national conferences on disability care webs, disabled tutoring praxis, and accessible pedagogies. Outside of academic work, Janelle enjoys traveling with their friends and family.
University of California, Los Angeles
Grace Clifford is the Director for Disability Services at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. Born and raised in Cleveland, Grace is a double alumnus of Baldwin Wallace University where she received her undergraduate degree in Psychology (’09) and a Master’s in Leadership in Higher Education (’11). She has authored and co-authored several publications and pending publications regarding disability accommodation determination and disability access; including chapters in: Principles and Practice of College Health (Vaughn & Viera, 2020), Equal Access for Students with Disabilities: The Guide for Health Science and Professional Education, Second Edition (Meeks, Jain, Laird, 2020), and Disability as Diversity (Meeks & Neal-Boylan, 2020). Her current research focuses on developing group models to support students with executive functioning and psychological based disabilities, barriers to seeking accommodations for under-resourced students, and improving disability access in health science and professional education.
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Tina Cowsert has worked at the University of Illinois at Disability Resources & Educational Services since December 2014. A National Board Certified Teacher with teaching licenses in Language Arts: Reading and Writing, Social Studies and Deaf Education (ages 3-21), Tina completed her undergraduate degree in Deaf Education at Illinois State University and taught in the public school setting for 20 years. She has been an Interpreter for the Deaf, has a master's degree in Educational Administration from Eastern Illinois University, and has a second master's degree in Library Information Sciences from the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign. Recently Hard of Hearing herself, Tina works with students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Blind/Low Vision, and students with Speech disabilities on campus. She also coordinates and supervises all interpreters and live captioning events on campus. Her passions include reading, traveling, playing with her two small dogs, and involvement on campus in social justice.
DO-IT, University of Washington
I have been with the DO-IT program at the University of Washington since 1997. DO-IT works to promote the inclusion of students with disabilities in challenging academic and career programs. I have been involved in developing print and electronic resources for students, educators, parents, career advisors, employers and other support personnel who work with students with disabilities as they pursue educational and career goals. In addition to developing materials and programs for students, parents, educators and employers and conducting research on best practices and strategies. I have served on the National Science Teachers Association Special Education Advisory Board. I also served as the Secretary (for ten years) and later as the President for the Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability (WAPED) Board.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Jalan Cunningham has experience with creating events within the higher education sector on diversity and inclusion amongst undergraduate and graduate students to foster conversations about marginalized groups and trends, as well as present to our student groups the understanding of intersectionality and fostering more awareness and inclusiveness across campus.
Mississippi State University
Chris Dallager is the Director of the Disability Resource Center and ACCESS community transition program at Mississippi State University. Previously, he has served as Director of Disability Services at Carleton College and as Coordinator at the Disability Resource Center at the University of Minnesota, Morris. With a background in counseling psychology and school psychology, Dallager worked for many years as a psychotherapist, school psychologist, and as a program director for group homes for adults with intellectual disabilities prior to working in higher education disability. He has previously presented at AHEAD on concussion supports for students. Dallager is a past president of MN AHEAD. He has provided in-service presentations to writing center staff at Mississippi State University and has engaged in collaborative efforts to support students with disabilities in writing while at Carleton College and at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He has developed and supervises an academic coaching model to support students with disabilities in their writing and work completion.
IMS Global Learning Consortium
Andrea Deau is the senior director for higher education partnerships at IMS Global Learning Consortium where she works closely with members to meet the challenges they face in the rapidly growing and evolving digital teaching and learning landscape. She has a robust professional history serving as an academic innovation leader focused on student-centered education and experiences. Andrea has worked as an assistant vice provost for online lifelong learning, a technology innovator leading teams to build the infrastructure for competency-based education programs, while also facilitating a new comprehensive learner record technology centered around digital credentialing, interoperability standards, achievements, and competencies, drove member activities and engagement across a research and education member cooperative, and began her career as a classroom teacher. She holds an MS in Educational Leadership and a BA in Education.
Lehigh Carbon Community College
In his three plus years as a Learning Specialist at Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC), Everett has provided training to faculty and staff around the concepts of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and disability sensitivity. Prior to joining the team at LCCC, Everett has over 10 years of experience in facilitating discussions on the local, state, and national level around student empowerment, person-centered approaches, inclusion, disability awareness and disability sensitivity. Audiences include: students, family members, state agencies, service providers, employers, secondary and post-secondary school faculty and staff.
Western Washington University
Kat DeNicola currently works as a disability Access manager at the Disability Access Center at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. Prior to that, she worked at the Oregon Commission for the Blind, a state vocational rehabilitation agency, as an assistive technology specialist which included working with blind and visually impaired clients in higher education and employment settings. She received a Bachelor’s in psychology and a Master’s in counselor education with a clinical rehabilitation counseling specialty from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.
University of Richmond
Lily is a current undergraduate student at the University of Richmond with a major in Physics and minor in Mathematics. She is involved in many activities on campus during the school year, such as the campus’s science magazine, Osmosis, and the Academic Skills Center where she tutors for introductory math and physics courses. Lily loves attending a liberal arts school where she can pursue many interests, including mathematics and physics research, learning new musical instruments, and art. She hopes to one day become either an instructor or a medical physicist.
Jen Dugger Spalding
Portland State University
Jen Dugger Spalding is the Director of the Disability Resource Center at Portland State University and has been in the field of disability resources and services for more than fifteen years. Jen has worked at PSU since 2012. Jen recently came off of a four year stint with the board of AHEAD where she served three years as a Director at Large and then one year as the board’s Equity Officer. Jen also served 12 years as co-chair of the LGBTQA Knowledge and Practice Community for AHEAD. Jen proudly served four years on the board of the ACLU of Oregon (2014-2018) as well. Jen says that one of the best parts of her job is working with disability services professionals to find creative solutions to address the latent ableism within the field. As a white, cisgender, queer woman who does not identify as having a disability or being disabled, Jen (she/her) understands the gravity of leveraging power and privilege for those experiencing more barriers.
University of South Florida
Lyman Dukes III, Ph.D. earned a B.S. and M.A. from the University of Florida and Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut. He is a Professor of Special Education in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, with 30 years of educational experience. He has served in higher education in a number of capacities both academically and administratively. He has co-edited two books, Preparing Students with Disabilities for College Success: A Practical Guide to Transition Planning (2010) and, most recently, Navigating the Transition from High School to College for Students with Disabilities (2018). He has published and presented extensively on topics related to secondary and postsecondary education for students with disabilities. He has also been awarded city, county, state, federal and corporate grant funding. His current research interests include transition from school to college, universal design in postsecondary education, guidelines for research on postsecondary education and disability, standards for practice in higher education disability services, and trauma-informed teaching practices.
Hunter N. Duncan
I earned my doctorate in English literature in May 2020 from Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI). Since May 2020, I’ve worked as an Access Consultant at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN). I’ve specialized in working across curricular and co-curricular campus spaces. My research, writing, and scholarship include Disability Studies, Victorian literature, inclusive pedagogy, and universal design for learning. At Purdue, I’ve had opportunities to collaborate with students, faculty, and staff to create a more accessible and inclusive campus culture. In July 2022, I’ll be joining the Student Accessibility Services team at Clemson University (Clemson, SC) as their Assistant Director (Academic).
Butler Community College
Teressa Eastman earned an MBA from Wichita State University in 1992 and has served as the Director of Disability Services at Butler Community for 20 years. She has previous experience working in Special Education in the public school system. At Butler Community College, Teressa serves as the chairperson of the college’s CARE Team, as well as, a member of the college’s four person Threat Assessment Team. Teressa also serves on the college’s Inclusion Council and Satisfactory Academic Progress Review Team for Financial Aid. Teressa is also active nationally with the Association of Higher Education and Disability by serving as a co-chair of the Community College Special Interest Group. As a person with a disability, Teressa strongly believes in the value of the Americans with Disabilities Act and advocates for the rights and responsibilities of the disabled population.
Florida Atlantic University
Ashley is the Associate Director of Student Accessibility Services at Florida Atlantic University. She graduated with Bachelors of Science in Psychology from University of Central Florida and obtained a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Florida Atlantic University. Ashley has worked in the disability field for 10 years.
Northern Arizona University
Cole Eskridge (they/them/their) is the faculty lead and program coordinator for Northern Arizona University's M.Ed. Counseling-Student Affairs program. Prior to starting this role this academic year, they worked at the University of Arizona's (UA) Disability Resource Center as their Universal Design Consultant. They have also worked as a Course Support Specialist in UA's Office of Digital Learning and the campus LGBTQ+ Resource Center. Their research focuses on the professional discourses and mindsets within the disability resource profession, as well as the ways that disabled college college students resist oppressive structures and share crip knowledge and ways of being. They also serve as the chair for AHEAD's LGBTQ+ Knowledge and Practice Community.
Georgia Institute of Technology
Dawn Evans has been with the Center for Inclusive Design & Innovation [(CIDI) formerly AMAC Accessibility] since 2008. She has been the AccessText Network (ATN) Coordinator since 2016 where she supports publishers and Disability Services Offices in colleges across the country to ensure the seamless request and delivery of publisher files on behalf of college students with disabilities. Prior to her position at ATN, she managed CIDI's E-Text Unit and is well-versed in creating accessible alternative formats. Dawn earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology and master's degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia.
Virginia Tech, Director of Student Success Center
Christina Fabrey is the Director of the Student Success Center at Virginia Tech, having previously served as the Associate Dean for Advising and Academic Achievement at Prescott College. With a passion for promoting college student success and organizational excellence, Christina has been a higher education administrator and disability provider for over 15 years. Christina earned a Master’s in Education from the University of Vermont, Professional Credentialed Coach (PCC) certification from the International Coach Federation, Board Coach Certification (BCC) through the Center for Credentialing Education Global, and Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Certification through Champlain College. As a Coach Trainer and Mentor, Christina has trained hundreds of higher educational professionals in coaching skills for over the last decade. Having developed coaching programs at several institutions, she is grounded in coaching all students, including students with disabilities and students working towards academic recovery. Christina is active in the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) by co-chairing their Coaching Knowledge and Practice Community and their Coaching Evaluation Community of Practice. Christina is a contributing author of Becoming Self-Determined: Creating Thoughtful Learners in a Standards-Driven, Admissions-Frenzied Culture and Becoming Self-Determined: Practical Strategies for a Changing World, Field & Parker (editors). Her recent works focus on embedding holistic student care into faculty development and include “Careers, Advising, Teaching: A Holistic Approach to Student and Faculty Development.” in Re-imagining Teaching to Maximize Student Learning: Case Studies of Faculty Development Centers (Neisler, Looker, and Newman eds.) and “Resilient and Flexible Teaching (RAFT): Integrating a Whole Person Experience into Online Teaching” in Resilient Pedagogy (Thurston, Lundstrom, and Gonzalez, eds.). Her upcoming edited anthology, Coaching in Disability Resources: From Transactional to Transformational, will be published in the fall of 2022.
Lesley Farmer (ORCID iD)
Dr. Lesley Farmer, Professor at California State University (CSU) Long Beach, coordinates the Librarianship program, and was named as the university’s Outstanding Professor. She also manages the CSU ICT Literacy Project, and directed CSULB's Applied Disabilities Studies Certificate program. She earned her M.S. in Library Science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and received her doctorate in Adult Education from Temple University. Dr. Farmer chaired the IFLA’s School Libraries Section, and is a Fulbright scholar. A frequent presenter and writer for the profession, she won several honors, including American Library Association’s Phi Beta Mu Award for library education and the Ken Haycock Leadership Award, the International Association of School Librarianship Commendation Award, and the AASL Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Farmer’s research interests include digital citizenship, information literacy, and data analytics. Her most recent books are Impactful Community-Based Literacy Projects (ALA, 2020) and Fake News in Context (Routledge, 2020).
Penn State University
Allison R. Fleming, Ph.D., CRC is an Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Human Services and Counselor Education at Penn State University. Allison got her master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Springfield College in 2004 and became a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) that same year. She has worked in the rehabilitation field as a counselor, researcher, and educator for the last 16 years. Prior to pursing an academic career, Allison worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Boston. Following that experience, she also worked for the Institute for Community Inclusion providing continuing education in best practices in employment services to rehabilitation counselors and community rehabilitation staff around New England. She received her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counselor Education at Michigan State University in 2012, and has been on the faculty at the University of Kentucky and Penn State. She is currently serving as First VP of the National Council for Rehabilitation Education, and co-director of the WorkLink PSU program at University Park. As co-director, Allison is involved in all aspects of program planning and implementation, instruction, student support, mentor recruitment and supervision, person-centered planning, collaborating with students, families, and community supports, and communicating with Penn State faculty about student progress in their classes.
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Ann Fredricksen has her BA in Physics from Carthage College and has her MS/LIS degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has been working for Disability Resources and Educational Services in the Accessible Media Services Office since 2008. She now serves as the Coordinator of Accessible Media Services, which provides accessible learning material for courses being taught within the University’s system. In 2020 she was Awarded the Lorine Y. Cowan Award for Excellence in Access and Accommodations from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
Ann has been focusing her career on media accessibility and not only is she the captioning expert on campus but is also responsible for responding to inquiries and information about audio description. She has created a captioning training course to serve as a resource for the University of Illinois’ faculty and staff on how to meet accessibility standards with free to low-cost software already available to this population.
University of Illinois
Allison is the Career Development Specialist for Disability Resources and Educational Services at the University of Illinois. She has worked in higher education for over 10 years, and 8 of those have been in Career Services. Allison has her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, Master’s from Argosy University, and is currently completing her PhD from Indiana State University. She has been published for her work on diversity and higher education, and is passionate about helping those from marginalized populations.
Carol Funckes is the recently retired Chief Operating Officer for the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD). In this position, she designed and oversaw AHEAD’s national professional development agenda, including webinars and in-person and remote workshops and conferences; developed website and print materials on higher education and disability; and consulted individually with members. Prior to assuming this role, Carol worked at the University of Arizona’s Disability Resource Center for over 30 years, leading a staff of access consultants and service coordinators and managing initiatives in faculty development and digital accessibility. Carol is a Past President of AHEAD, has served as a trainer for several disability resource initiatives, and has presented and consulted extensively both nationally and internationally.
Virginia Commonwealth University
Elizabeth Evans Getzel is the Director of the VCU-RRTC on the Employment of Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities. Previously, she was the director of the VCU Center on Transition Innovations (CTI) for seven years. She has been on the VCU faculty for over 30 years and has extensive experience directing research and demonstration projects. Her work has included supported education for college students with disabilities; transition of youth with disabilities to postsecondary education or employment; collaborative career planning for college students with autism; and postsecondary education supports for veterans with disabilities. She has published widely on transition, career development, postsecondary education, and employment of youth and young adults with disabilities.
Southwest Tennessee Community College
Courtney Gipson is the Director of Center for Access, formerly known as Student Disability Services at Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis, TN. She is a servant and advocate for students with disabilities in the higher education sector. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor with an emphasis in Psychiatrics. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Memphis. She has advanced knowledge of the American's with Disabilities Act and Title II. Her motto is Innovating Inclusion for new students with disabilities.
Tennessee Tech University
Director of the Accessible Education Center at Tennessee Tech University, a 4 year public institution. Chester is an AHEAD Board Member, JPED reviewer, and AHEAD Start mentor.
Jewls Griesmeyer Krentz (ORCID iD)
Jewls Griesmeyer Krentz is the Associate Director of Learning Support Services at Linfield University School of Nursing where she oversees disability services, academic coaching, and tutoring. She enjoys finding creative and collaborative ways to promote equity and inclusion for students and university communities. Jewls applies a holistic, social justice approach to working with disabled students. Before joining Linfield in 2022, she had been an Access Counselor and Consultant at the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at PSU since 2013. At the DRC, Jewls specialized in working with blind and low vision students and supervised classroom assistants and graduate-level interns at the DRC. Jewls serves on the Board of Directors of the Oregon Affiliate of the Association of Higher Education and Disability (ORAHEAD), co-chairs the Blind and Low Vision Knowledge and Practice Community at Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), and serves as a mentor for the AHEAD Start Academy for new(er) disability services professionals. Jewls has presented multiple times at regional and national conferences, including AHEAD, ORAHEAD, and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and is actively engaged in ongoing research projects. Jewls received her Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling from PSU in 2008 and is a PhD candidate in Adult and Higher Education at Oregon State University. Her doctoral work focuses on international and immigrant students with disabilities, disability identity, and intersectionality. Jewls is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). Prior to coming to PSU, Jewls had a private counseling practice and served as a commissioner on the city of Portland Commission on Disability.
Hastings College of Law and the Office of Civil Rights (retired)
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 Summer 2022.
University of Cincinnati
Jessica Guess is the Program Manager for Accessibility Compliance and is a founding member and inaugural chair of the Disabled Faculty and Staff Association at University of Cincinnati. She received her MS in Vocational Rehabilitation from University of Wisconsin-Stout and is currently a doctoral candidate working on her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at University of Cincinnati. Jessica has worked in the field of disability for many years, coming to the world of higher education in 2015. Her current position focuses on data collection as it relates to disability, accommodation, and digital and physical access for faculty, staff, students, and visitors of the university and disability/accessibility training and education. Jessica identifies as deaf plus meaning she is deaf and has other disabilities.
University of Toledo
Enjie Hall serves as the Director for the Office of Accessibility and Disability Resources at The University of Toledo in Ohio. She holds a dual role and also serves as the ADA/504 Compliance Officer for the institution, which includes the Health Science Campus and University of Toledo Medical Center. As a disabled individual, Enjie has passionately advocated for civil rights and the inclusion of disabled people for 25 years. Enjie previously worked in the disability office at The Ohio State University. She has served as a director at large on the AHEAD national board since 2018. She has presented locally and nationally on a variety of topics related to disability, DEI, leadership/influence, assistive technology, and navigating the interactive process. Enjie has been 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) in Ohio.
Zebadiah Hall is the Director of Student Disability Services (SDS) at Cornell University. He has shifted SDS to a Civil Rights for Social Justice model instead of the medical model approach to determining accommodation. His pronouns are He, Him. Zebadiah has worked in higher education in various departments such as Admissions, Academic Support, Assistant Men's Basketball Coach, and Disability Support Services. He served as the President of the State of Indiana’s Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) chapter from 2013-2014. He is currently serving a three-year term as a board member of AHEAD's national organization as the Equity Officer. Before being the director at Cornell, he was the director of Access and Accommodation Resource Center at Valparaiso University and director at Calumet College of St. Joseph Disability Support Services as well. At Valparaiso, he served as the chair of the Staff Employee Advocacy Council and the chair of the Minority Employee Support Group. At Cornell, he currently sits on the Diversity Working Group for Cornell Health. He is a regular speaker and facilitator on topics around access and opportunity for disabled students as well as other oppressed populations. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service in Higher Education at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee,WI.
University of North Florida
Lieutenant Halstead was born and raised in Miami, Florida. After graduating from Miami Killian Sr. High she enlisted into the United States Air Force and served for a total of ten years active duty and reserve. Lt. Halstead began her law enforcement career at the Broward Sheriff's Office in 1995. In 2002 she and her family moved to Jacksonville and soon afterwards joined UPD as a patrol officer. Since then Lt. Halstead has worked as a Resident Life Officer, Detective, Accreditation Manager, and Patrol Shift Supervisor. During this time, she has earned an Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice and is currently working on a Bachelor's in Public Safety Management. Dr. Halstead is a passionate advocate for students with disabilities on campus and provides opportunities to meet with new/incoming students to help students better acclimate to campus life.
Katherine is Glean’s Brand Manager, focusing on how we can help every learner to have the confidence and ability to build useful knowledge in an age of information overload. Glean (formerly Sonocent) creates inclusive note taking solutions that empower 100,000+ users across 500 institutions to reach their potential in and out of the classroom. Katherine’s vision is to shape Glean as more than just a technology company but instead a driver of real social change in diverse learning environments. Katherine has previously spoken at COE, AHEAD, ATIA, AHG, and CSUN conferences about improving equity and the relationship between note taking and learning.
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Vivian Hardison has worked at the Disability Support Services (DSS) office at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) since 2013. Vivian started attending the AHEAD conferences in 2018 when she became the Assistant Director at DSS after being the Testing Coordinator for 5 years. Vivian was recently nominated as Committee Member for the REDD K&P. Vivian is the disability representative and member of the Diversity Council at SIUC. Vivian serves on the Southern Illinois University Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) for the Southern Illinois University System. Vivian’s research focuses on disabled Latinx students and the cultural implications of receiving services and treatment, cross-cultural and intersecting identities, and critical race theory as it applies to disability. Vivian does presentations throughout the year on SIUC campus. She presented at last year's AHEAD conference on cultural implications when working with disabled Latinx students.
National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange
Justin (he/him/his) is a Program Coordinator with the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, working to increase the participation of people with disabilities in international exchange by providing information and resources to both individuals with disabilities and international professionals. Previously, Justin worked for two years in disability community organizing and policy in the foothills of Northern California. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Latin American History and Spanish Literature from University of California, Berkeley. He studied abroad at the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago Chile, where he researched and wrote a thesis on the history of the blind in Chilean society. In 2008, he spent 10 weeks immersing himself in the culture and language of Michoacan, Mexico.
Marilyn Harren earned her M.S. in Disability Services in Higher Education from City University of New York in 2019. This combined her years of working as the Director of a disability services office at an open enrollment technical college in Texas, using her background as a certified special education teacher and licensed social worker. She is currently the past-president of AHEAD in Texas. She serves as a mentor to a small group of AHEAD “new to the field” community college disability staff from Texas and Illinois and assists the AHEAD Community College Knowledge and Practice Community. She works as the Director of ACCESS at Collin College in Texas.
Ringling College of Art and Design
Clair Harris is the Director of Student Access Services at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. Clarissa started the office of Student Access Services at Ringling College and has since worked collaboratively with local institutions to partner and eliminate barriers associated with running a small disability office and promote access campus-wide. Clarissa has a reputation for advocacy that was evident in her career as a case manager, mental health therapist, and now in higher education.
Paul joined Purdue University as the Senior Assistant Director in November 2019. Prior to Purdue, Paul worked as a disability resource professional at both Harvard University and Texas A&M University. Paul believes in leading by example and that access is a shared community responsibility, which drives his efforts to develop partnerships that help remove barriers for students and people with disabilities. He brings a broad range of experiences to Purdue, but has specific expertise on assistive technology, digital access, student development, higher education and disability law, and assessment. Paul began his journey in this profession as a student employee in 2006 with intensive mentorship that he works to return to the others within the professional network and the greater higher education community. He has been an active member AHEAD since 2010, and previously served in multiple leadership roles for AHEAD in Texas before moving to New England. Paul completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology at Stephen F. Austin State University, and is a Doctoral Candidate in Higher Education Administration at Texas A&M University. His intended research focuses on faculty perspectives and experiences of supporting students with disabilities.
University of Michigan
Jackie Heymann (she/her) recently began in a Coordinator role within University of Michigan's Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services. Prior to joining the U of M team, Jackie was an Access Consultant in Purdue University's Disability Resource Center where she facilitated the interactive process, advised the Peer Mentor Program, and created an Executive Functioning Accountability Group program. She has earned a Master's in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University, and an Advanced Certificate in Disability Studies from CUNY School of Professional Studies. Jackie is passionate about applying an intersectional lens to disability services work and working in partnership with faculty, staff, and students to create campus communities that are equitable, inclusive and accessible.
Emily J. Helft, Ed.S. is the Assistant Director of Professional Development at Landmark College. Emily has more than 10 years of experience working with Disabled students and their support systems, including field work in both K12 and Higher Education. She is a trained school psychologist with a particular interest in psychoeducational evaluation, and has spent time as an Assistive Technology Specialist, Accessible Media Productionist, and Senior Accessible Education Specialist at Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as the Director of Disability Services at the University of Richmond. Recently, Emily joined the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training as their Assistant Director of Professional Development where she works directly with educators to champion accessibility through education, outreach, and professional development opportunities. While she was born less than 50 miles from the Landmark College campus, she currently calls Richmond, Virginia home.
Central Washington University
Vernée Hemphill is the Administrator for Central Access at Central Washington University and oversees the fee-for-service alternative media production lab, which serves students at CWU as well as institutions across the country. Vernée has worked in the production of alternative media for nine years and specializes in the conversion of STEM and braille content. Her favorite part of the job are the challenges and puzzles that come along with the conversion of alternative media and working closely with students in the production lab and the students who receive the finished products.
University of Phoenix
Kelly Hermann is the Vice President of Accessibility, Equity, and Inclusion for the University of Phoenix. She has oversight of the university’s accessibility initiative, including the evaluation and remediation of curricular resources, the Accessibility & Disability Services office, which provides accommodations to students with disabilities, and the Office of Educational Equity, which works with University stakeholders, community partners, and corporate sponsors to create an inclusive educational environment for the students, faculty, and staff. Prior to joining the University of Phoenix, Ms. Hermann was the director of disability services for SUNY Empire State College for 12 years and started her career in academic support and disability services at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY in 2000. In 2009, Ms. Hermann was appointed to the Instructional Materials Advisory Council in New York by then-Governor David Patterson and has been active in the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), chairing the special interest group on online and distance education for AHEAD and was the chair of AHEAD’s standing committee on public policy from 2009 to 2013. She also co-chairs the Accessibility Innovation Learning Network for IMS Global and was awarded the IMS Global award for higher ed leadership in 2020. Ms. Hermann was a board member of the National Diversity Council (NDC) from 2019 through 2021 and was awarded the Leadership Excellence award by NDC in 2021. She frequently presents at national conferences, such as the Online Learning Consortium, WCET, and AHEAD regarding online learning and accessibility for students with disabilities, and joined the Accessibility Advisory Board for McGraw-Hill in 2019. Ms. Hermann holds a Master’s of Science in Education in Communication Sciences and Disorders and is nearing completion of a doctoral degree in educational administration and leadership.
University of Minnesota, Morris
Matthew Hoekstra is Associate Director of the Student Success Center and Coordinator of the Disability Resource Center at the University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM). Matthew has been in the Disability Resource Center since 2016. Previously, Matthew worked in Academic Assistance at UMM and at Minnesota State Technical College. He has also worked as a Success Coach for students at UMM.
Bonnie joined Purdue University as an Access Consultant for the DRC in June of 2021. Her educational experience includes a B.S. in Special Education from Ohio University and an M.A. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Disability Resource Center at Purdue, Bonnie spent 4 years working for the Residential Life Office at Indiana State University. Throughout that time she worked as part of a committee to develop the residential curriculum for ISU ResLife. She is passionate about strengths-based approaches to advising and concepts of Universal Design. Bonnie has presented on these topics at Michigan State University and Indiana State University.
University of Nebraska Omaha
Becky Jacobs-Cano holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and Human Sciences and a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology. Becky has been a part of UNO and the ASC for almost 7 years. In her current role as Associate Director, Becky works with students and faculty to support access and implementation of accommodations. Becky leads staff in construction and implementation of processes. Outside work, Becky enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is a huge Elvis Presley fan and has visited Graceland several times.
Disability Access Information and Support (DAIS)
Jane is the President of Disability Access Information and Support and serves as a consultant to the higher education community regarding services and support for students with disabilities. Before beginning her work as a consultant, Jane served fourteen years as the first Executive Director of AHEAD, from 1982 until 1996. Jane has presented at all but one AHEAD conference since the start of the organization, primarily on topics dealing with training/orientation of new professionals in the field and implementing policy and practices into the daily work of the disability services professional. Over the years, Jane has visited more than 250 campuses, consulting on issue of policy and providing faculty inservice training regarding support for students with disabilities. In addition to her presentations at AHEAD conferences, she is a much sought-after speaker by state and regional groups of service providers. Jane teaches online professional development classes for disability providers and has offered almost 200 courses over the years on a variety of topics.
Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Amy is a Transition Program Specialist with the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. She has created and developed curriculum for job readiness, independent living and life after high school workshops using the Expanded Core Curriculum and Universal Design Principles and established informal social group for students who are blind/visually impaired between the ages of 14-24. She also facilitates workshops that focus on job readiness, career exploration, college preparedness, and independent living.
University of Minnesota, Morris
Josh Johnson is Director of the Writing Center and a professor in English at the University of Minnesota Morris. He teaches courses on academic writing, creative writing, environmental studies, fantasy literature, and composition studies. In the Writing Center, Josh manages up to 10 undergraduate students of varying majors and class standing, all of whom tutor students from across the campus. Josh is interested in issues of accessibility and disability, especially in connection with tutor training and student experience in the writing center.
Courtney Joly-Lowdermilk, M.S. Ed. directs strategic initiatives at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University drawing on her 16+ years of teaching, developing, and directing wellness and resiliency programming in secondary and post-secondary education.
Cleveland State University
Karen Keptner OTR/L PhD is an associate professor at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. She teaches in the occupational therapy doctorate program and currently serves as the doctoral capstone coordinator. She has been an occupational therapist for over 20 years and since 2014, her research has primarily focused on occupational therapy's role in higher education spaces. She has a strong interest in occupational therapy and mental health and serves as the research coordinator for the Mental Health Special Interest Section of the American Occupational Therapy Association. She has a blog (collegeOT.com) where she shares her OT-based approach to helping college students. She also founded an international organization to support OTs who work in higher education settings (called OT-U) - OT-U sponsors regular webinars and supports OTs in all things higher education. Her own favorite occupations are traveling, reading, and spending time with family.
University of Richmond
Michael Kerckhove is Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Richmond where he has been on the faculty since 1988. His range of interests includes differential geometry, math modeling, game theory, and undergraduate instruction in integrated science and math. In the summer, Dr. Kerckhove mentors student research. He enjoys especially teaching calculus to first-year students where he works to instill calculus thinking as a way of life.
Lauren "Lore" Kinast
National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes
Lauren has spent over 25 years addressing accessibility barriers that deaf students face in higher education settings through collaborations with stakeholders, designing accessible opportunities, and implementing systemic benchmarks. She has also coordinated interpreting, captioning, and other accommodations for deaf students at community colleges, universities, and community organizations. She is currently the Co-Chair for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Knowledge and Practice Community. Lauren received her Ed.D in Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University.
Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities
Berna King has been the program manager for the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired at Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities since October of 2020. Prior to that, she was a vocational rehabilitation supervisor with OOD for 2.5 years. Before becoming a supervisor, she was a vocational rehabilitation counselor with OOD’s Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired for 18 years. Berna has a Master of Arts degree in rehabilitation counseling and a Master of Arts degree in rehabilitation teaching for the visually impaired from Western Michigan University. She holds the credential of Certified Rehabilitation Counselor from C.R.C.C.
Delaware State University
Ann Knettler, Ed.D. currently Directs the Center for Disability Resources (CDR) and is the ADA & 504 Compliance Officer at Delaware State University, she also teaches in their Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Masters of Public Administration Programs. As a member of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), Ann has served on the Standing Committee for Professional Development and currently represents the Association as a member of the Board of Directors for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) where she has authored and updated policy and standards for the entire field of higher education and currently sits on their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She is a published researcher and experienced educator. Ann regularly presents and consults at the national level on topics such as ableism, able-body privilege, disability policy reform, strategic planning, creating and using policy and standards as guidance in the non-profit field, program review, community needs assessment, and the social justice model of disability. Ann received a Masters of Arts in Counseling in Higher Education with an emphasis in Mental Health from the University of Delaware and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership in Higher Education from Delaware State University. Her dissertation focuses on the lived experiences of ableism and able-body privilege by students with disabilities in higher education and the impact that experience has on their receipt of an accessible and equitable educational experience.
Michelle Koch is the Director of Accessibility Services at Moravian University. She earned her Bachelors of Psychology from Moravian University, Masters and Ed.S. Certification as a School Psychologist from Lehigh University, and License as an LPC from Chestnut Hill College. She is also a certified bio/neurofeedback Specialist, certified through the BCIA. She spent the past 25 years evaluating and determining needs of those with disabilities as a school psychologist in K-12, working within higher education and disability support, a professor, presenter and LPC in private practice with a focus on learning disabilities and anxiety. She now serves in higher education, reviewing and determining needs at the college level while also moving students, staff, and faculty to see students as self-determined leaders on campus. She is currently a contributing author to the book, A Guide to Digital Accessibility, co-published by Quality Matters and Stylus, focused on technology and disability and the benefits of story-telling. She strives to bridge the gap between what ADA has started and where disability justice needs to continue in higher education.
University of Arizona
Dr. Amanda Kraus is Assistant Vice President for Campus Life and Executive Director for Disability Resources at the University of Arizona. UA’s Disability Resource Center is one of the largest in the nation, and considered an international model of progressive service delivery, uniquely positioned to approach campus access systemically. Dr. Kraus is also Associate Professor of Practice in UA’s Center for the Study of Higher Education where she coordinates the MA program and teaches courses on student services and disability in higher education. She looks to disability studies to inform research and teaching that challenges deficit or tragedy rhetoric on disability and frame disability in the context of social justice, shaped by dynamics of power and privilege. Dr. Kraus is President of the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Board of Directors and has had the privilege of delivering keynote addresses and facilitating workshops around the country and internationally. Dr. Kraus earned her MA and Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in Higher Education.
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Traci Krause, DNP, MPH, RN, RYT is the Dean of Nursing, Health Sciences and Wellness at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Traci is an experienced nursing education leader with a passion for increasing the diversity of the nursing profession. She has graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Augsburg University, where she focused her doctoral work on examining grit and resilience in multi-lingual nursing students. She completed a yoga teacher training program to enable her to utilize meditation and holistic health practices with students. Traci leads a highly inclusive pre-licensure nursing program at Minneapolis College and has spent considerable time partnering with the Minneapolis College Accessibility Resource Center to provide all nursing students with an inclusive testing environment.
Penn State University
Celine Kristoff is a graduate student from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology with minors in social welfare and data analytics from Nazareth College in 2020. Celine is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in the field of school psychology. Celine's past research has focused on college internships, with an emphasis on the intern-supervisor relationship and the quality of internship experiences.
Assistive Technology, Accessibility, and Transition Consultant
Rachel Kruzel, ATP, is an assistive technology and accessibility professional and currently works as a Territory Director for one of the major assistive technology companies supporting higher ed and K-12 education. She is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional and spent over ten years working as an Assistive Technology and Accommodations Specialist in Disability Resource Offices in Minnesota. During her time in higher ed, she built and developed assistive technology programs at both schools she worked at, as well as coordinated the provision of accommodations. Rachel is a national expert in the areas of assistive technology, digital accessibility, alternative format course materials, accommodation provision around testing and notetaking, as well as supervising student workers. Rachel presents both regionally and nationally on these topics and others, as well as consults with students, parents, schools, and organizations. She is a member of AHEAD and MNAHEAD, as well as sits on the Minnesota Department of Education’s Assistive Technology Leadership Team.
Adam Lalor, Ph.D. is the Director of the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training and Co-Director of the Landmark College Center for Neurodiversity. With more than 15 years of experience in higher education administration, his research focuses on the transition of students with disabilities to and within higher education and the preparation of faculty and administrators to serve students with disabilities. Recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability and the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. He teaches in Landmark College’s online Learning Differences and Neurodiversity certificate program and is co-author of From Disability to Diversity: College Success for Students with Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. A diversity, equity, and inclusion advocate at Landmark College, Dr. Lalor serves on the President’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Steering Committee and on the Reach One Teach One program (a mentorship program for Black, neurodivergent students) steering committee. Dr. Lalor received his doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education.
Virginia Commonwealth University
Aliza Lambert, M.Ed., CRC has extensive experience working on developing and maintaining employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Aliza serves as the career support specialist for ACE-IT in College and coordinates campus employment and internship. Aliza has an interest in the job development process and creating supports to match the diverse needs of young adults with disabilities.
American Printing House for the Blind ConnectCenter
Indiana State University
Olaya Landa-Vialard, Ph.D. is a National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities Fellow and Graduate of Texas Tech University. She was a Co-PI for the Early Learning Visual Impairment Services Training Advancement (EL VISTA) program at Illinois State University. She has been a Bilingual Educational Diagnostician for Students with Visual Impairment/Blindness/Deafblindness/Multiple Disabilities, TVI, University Professor, Bilingual Family Engagement Coordinator for the Illinois State Deafblind Project, Project Reach, currently serves as an Adjunct Instructor for multiple university VI programs, and is currently the Director of APH ConnectCenter Programs.
University of Cincinnati
Katie Lane is Assistant Director of Digital and User Experience in the UC Marketing and Communications Department. Katie is responsible for designing and review of the accessibility training for all UC web authors; she also oversees our annual web accessibility audit process. Katie recently led a university-wide web refresh to update branding standards and ensure accessibility of the full uc.edu web experience.
Icahn School of Medicine
Christine Low is the Director of Disability Services for the Icahn School of Medicine leading disability initiatives, policy development and program oversight. She serves as the direct provider determining needed accommodations for students with disabilities in the School of Medicine and for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. She has worked in the field of disability services since 2008 in developmental behavioral pediatrics as a social worker and academic advocacy consultant. She serves as a Board Member for the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education. She is a faculty member in Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Adjunct Faculty for the Bank Street College of Education Graduate School and Columbia University, School of Social Work.
Juan Leon Parra
Juan is a College Coach and Instructor at Boston University's College Mental Health Education Programs. He's been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Massachusetts since 2012.
Craig Levins earned a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Antioch University, a Bachelor of Arts form Elmira College, and a Certificate of Advanced Assistive Technology Applications from California State University at Northridge. Craig has 24 years of higher education experience within the accessibility field and as an adjunct professor of Psychology. Craig joined Broward College in 2017 where he currently holds the role of Associate Vice President for Institutional Accessibility & ADA Coordinator. In this role he serves as the college’s ADA Coordinator and oversees the Accessibility Resources, Electronic Information Technology and Assistive Technology Departments, as well as the college’s Neurodiverse programs. Craig is the sitting president for Florida AHEAD and has been a member of AHEAD since 2000. Prior to his arrival in Florida, Craig worked within the State University of New York System where he served on the executive board of the NY AHEAD affiliate and served on multiple committees and consortiums throughout the state.
National Deaf Center
Kate Lewandowski has over 12 years of experience advising and coordinating access for deaf students in the postsecondary environment. Kate’s passion for outreach on topics of disability justice, access, and inclusion is a deeply personal endeavor which stems from her experiences navigating systems as a deaf student. Kate earned her master’s degree in Disability Services in Higher Education from the City University of New York’s School of Professional Studies in 2019.
L. Scott Lissner
The Ohio State University
L. Scott Lissner is the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator and 504 Compliance Officer for The Ohio State University, where he is also an Associate of the John Glenn School of Public Policy and serves as a lecturer for the Moritz College of Law, the Knowlton School of Architecture and Disability Studies. Engaged in community and professional service, Scott is a Past President and Public Policy Chair of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and serves on the Board of Directors for The Center for Disability Empowerment, VSA Ohio, and the Editorial Board for Thompson’s ADA Compliance Guide. He is a regular and popular presenter both nationally and internationally, serves on numerous boards in support of access and equity. Recent publications include The Impact of the ADAAA of 2008 on Higher Education, Thompsons Publications; Universal Design in the Institutional Setting: Weaving a Philosophy into Campus Planning in Universal Design: From Accessibility to Zoning (J. Cowley-Evans & J. Nasser (Eds.); From Legal Principle to Informed Practice with J. E. Jarrow; and A Long View of Change, Disability Blog, The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.
University of Cincinnati
Meghann Littrell is a Director of Accessibility Resources Regional Programs at the University of Cincinnati. In her position she oversees the accessibility offices for the regional programs and the UCOnline students. This is her 12th year working and advocating for accessibility in Higher Education. Meghann also serves on the Board of Directors for the Ohio Association on Higher Education and Disability. She is a two time graduate of the University of Cincinnati, with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a master’s degree in School Counseling.
University of Arizona
Barbara Lopez is the Digital Accessibility Consultant, Sr. for the Disability Resource Center, Digital and Physical Access Team at the University of Arizona. She collaborates across campus to resolve technological access barriers in the curricular, information and employment environments. Barbie consults with University personnel, including DRC staff, in researching, identifying, recommending, and implementing technical solutions to student and employee access barriers; problem-solving technological issues and compatibility concerns in implementing accommodations. She regularly presents on accessible digital design to a variety of groups and organizations.
University of Maryland
Emily Lucio has 25+ years experience in both DSS director and as a stand alone ADA Coordinator.
Pamela Luft (ORCID iD)
Kent State University
Pamela Luft is President of the Council on Education of the Deaf, a consortium of eight organizations dedicated to quality education for all deaf and hard of hearing students. She is a Professor of Special/Deaf Education at Kent State University in Ohio and the Director of the Deaf Education program. She received her M.Ed. in Deaf Education from McDaniel College, and an M.S. in Technology for Persons with Disabilities from the Johns Hopkins University. Her Ph.D. is from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Special Education with a focus in transition-to-adulthood. She worked in public, special day, and residential schools as a teacher, behavior specialist, career coordinator, and program administrator for 15 years before getting her doctorate. Her research and grant projects have focused on transition services and rehabilitation services for the deaf. She has published on issues related to transition, employment of persons with disabilities, technology, literacy, special education policy, and instructional practices.
Diversity and Ability
Brian has 20 years’ experience working across statutory, further and higher education. His extensive experience has ranged from teaching and co-ordination through to operational and strategic management of direct services to students, and as a senior leader in UK and European organisations. He also has direct lived experience of disability throughout his education and career.
Brian has been an active advocate across the education sector, hosting and speaking at national and international conferences, and formally representing the UK with european partners on UDL development. Brian is an award-winning former Chair of the National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP, UK) from 2018 – 2021, and is also a former Chair of the Learning Inclusively Network (LINK, Europe), serving as national and european leaders of research and practice on disability, inclusion and equality. With his in-depth knowledge of inclusion and relating services aspects including safeguarding and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), he continues to strive toward ensuring opportunities to achieve are equitably maintained for all, and is currently the Chair of the UCAS English Policy Group. Brian also loves working on his Classic Mini, listening to Drum and Bass and Jazz, going to gigs, reading and watching sci-fi, and of course, spending time with his family.
Luis Pérez is a technical assistance specialist at CAST. He holds a doctorate in special education and a master’s degree in instructional technology from the University of South Florida. Luis was recognized with an International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Making It Happen! Award in 2020. Other recognitions include Apple Distinguished Educator (2009) and Google Certified Innovator (2014). Luis has published three books on accessibility, mobile learning and UDL: Mobile Learning for All (Corwin Press), Dive into UDL (ISTE) and Learning on the Go (CAST Publishing). He currently serves as an Education and Learning strand advisor for the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA).
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Emily Magee, MS has over five years of experience as a disability resource professional. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Exceptional Student Education from Florida State University. Emily previously served as an Access Specialist at Eastern Florida State College where she developed a passion for Allied Health. She further developed her skills in health science disability access as an Access Coordinator at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and currently serves as the Director of Student Disability Services at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Emily has contributed to the field through her work with students, trainings with AHEAD and the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science Education and through the academic literature.
Gregory S. Fehribach Center
Larry Markle is the director of the Gregory S. Fehribach Center at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis, a program that provides college students with physical disabilities with paid internships in fields related to their major and professional development training to improve employment outcomes. Prior to that, Markle was the director of disability services at Ball State University for 13 years. During his tenure, Ball State was recognized nationally as a leader in physical accessibility for students with disabilities. A 2019 recipient of the Association on Higher Education and Disability’s Meritorious Contribution Award, Markle has co-authored multiple articles on disability and higher education that have been published in peer reviewed journals and presented at dozens of regional and national conferences.
Ali Martin Scoufield
Cleveland State University
Ali has worked in higher education for over sixteen years in various functional areas within student affairs including CARE, community standards, equity, residence life, service-learning, and Title IX. She currently serves as the Interim Dean of Students, overseeing CARE Management, Community Standards, the Lift Up Vikes (LUV!) Food Pantry & Resource Center, and Student Wellness. She holds a BA in History from Western New England University, a MS in College Student Personnel from Miami University, and a MLS in Human Rights and Social Justice from Southern Methodist University. Ali is currently working on her PhD in Urban Education Policy from Cleveland State University. When not working, she is an avid reader, traveler, and passionate about community service. She is a long-term volunteer for food insecurity and the Girl Scouts.
Appalachian State University
Maranda Maxey is Director for the Office of Disability Resources and the University's ADA /504 Coordinator at Appalachian State University. Maranda has nearly 20 years experience working within the field of disability resources and compliance. Maranda is a member of the National ADA Coordinators Association, the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and is heavily involved in North Carolina’s AHEAD affiliate where she has served on the Board of Directors for 8 years. Maranda consults with various constituencies including other universities and law firms on the Americans with Disabilities Act, specifically Title I and Title II along with process evaluation for efficiencies.
Columbus State Community College
Tiffany McClain is the Director of Accessibility and Testing at Columbus State Community College in Columbus, OH. Tiffany started at Columbus State as the Coordinator of Interpreting Services in 2003. Prior to that, she was a staff Sign Language Interpreter at an agency in Columbus, Ohio and taught American Sign Language at The Ohio State University also in Columbus. Tiffany graduated from The Ohio State University, College of Social Behavioral Science with a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Hearing. Later, she graduated from Columbus State Community College, Interpreting and Transliterating Technology, with an Associate of Applied Science in Interpreting/Transliterating. Lastly, she graduated from the University of Dayton, School of Education and Allied Professions, with a Master of Arts in Counselor Education and Human Services.
Keysha McCloud is the inaugural Director Accommodations for Accessibility Services at Dallas College. Ms. McCloud has over 15 years of higher education experience, specifically working with college students with disabilities. She has previous experience working with individuals with a variety of disabilities at Nexus Drug Rehab and Dallas Metrocare. Keysha is a member of Collin College IEP Advisory Committee and CityWide nonprofit organization. Ms. McCloud received her undergraduate degree in Rehabilitation Studies and her graduate degree in Rehabilitation Counseling.
Florida Atlantic University
Courtney is the Assistant Director of Student Accessibility Services at Florida Atlantic University. She graduated with Bachelors of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Brockport, and obtained a Master's Degree in Higher Education Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. Courtney has worked in the disability field for 10 years.
Virginia Commonwealth University
Susan McKelvey, PhD, is the Director of Research and Evaluation at Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Transition RRTC (Rehabilitation Research and Training Center). Her doctorate is in Education, with emphasis on research and evaluation. She also has 20 years of experience in evaluating programs and conducting research funded by the DOE, NSF, NIH, NIDILLR, among others. Dr. McKelvey has experience with conducting interviews and focus groups, survey development, regression analysis, randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental design, qualitative analysis, and mixed methods design.
Miami University of Ohio
Autumn studied Applied Sociology and Family, Gender, & Society at Miami University Regional Campuses. She received her degree in 2011. Autumn worked as a student employee and she grew an excitement for higher education while completing her degree at Miami. Following graduation, she worked as the office coordinator for the English & Foreign Languages Department at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia. However, Autumn has a passion for Miami University and knew she wanted to come back. She fulfilled this goal and returned to Miami in 2014 as the Technical Support & Accessibility Specialist for the Regional E-Campus department. She joined the AccessMU team as the Accessible Technology Coordinator in December of 2017. Autumn is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies.
University of Michigan Medical School
Dr. Meeks is an administrative leader and researcher, who informs policy and best practice in the area of disability inclusion for health professions education. Her research interests include: Improving access to health professions education for learners with disabilities, medical student and resident well-being, reducing health care disparities for patients with disabilities, and the performance and trajectory of learners and physicians with disabilities. Dr. Meeks is the co-founder, Past President, and newly appointed new President of the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science Education; co-developer of both AAMC Disability Webinar Series; and edited and authored leading books on the topic, including Disability as Diversity: A Case Studies Companion Guide and Equal Access for Students with Disabilities: The Guide for Health Science and Professional Education, Second Edition. She is also the lead author of the AAMC Special Report: Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education: Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians with Disabilities, co-creator of the social media campaign #DocsWithDisabilities, host of the Docs With Disabilities Podcast, and key facilitator of the Equal Access Book Club.
University of Central Florida
Adam Meyer, Ph.D. is the Director of the Student Accessibility Services office and of Inclusive Education Services at the University of Central Florida. He was previously the Director of disability resource offices at Eastern Michigan University and Saint Louis University. Adam has served on the AHEAD Board of Directors and on AHEAD Standing Committees. He presents regularly on documentation, the social model of disability, leadership and office operations, initial student interviews, office data, and budgetary basics. Adam worked in the intellectual disability field for nearly 10 years prior to working in higher education.
Kent State University
Collin Meyer completed his EdS in Higher Education Administration and is currently a PhD student in Research, Measurement and Statistics. He was a data analyst intern for the College of Public Health and Office of Accreditation, Assessment, and Learning. Prior to this he received his master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. His instructional experience includes teaching English in Japan, China, and Korea.
Lehigh Carbon Community College
Michelle Mitchell earned a M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Penn State University and has been in the profession over 20 years. Seeing the inequity of opportunities for persons with disabilities, Michelle has endeavored to change opportunities by changing the way our culture interprets disability and championing liberation. Through this work, Michelle has developed sustainable relationships opening the doors of inclusion across campus. With over 11 years at Lehigh Carbon Community College as a Disability Learning Specialist and various community connections, Michelle has collaborated on a number of projects to open doors of equity across her community.
University of Memphis - Disability Resources for Students
Jennifer Murchison is an Assistant Director of Disability Resources for Students at the University of Memphis, working mostly with disabled students who have psychiatric disabilities, those enrolled in classes at the Lambuth campus in Jackson, TN and in professional programs such as law and nursing schools at the UofM. Jennifer has worked in disability services since 2001 and shares a birthday with the Americans with Disabilities Act (July 26), though several years apart. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys reading works from disabled activists and classic films - especially Jean Harlow's.
Educational Testing Service
Lori R. Muskat, Ph.D. is a Disability Policy Specialist in the Office of Disability Policy at Educational Testing Service (ETS), where she assists with documentation reviews and policy/procedure development regarding accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Prior to joining the ETS staff, Lori was a member of the ETS External Review Panel for over a decade. Lori’s clinical training and experience include neuropsychology, rehabilitation psychology and clinical psychology. She was a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Georgia School of Professional Psychology, where she coordinated the assessment sequence, and has also taught adjunct for multiple doctoral programs. Additionally, Lori was a staff psychologist at the Regents Center for Learning Disorders at the University of Georgia. Areas of expertise include neuropsychological assessment, differential diagnosis, psychotherapy, school consultation and expert witness services. Lori has presented nationally and internationally and has national recognition for her assessment training expertise. She serves on the Research Review Board of the Journal of Post-Secondary Education and Disability (JPED) and was a recipient of JPED’S Practice Brief Reviewer of the Year Award.
University of Central Florida
Iris Neil, M.Ed. is the Program Manager: Outreach Coordinator for the Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities at the University of Central Florida. Iris’ career in special education has encompassed various roles throughout Florida from teacher to administrator to private consultant and advocate. Prior to UCF, Iris served as the Program Planner for Secondary Curriculum and Transition Services. In this role, she implemented high school programs to increase graduation, employment, and post-secondary education outcomes for students with disabilities.
Beverly Neu Menassa
Beverly Neu Menassa holds a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from the University of North Texas, a Master's Degree in English from Texas Woman's University, and a Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Florida Atlantic University. She is also a licensed professional counselor, supervisor in the state of Texas. She has been working with students with disabilities in higher education settings for the past 22 years. She served as a Coordinator of Disability Services, a Director of Support Services, and a Dean of Student Support Services. She has also served as an adjunct professor, teaching freshman English classes. Currently she provides leadership for 7 campuses at Dallas College, serving as the Associate Dean of Accessibility Services.
State College of Florida
Hillsborough Community College
Dr. Nolting has helped students with disabilities for 30 years. He has consulted with over one hundred campuses on disability issues. He has publications, and authored books on disabilities and math. He has presented at 25 conferences for AHEAD and PTI and was the keynote at many state AHEAD conferences. His last two books are Mathematics and Disability Handbook focusing on helping SLD, ADHD, TBI, PTS, ID, LI and Autism and My Math Success Plan study skills workbook. The workbook is for students with disabilities and Wounded Warriors to improve their math study skills and understand how their process deficits affect math learning. Last, he was the main coordinator and presented at the four Math National Math Summits co-sponsored by AMATYC and NOSS. His international presentations were in Kuwait at Gulf University of Science and Technology.
The University of the Pacific
Daniel Nuss is Director of Services for Students with Disabilities at the University of the Pacific where he has served since 2005 in compliance and access specialties, including professional programs such as law and dental schools at UoP. Daniel actively contributes to the development of policies and protocols for support animals, reasonable accommodations, and development of accessible academic materials. Presents trainings regularly to classes, staff, and faculty while also speaking at local, regional, state, national, and international conferences on topics related to disability services. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys deep-sea fishing and trying new recipes.
Olabisi “Bisi” Okubadejo currently serves as Associate Vice President of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Compliance at Georgetown University. Prior to transitioning to Georgetown, Bisi was Of Counsel at Ballard Spahr LLP, where her practice focused on civil rights and employment issues in higher education, particularly on matters arising from alleged discrimination on the basis of race, disability, religion, age, and sex, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. She has experience both as an attorney in private practice and as a supervisory attorney with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Ms. Okubadejo has advised colleges and universities on their compliance with federal laws, including Title IX, the ADA, Section 504, the Clery Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination Act, FERPA, and Title VII. She has experience working with educational institutions and business entities on digital accessibility issues, including compliance with government settlement agreements and ensuring the accessibility of websites and course materials. Ms. Okubadejo's experience includes providing interactive training on civil rights issues to coordinators, administrators, hearing panels/judicial boards, campus safety departments, and students. She also has significant experience conducting and overseeing internal investigations and program reviews of higher education institutions and other employers, and auditing policies and procedures.
Texas A&M University
Kristie Orr, Ph.D. is the Director of Disability Resources for Texas A&M University. She is a past president of the Association on Higher Education and Disability. Orr recently served on the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities which makes recommendations to Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas legislature on disability issues and helps promote compliance with disability-related laws. She frequently provides peer workshops, lectures, and external reviews at state and national conferences and on campuses throughout the United States. Orr received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in School Psychology from Texas A&M University, College Station and a Master of Education in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dr. Gina Oswald is an associate professor at the University of Maine at Farmington in rehabilitation services and a certified rehabilitation counselor. She has traveled the globe for professional and personal purposes, from Norway to Antarctica, and leads accessible travel courses for students with and without disabilities to the United Kingdom.
Kelly O’Ryan, M.A. is the Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct at Landmark College. In her role she oversees Residential Life, Student Activities, New Student Orientation, Athletics, Conduct, and the Centers for Diversity and Inclusion. Dean O’Ryan also supports broader initiatives at the College in her role as co-chair of the Presidential Steering committee focusing on DEI, chair of the DEI strategic planning subcommittee, and serves on the Reach One, Teach One steering committee. Dean O’Ryan is completing her doctoral degree in education at New England College.
Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass Boston
Clare Papay is a Senior Research Associate/Project Manager at Think College at the Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass Boston, where she conducts research on inclusive higher education for students with intellectual disability. Clare is the Evaluation Coordinator for the National Coordinating Center for the Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) model demonstration program funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education. She is also the co-Principal Investigator for the IES-funded project, “Moving Transition Forward: Exploration of College-based and Conventional Transition Practices for Students with Intellectual Disability and Autism.” Dr. Papay serves as co-editor for the Journal of Inclusive Postsecondary Education (JIPE). Clare’s work focuses on the transition to postschool life for students with intellectual disability with a particular focus on the potential of postsecondary education for improving life outcomes for these individuals.
University of Nebraska Omaha
Jen Papproth holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Community Counseling. Jen has been a part of UNO and the ASC for 3 years and previously worked in Vocational Rehabilitation Services for 12 years as a Program Director. In her current role as Executive Director, Jen works to oversee processes and policies relative to accommodation services. Jen is passionate about disability services and enjoys creating trainings and presentations to create awareness and educational opportunities for students, faculty and staff. Outside work, Jen enjoys spending time with her daughter and animals. She loves ghost stories and hauntings.
Gregory S. Fehribach Center
David R. Parker, Ph.D., is a postsecondary disability specialist and ADD/life coach at CRG (Children’s Resource Group) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Previously, he served as director of a private school for students with dyslexia, administrator of LD/ADHD programs at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and University of Connecticut, and program manager of a National Science Foundation STEM/UDI grant project at Washington University in St. Louis. He has conducted training on best practices for college students with ADHD, LD, and ASD in Italy, Japan, Austria, and Kuwait. Dr. Parker is also the research coordinator for the Gregory S. Fehribach Center. In this role, he coordinates partnerships between center staff and members of its national research advisory board to study the impact of paid internships on the career outcomes of college students with physical disabilities.
Kristina H. Peterson
New York Medical College
Dr. Kristina H. Petersen is an Assistant Professor in the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department and the Assistant Dean of Academic Support Programs at New York Medical College. Since arriving at NYMC in 2014, she received three Student Senate Awards for enhancement of student life, six mentoring/teaching awards, and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. In 2021 and 2022, the NYMC AOA Chapter nominated her for the Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Petersen leads a team that focuses on all aspects of academic support, including supporting students who receive accommodations. Kristina is a co-author on two chapters in Disability as Diversity: A Guidebook for Inclusion in Medicine, Nursing, and the Health Professions. She has co-authored several publications with Dr. Lisa Meeks and served as a Coalition for Disabilities in Health Sciences Education Board Member At Large in 2019; she was appointed President-Elect in 2020 and takes over as President in July 2022.
University of Cincinnati
Heidi Pettyjohn is Executive Director for Accessibility and ADA and EIT Coordinator at the University of Cincinnati. Heidi provides institutional leadership and guides efforts in the sustainment of an accessible and inclusive experience for disabled students, staff and visitors at the university. She has organizational oversight of the the Accessibility Resources offices on each UC campus and co-chairs the Accessibility Network at UC, a cross functional team of offices that support and enhance the university’s capacity for accessible electronic content.
Carolyn P. Phillips, M.Ed., CPACC, is nationally recognized in the field of assistive technology and disabilities. Carolyn serves as Director and Principal Investigator of Tools for Life, Georgia’s Assistive Technology (AT) Act Program and the Director of Services and Education at the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation at Georgia Tech. In this capacity, she oversees a wide range of AT projects and programs, including the National Pass It On Center.
Marra Piazza Brass
University of South Florida
Marra Piazza Brass is currently a Human Services Practitioner on the Student Accessibility Services team at the University of South Florida. Marra has a wealth of knowledge in advocacy related to her current role and previous career as a K-12 School Counselor. In her time as Florida AHEAD president, Marra was awarded the Dr. Ken Marquard Professional Excellence Award in April, 2021 for being committed to the profession's ideals of accessibility and inclusion.
University of Kentucky
Dr. Leisa Pickering is a Consultant with the University of Kentucky Disability Resource Center, specializing in learning and behavioral health disorders. In addition, she is Director of the Blue Binder Program at UK, which is an academic coaching program helping individual students with learning and processing disorders develop skills and strategies to strengthen their executive functioning skills. She teaches UK 101, an academic orientation course designed for first-year students in their transition to university life. And she is a KORU Mindfulness Instructor. She has served as President and History Chair on the Board of the Kentucky Association of Higher Education and Disability (KY AHEAD) and was a member of the Special Education Advisory Council for Fayette County Schools for 12 years. She completed her Doctorate in Educational and School Psychology at the University of Kentucky (2004), Master’s degree in Educational Psychology at New York University (1989), and bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Kentucky (1981). Leisa has worked in the field of human learning and development for over 38 years, including the Young Adult Institute in New York, Alzheimer’s Research at the University of Kentucky, and School Psychologist with Fayette County Schools. Leisa and her husband Bill enjoy family time and playing with their three-year-old granddaughter Emmy. They also enjoy the love and energy of their two Labradanes, Tux and Elsa.
Educational Testing Service
As Disability Policy Specialist within the Office of Disability Policy (ODP) at ETS, Robert Plienis assists with the review of disability documentation and development of polices which guide ETS in accommodating individuals with disabilities. Plienis began his career at ETS in June of 2019 and enjoys working with his ODP colleagues to ensure ETS' compliance with the American with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAAA).
Prior to joining ETS, Plienis spent 20 years at different higher education institutions in both academic and student affairs. A significant portion of his career has been devoted to creating accessible learning environments and eliminating barriers to access for students with disabilities. As such, Plienis has a thorough understanding of universal design, assistive technology, relevant documentation for students with disabilities, and legislation as it relates to access in post-secondary settings. In addition to his work with students with disabilities, Plienis’ career includes appointments in learning assistance, housing and residence life, student conduct, and LGBTQ services. Plienis also has teaching experience, and his academic career includes over ten years of curriculum development and teaching in the feminist classroom. His courses and interests examine the intersections between gender and communication (mass media, interpersonal, and institutional) as well as the intersection between gender and disability. Plienis has experience teaching in a variety of formats including traditional, online, and hybrid. Plienis earned his B.A. in Women’s Studies with a minor in Sociology (cum laude) and his M.A. in Women’s & Gender Studies with a Concentration in Sociology, both from the University of Louisville.
Southwest Tennessee Community College
Amanda Prewitt works in the Division of Student Affairs as the Center for Access Coordinator at Southwest TN Community College. In her role, she promotes equitable access to students with disabilities and ensures the college remains in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Amanda has been at Southwest since fall 2019 and last year her office was awarded the TBR SERS grant. Amanda earned her B.A. from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and her M.Ed from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Memphis where she is pursuing her degree in Higher Education Administration.
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. Most recently, 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.
Southern Methodist University
Emily Rasch is a master's student at Southern Methodist University. Her research interests include the way that external organizations interact with institutions of higher education, and how those relationships influence the internal structures within colleges and universities. She is also interested in diversity, equity, and inclusion practices in higher education.
University of North Florida
Dr. Reed is a clinical instructor and the program director for the Disability Services program in the Exceptional, Deaf, and Interpreter Education department. Dr. Reed is a LMHC and has a private practice in counseling, and enjoys promoting and supporting individuals to live healthy, meaningful, and productive lives. Dr. Reed specializes in working with children and adults with depression, anxiety, disabilities, trauma and PTSD, relationships, parenting, grief, work and career, and stress management. In addition to her role as program director, Dr. Reed also provides vocational support to students registered with the Student Accessibility Services department.
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Lisa Reid, MSN, RN, CPN is a nursing faculty at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Lisa holds nursing degrees from Winona State University and Walden University, where she focused on nursing education. She has advanced her certification in online education practices and focuses on meeting the variable needs of all students. Lisa is a highly experienced certified pediatric nurse and has worked for over a decade at Gillette Children's Specialty Care in St. Paul, Minnesota. Lisa is passionate about creating lower stress testing for nursing students and has collaborated with the Minneapolis College Accessibility Resource Center to provide all nursing students with an inclusive testing environment.
University of Arizona
Naty Rico (she/hers) is a physically disabled and neurodivergent, queer latina first-generation college graduate who serves as the Coordinator of the Disability Cultural Center at the University of Arizona. Additionally, she is also a graduate student working to obtain her Masters Degree in Higher Education also at the University of Arizona. Originally from South Central Los Angeles, she was raised by parents with humble backgrounds who immigrated from Mexico in the late 80’s. Being raised in a low-income segregated community ignited her passion for social justice while she was an undergraduate at UC Irvine. There she became a student activist who fought against unfair labor practices towards UC maintenance workers, against tuition increases, and against racist incidents on campus. She became a disability advocate due to her experiences with physical inaccessibility and the lack of awareness and support available for disabled students. She has advocated for campaigns to fund golf cart services and accessible transportation for disabled students on campus, founded a Committee on Students with Disabilities through student government, and developed an accessible and disability inclusive Orientation Program on campus. Prior to her current role, she worked at West Los Angeles College, where she provided mentorship and job training support to disabled neurodivergent peers in their pursuits of college and career readiness. Naty has presented about ableism, inaccessibility, and the exclusion of students with disabilities in college access discourses at conferences across the country. She has traveled abroad as a student via Semester at Sea where she visited 12 countries, and she enjoys spending quality time with friends and loved ones.
Grenna Rollings has more than 20 years of higher education leadership experience. Over the years, she has worked to create inclusive and supportive environments for all students, particularly students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Grenna currently serves as the Director of Accessibility Services at Dallas College, Dallas Texas. With a commitment to student success, she oversees the work of coordinators and service providers at all Dallas College campuses. Grenna holds a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Natal, a Master of Social Work from the University of South Africa, and a Master of Business Administration from Dallas Baptist University. Throughout her administrative career, she has also served as an adjunct instructor teaching human development and business management courses.
University of North Florida
Dr. Rowe serves as the Associate Director of the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and Director of the THRIVE Program at UNF. Dr. Rowe partners with various campus offices, staff, faculty, and community resources to help ensure that SAS students are successful on campus. Dr. Rowe tirelessly works to create an accessible and inclusive campus community by supporting and advocating for SAS students and connecting them with appropriate on-campus resources. Dr. Rowe has over 15 years of Higher Education experience and is known for presenting all over the country on her research in retention and students with disabilities. Dr. Rowe is currently working on her Certification in Counselor Rehabilitation.
Richard is a 2001 graduate of California State University of Los Angeles where he holds his Bachelor’s Degree in Vocational Counseling. Richard Rueda has worked in the field of Human and Social Services specializing in Blindness and Low Vision since 1992. Richard works with various agencies in consulting on Transition best practices in serving blind and low vision youth. Richard has worked as Program Coordinator with Society for the Blind, based in Sacramento California, overseeing CareersPLUS, a career exploration program for teens and young adults. Richard is an active member of his local community involved engaged working with blind and low vision youth and young adults to aiding in career exploration and employment readiness. Currently, Richard is the Digital Content Manager for the APH CareerConnect website that is a part of the APH ConnectCenter.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Amy Rutherford is a Licensed Professional Counselor with 10 years of experience working with nonprofits in the Chattanooga Area. She received her Master’s degree in Education with a focus in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Mrs. Rutherford is the Associate Director of the Mosaic Program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and works part time for the Chattanooga Autism Center as a mental health therapist. She is a co-creator of the Mosaic program and a co-author of a four-book series for young adults with Autism. Mrs. Rutherford specializes in consulting with educators and facilitating staff trainings and workshops. Mrs. Rutherford has a passion for working with individuals to assist in the formation of a strengths-based identity and development of self-advocacy skills as well as educating others on acceptance and inclusion of individuals through the celebration of neurodiversity.
I am Megan Rutter (she/her/hers), and I am relatively new to the field of Disability Services. I graduated from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in May 2017 with a degree in secondary English education; when I returned for graduate school in August of 2018, I started working for Kutztown University’s Autism Support Program, My Place, and immediately found a place and a program that I loved. After finishing my master’s program in June of 2021 and successfully defending a thesis on depictions of post-traumatic disorders in popular superhero/anti-hero media, I took a few months off to spend with my one-year-old daughter before returning to KU’s Disabilities Office in October, where I am now one of the Assistant Directors as well as the Director of the My Place Program. My goal is to make Kutztown as welcoming and inclusive as possible for every student and to raise awareness of neurodiversity and the everyday struggles that able-bodied neurotypical students may not understand.
California State University Long Beach
Alan Safer. MS, PhD is a professor at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He received his Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Wyoming and his M.S. in Marketing Research from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He first came to CSULB as an assistant professor in 2000 and has been a full professor since 2010. Early in his career at the university, he created a MS degree in Applied Statistics and later a professional accelerated M.S. degree in Applied Statistics for industry students from companies such as Boeing, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman. He served as the graduate advisor for 7 years and in 2009 was awarded university advisor of the year at CSULB. Dr. Safer’s research has been very interdisciplinary; he has over 25 publications in diverse statistical areas such as those applied to finance, library science, marketing, health science, linguistics, and forensics. His primary statistical research focus is data mining and quality control. In 2012, he was appointed coordinator of a national conference on quality control sponsored by the American Statistical Association. In the last few years, he helped create the Orange County/Long Beach chapter of the American Statistical Association and served as its vice president
University of Cincinnati
Whitney Saunders is the Assistant Director of Accessibility Resources and is a founding member of the Disabled Faculty and Staff Association at the University of Cincinnati. She received her M. S. in Vision Rehabilitation and Low Vison Therapy from Salus University. Upon graduating she spent six years working at the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired before entering the higher ed arena four years ago. Whitney identifies as legally blind and serves on the Cincinnati Art Museum’s inaugural Accessibility Community Advisory Council.
County College of Morris (CCM)
Maria Schiano is the Director of Accessibility Services at County College of Morris (CCM) in New Jersey. She was appointed to AHEAD’s Board of Directors to serve as a Director-At-Large as the Community College representative. She also holds the role of the AHEAD Affiliates liaison, which helps connect affiliate groups across the country. Maria has served as the President of New Jersey AHEAD for the past three years. She has over 18 years of higher education experience, specializing in disability services and access, LGBTQ + services and promoting equity and inclusion through a social justice lens. Maria presented at last year’s AHEAD conference and served as a panelist for a Fall 2021 AHEAD webinar.
University of Arizona
Sav Schlauderaff, M.A. (they/them) is a queer, trans, disabled PhD candidate in Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona. Their work engages disability studies, disability memoir & life writing, trauma studies, and health communication to analyze the ways disabled and chronically ill individuals (dis)engage with mainstream medicine, and seek out alternative forms of healing and care. They combine their academic training in genetics, molecular biology, and gender studies with poetry, autobiography, new media analysis, mixed media art, and theoretical work in their writing.
Sav has extensive experience with working at LGBTQ+ and Disability cultural and resource centers at universities in the United States; as well as with cultivating intentional online spaces for disabled, queer, and trans individuals. They have created interactive workshops and performance-based learning spaces at national and local academic conferences, and have been contracted as a speaker at universities and colleges across the U.S. and internationally. Sav has been involved in graduate student organizing and community building spaces at the University of Arizona, with a particular focus on improving mental health resources on campus. Outside of their research, Sav is an Access Consultant at the Disability Resource Center at the University of Arizona, a member of the Disability Studies Initiative on campus, an editorial board member of Fat Studies: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society, and a co-founder of “The Queer Futures Collective” which houses their creative/academic work alongside their workshop and teaching content.
Sally Scott is Director of Research for the Association on Higher Education and Disability. She holds a doctorate from the University of Virginia and has over 25 years’ experience as faculty member and director of disability resource offices. She has published and presented nationally and internationally on postsecondary disability. Recent research activities include disability resource office student-staff ratios, campus structures for ADA Coordinators, program evaluation practices in disability resource offices, and COVID-19 experiences of disability resource professionals.
Spencer Scruggs (ORCID iD)
Spencer Scruggs, M.S., currently serves as the Director of Student Accessibility Services at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. Prior to his role at Trinity University, he served in a variety of roles within the Office of Student Accessibility Services at Florida State University for six years, culminating in the Assistant Director role. Spencer has also served in an organizing capacity with FL-AHEAD previously, coordinating professional development for providers at the major Florida state higher education institutions, and is currently finishing a three year term as the Chair for the Coalition for Disability with ACPA-College Student Educators International. He has presented at numerous national conferences, both AHEAD (in 2019) and at the annual ACPA convention (in 2017, 2018, and 2020), on the topic of disability in higher education. Spencer considers himself a scholar-practitioner first, having conducted research on disabled student success, written an article published in the Journal for Postsecondary Education and Disability, and authored chapters in books and manuscripts on the topic of disability in higher education.
University of Central Florida
Janice Seabrooks-Blackmore is the Executive Director for the Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities and Professor of Exceptional Education. Her primary area of interest is transition of youth with disabilities to post-school settings, particularly postsecondary education. Much of her work stems from instructional strategies and collaborative interactions that support empowering others to attain their goals. She has extensive experience working closely with diverse groups of students, families, and colleagues in public schools and institutions of higher education about issues related to equal access to resources and opportunities, and empowerment of voices for all individuals, particularly those with disabilities.
Florida Atlantic University
Michelle Shaw earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education and Visual Arts & Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Design with an emphasis in Exceptional Student Education at Florida Atlantic University. She has been working in disability services for 17 plus years. She has extensive experience in many areas of disability office operation including testing, volunteer coordination, consulting, assistive technology, ClockWork database admin, and has served as the Director for seven years. She has been an active member of the Association on Higher Education And Disabilities (AHEAD) and the Florida AHEAD group since 2005. Current President Elect of Florida AHEAD. Michelle has presented on a variety of topics at the National AHEAD Conferences in 2011, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. She has been active and presented at the Independent Colleges and Universities Compliance and Ethics Consortium at Lynn University since 2018. Topics include Emotional Support Animals versus Service Dogs, How to track your data confidentiality, Working with Athletes with Disabilities, Importance of Closed/Live Captions, Working with Students on the Spectrum to name a few. She has also been an Adjunct faculty member in the College of Education since 2003 (ARE 4313: Art for Elementary Education).
Jill Sieben-Schneider serves as the Associate Dean of Students and the Director of AccessibleNU (ANU) under the Division of Student Affairs. She is responsible for implementing the mission and vision of ANU through leadership, education, and outreach and serves on the Dean of Students team through crisis response and student support initiatives. Jill is a reviewer on the editorial board for the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability and was nominated by her peers to serve on the board for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, where she represents the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD). She was the Program Chair for the 2016 international AHEAD conference, is the past president for the regional Colorado/Wyoming AHEAD affiliate, and serves as Secretary on the Executive Board for AHEAD. Over the past decade plus in education, she has served in various capacities. Prior to Northwestern University, Jill served in a leadership role in the Disability Services unit under the Diversity and Equity division at the University of Colorado Boulder where she also taught a course on disability in the School of Education’s Graduate Program in Higher Education. She also served students with disabilities at the McBurney Disability Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Disability Services Office at Ball State University, and taught middle and high school English in in Denver Public Schools. Jill holds a doctorate and bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado Denver and a master’s degree from Ball State University.
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Brian Siemann is the Learning Disabilities Specialist at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He earned his BA in English/Secondary Education from UIUC in 2013 and his Ed.M in Special Education in 2015. Brian's interests include providing one-on-one executive skills training and learning strategies to students registered with DRES. In addition to the work he does with students on his caseload, he is responsible for the training and supervision of academic coaches.
JST Coaching and Training
Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, is a Master Certified Coach, trainer, mentor, author and speaker. She is the author of Empowering Youth with ADHD and contributing author of Becoming Self-Determined: Creating Thoughtful Learners in a Standards-Driven, Admissions-Frenzied Culture (2016) and the newly released Becoming Self-Determined: Practical Strategies for a Changing World. Jodi has been a presenter at AHEAD annual conferences and webinars for 12 years and a presenter at the International Conference on ADHD for 20 years. Her company, JST Coaching & Training, provides research-based student and ADHD coach training programs to individuals and educational institutions globally. The company is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in all training programs by creating cutting-edge, culturally-sensitive training and fostering an inclusive environment for both faculty and students where differences are valued and respected. Jodi is the recipient of the 2016 CHADD Hall of Fame Award & 2017 ADHD Coaches Organization Founders Award. She is seen by many as the foremost authority on student and ADHD coaching, pioneering the youth coaching movement. During her two-year term as president of the Association of Coach Training Organizations, Jodi's platform was focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion in coach training and she continues to forward social justice initiatives.
codemantra US LLC
Ian Smith is the Director of Product Development at codemantra US LLC. Ian has been with codemantra for 15 years. His solid background in publishing production, while working for John Wiley & Sons, and his years of digital publishing initiatives have prepared him well for his role as an engineer of remediation products and processes. Ian serves on the W3C steering committee for WCAG 2.2.
University of Cincinnati
Michael is the Director of Accessibility Resources, Clifton Campus. He has worked in the disability and rehabilitation counseling field for 25 years
University of Southern California
Catherine Spear joined the University of Southern California (USC) in late August 2020 to serve in the new role of Vice President for the Office of Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (EEO-TIX). She also serves as the Title IX Coordinator. She is responsible for managing the University’s response to all forms of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation involving faculty, staff, and students related to a protected characteristic. She also leads related proactive education and outreach programs that promote a safe and inclusive environment for all University community members, and leads USC’s Affirmative Action and other equity programs. Prior to USC, Spear served in a similar role as Associate Vice President for the Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights at the University of Virginia and was Stanford University’s first full-time Title IX Coordinator. Prior to higher education, Spear worked for 19 years at the Cleveland office for the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, including as Chief Attorney and the last five years as Director. She started her legal career at a litigation firm before switching her focus to public service and higher education. She has a Juris Doctorate degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Dayton.
Brittany is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation & Counseling Professions at Rutgers University School of Health Professions where she provides training & technical assistance, consultation, and course instructions on psychiatric rehabilitation, mental health, and wellness. Much of Brittany’s work as a researcher, trainer, and service provider has focused on promoting the career development of people with mental health conditions. She has worked in a variety of community-based mental health settings and was a founding member of the NJ Supported Education Learning Enhancement and Resource Network where she developed specialized knowledge in supporting college students with mental health to complete postsecondary education. Brittany is also a co-investigator on two National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research funded grants. One grant is focused on supporting students with mental health conditions in career and technical education, and the aim of the other is to develop a manualized CBT-based intervention for college students with PTSD. Brittany is a doctoral candidate pursuing her degree in Counselor Education and Supervision.
George Mason University
Morgan Strimel is a PhD student in the Policy and Research-Intensive Special Educators (PRISE) doctoral training program at George Mason University, where she worked as an Access Consultant for Disability Services and a Learning Strategist for the Mason Autism Support Initiative (MASI Program). Based on her time in higher education, Morgan’s current research is focused on enhancing postsecondary education experiences for college students with disabilities – including preservice teachers – through the disability services profession. Specifically, Morgan is studying how accommodation-related decisions are made and the role of both positionality and reflexivity in this process.
Aimee Stubbs is the Associate Director of Accessibility Resources Broward College in Ft. Lauderdale, FL . She has a bachelor’s degree in Specific Learning Disabilities, a master’s degree in Varying Exceptionalities, and an Education Specialist Degree in Counseling. Prior to working for Broward College, she worked at St. Petersburg College, Before that, Aimee worked for the Pinellas County School System for 15 years with varying exceptionalities students. She taught academic subjects and Learning Strategies. She last years at Largo High School was being a Guidance Counselor an Intern Supervisor for the University of South Florida and a district trainer for Conflict Resolution and Non-Violent Crisis Prevention Intervention. Aimee joined the St. Petersburg College Disability Resources team in March of 2008. She spent 5 years as a Disability Resources Specialist and taught Career and Life Planning courses. Then Aimee became Director of Accessibility Services in January of 2015, and currently serves as co-chair of the Pinellas Interagency Networking Council for Students, the Bridging the Achievement Gap Advisory Board, the Ridgecrest 360 Initiative, Delta Kappa Gamma Key Women Educators Organization, and is the current President of the Florida Association on Higher Education and Disability. Aimee has earned numerous awards and nominations, including CEC Rookie Teacher of the Year, Largo Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Educator Award, Disney American Teacher Recognition.
Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Sullivan joined Washington University in December 2021. As Assistant Director, Matt supports Disability Resources, the University, and disabled students in the creation of a more inclusive environment through the identification of potential access barriers, and the determination and implementation of necessary accommodations. Additionally, Dr. Sullivan serves as DR’s liaison to WashU’s School of Medicine, acting as the primary contact for SoM faculty/staff, students, and prospective students. In this role, Matt works closely with all parties to create an accessible and inclusive educational environment for disabled students pursuing their degrees within Health Sciences and Medicine. In his student affairs roles, Dr. Sullivan has experience providing leadership and direction for a variety of programs and services in the areas of disability, testing, tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, and academic coaching. Working in the field of disability services for the past 11 years, Matt has dedicated his time and energy to the education and development of students, faculty, and staff surrounding the intersectionality of disability with race, culture, gender, and other prominent identity factors. Dr. Sullivan currently serves as a board member for the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science Education. He is also serving on the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Professional Competencies working group to assist in the review and revision process for the organization’s guiding professional standards. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from Millikin University, Master of Arts in Student Personnel Administration degree from Saint Louis University, and Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration degree from Saint Louis University.
Portland State University
Stacie Taniguchi (she/her) joined the DRC in the fall of 2020. Previously she spent six years working at the Cultural Resource Centers supporting students of color at PSU. As a disabled, fourth-generation Japanese American (or Yonsei), Stacie's equity work is grounded in the experiences of her grandparents in WWII Japanese incarceration camps. Stacie's graduate work in Professional Counseling and College Student Affairs was completed at the University of West Georgia after her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Outside of work, she enjoys visiting family in Los Angeles, watching soccer games, and enjoying the many food offerings Portland has to offer.
The University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
Emily Tarconish, PhD, is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Special Education Department at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Her research interests include examining the experiences of postsecondary students with disabilities, including those with traumatic brain injuries, and developing effective accommodations and peer supports for this population. She also develops and studies the effects of disability awareness and inclusive teaching trainings for postsecondary faculty, as well as peer support groups for postsecondary students with disabilities. Emily’s previous experience includes working as a behavioral specialist, a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and as the Director of Accessibility Services at Clark University. She also developed and oversaw disability-centered student groups and peer mentoring programs at Clark University and the University of Connecticut.
Gregory S. Fehribach Center
Carlos E. Taylor is the program manager at the Gregory S. Fehribach Center at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis. He works to provide meaningful paid internship opportunities for college students with physical disabilities. Prior to joining the Fehribach Center, Taylor worked as the adaptive computer technology specialist at Ball State University, where he provided assistive technology solutions to students, staff, and faculty. He has presented to numerous groups, businesses, and organizations on various topics pertaining to accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Taylor earned both a bachelor’s degree in business information technology and a Master of Science degree in information and communication sciences from Ball State University.
University of Minnesota, Morris
Daleney Teske is an English & Creative Writing student and a writing center tutor at the University of Minnesota Morris. As a writing center tutor, Daleney describes herself as someone who is a good listener who loves poetry.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Dr. David Thomas is the Director of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Academic Support at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He has been in the field of disability advocacy in higher education for more than a decade. Prior to coming to WCU and alongside his disability work, Dr. Thomas was a member of the English faculties at universities in Philadelphia, Southeastern Virginia, and Seattle, teaching courses in English Composition and Rhetoric, English as a Second Language, Linguistics, and Research Methods.
He values (and really enjoys) continued engagement as a student himself and has taken courses in the fields as broad as History of Photography, Autism and Inclusion, Public Administration, and Disability Studies to gain an insight into the student experience and to have a more holistic and realistic understanding of the university communities he's been a part of. As a disabled person himself and often the only person empowered to grant academic accommodations at any given institution, he has had to navigate a web of personal, ethical, and legal puzzles in an effort to avail himself of what he considers one of the most attractive benefits higher education has to offer.
TMLS Consulting Inc., University of Santa Cruz, interim
Tom Thompson entered the field of Disability Resources in Higher Education in 1980, taking a position at William R. Harper College, a large suburban community college outside of Chicago. His career at Harper College spanned 30.5 years, including service as the ADA Coordinator for the last 12 years of his tenure along with remaining as the Director. Starting in 1988, Tom began consulting with other higher education institutions and since retiring in 2010, consulting work has expanded greatly. He has served as an Interim Director twice, for Northern Illinois University and for California State University, Fullerton. Since 2018, he has had four major innovation contracts with institutions in Utah, New Mexico, and California. He has also served as an External Evaluator for AHEAD and NASPA, completing over 35 evaluations at private liberal arts colleges, community colleges, multi-campus systems, one online university and at several four-year universities. Tom authored a chapter in the NASPA publication, “Beyond the ADA…” on students with intellectual disabilities in higher education and is authoring and co-editing a chapter on External Evaluations in an upcoming AHEAD publication. He has also written articles for Disability Compliance in Higher Education and serves on their editorial board. He is working on a text/resource about the field of Disability Resources and Services.
University of Arkansas
Melanie Thornton is the Coordinator of Access and Equity Outreach at the University of Arkansas - Partners for Inclusive Communities. In this role, she provides training and technical assistance to a variety of organizations on topics related to disability, access, inclusion, and leadership. She is passionate about assisting organizations in creating cultures of access and inclusion and assisting professional colleagues in operationalizing social justice perspectives of disability.
Marc Thurman, B.A. is the Assistant Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Landmark College. A Landmark College graduate, Marc co-created the Rise Up Center, a cultural center for students of color, while a student leader. Recently, Marc co-created the Reach One Teach One mentorship program geared toward Black neurodivergent students at the College. Marc is active leader in local diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives serving as the Education Chair of the NAACP Windham County (VT) and co-leader of the Putney, Vermont Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion town committee.
Karen Toole is the coordinator of Academic Support and OnTrack at SU for the Center for Disability Resources at Syracuse University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from State University of New York- Empire State College, and a Masters of Science in Cultural Foundations of Education with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Disability Studies from Syracuse University. She launched the OnTrack at SU coaching program in Fall 2019. The program engages students in a collaborative coaching model by providing individualized support with executive functioning, self-awareness, planning and building independence. The program has thrived from its inception with steadily increasing enrollment from 15 to 45 students, with the plan for 60 students next academic year. In addition to overseeing and cultivating the program she also serves as one of the coaches working one-on-one with students.
Portland State University
RT Tougas is an Access Counselor and Consultant in the Disability Resource Center. They have been at PSU since August of 2019 and they love being part of the DRC team. In terms of gender, RT identifies as nonbinary and queer. RT is fortunate to work collaborating with disabled students, faculty, and staff to increase accessibility and equity. RT earned a PhD at University of Oregon and was a university instructor before working in higher education disability services. At PSU, RT serves on the STEP program advisory committee and served on the 2020 WRC Sexual Assault Action and Awareness Month events committee.
University of Cincinnati
Katherine W. Vance is currently working as the Associate Director, Accessibility in the Office of Institutional Accessibility at the University of Cincinnati (UC) where she over sees the central provision of accessibility solutions including ASL/English interpreting, CART and captioning services, and document remediation. She earned her B.S. in Interpreter Training at Eastern Kentucky University and her M.S in Interpreting Pedagogy at the University of North Florida. Further, she is nationally certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NIC) and holds the Specialist Certificate: Legal. Katherine has worked as an ASL/English interpreter for fifteen years and gained a range of experience while working for a large interpreting agency, as a freelance interpreter, and full-time at a public institution. Additionally, in her prior work in the community, Katherine provided interpreting services in various highly-technical settings requiring specialized knowledge or experience, including legal contexts. Katherine’s previous research projects included investigating iPads as a bridge to communication and d/Deaf professionals’ expectations of designated interpreters.
Mary Lee Vance
California State University, Sacramento
Mary Lee Vance, Ph.D. is the Director of Services to Students with Disabilities at California State University Sacramento. She has served at every level of higher education, in a wide range of postsecondary positions, as well as in academia. Mary Lee was the Director of the Disabled Students’ Program and Student Support Services’ TRiO program at the University of California, Berkeley and the director of disability services at University of Montana, at George Mason University including its two-year satellite campuses, and at the University of Wisconsin, Superior. She has also directed other student services units, including academic advisement and career services, and taught undergraduate and graduate courses, including an introduction to disability studies. Mary Lee is the 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 and the editor of DISABLED Faculty and Staff in a Disabling Society: Multiple Perspectives in Higher Education.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Dr. Patricia (Patty) Violi is the Associate Director of the Disability Resource Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). She holds a Bachelor of Psychology with a minor in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland, a Masters of Education in Special Education with a concentration in Autism and Applied Behavioral Analysis from UNLV and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Innovation from Arizona State University. Her dissertation research focused on improving self-determination skills in college students with disabilities. Patricia recently co-authored a chapter titled “Why self-determination is more important than ever before” with Dr. Sharon Field in the edited book Becoming self-determined: Practical Strategies for a changing world. She has also authored a blog post “Disability services in the time of COVID-19” on beselfdetermined.com website.
University of North Carolina, Greensboro
I'm Tina Vires (rhymes with "fires") and I use "she/her/hers" pronouns. I'm proud of my Native American, Irish, French, African, and even Neanderthal ancestry. (Isn't it astonishing how much we learn about ourselves and our intersectionality in this world where anyone may have DNA testing?!) With over 17 years in this field, North Carolina became my new home in 2020, after my most recent transition from a similar post at Georgia State University in Atlanta. One of my biggest goals as a new Spartan involves simplifying processes to make it easier for students to connect to OARS and receive needed accommodations as quickly as possible. Another is for each semester to be better than the one before.
University of Chicago
Charnessa holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech & Hearing Science, and a Master of Science degree in Disability and Human Development, with a concentration in Rehabilitative Technology. Charnessa is a current doctoral student in the College of Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, majoring in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, with a concentration in Diversity & Equity in Education. Charnessa is also a NCCJ St. Louis certified DEI FaciliTrainer. Charnessa currently works with the University of Chicago as the Director of Student Disability Services, as well as leads the Ivy Plus Disability Services Workgroup for higher education disability service providers. With 23 years of experience as a disability accommodation specialist and assistive technology subject matter expert, she has grown into a well-respected disability accomplice, speaker, leader, and thought partner in establishing innovative ways to incorporate disability as a part of diversity and inclusion efforts.
Wright State University
Thomas P. Webb, a veteran disability services advocate, focuses on equal opportunities for people with disabilities, is the director of the Office of Disability Services (ODS) and the ADA coordinator at Wright State University. His experience as a person with a disability and background in disability policy position him well to work with ODS staff and the community to continue setting national standards of excellence in access and accommodation.
Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass Boston
Cate Weir is Project Coordinator for the Think College National Coordinating Center, with a focus on technical assistance and dissemination. She is a national expert on inclusive higher education for students with intellectual disability. Prior to Think College, Cate served as the project coordinator for the Consortium on Inclusive Postsecondary Education. Cate has led many state and regional capacity building initiatives and has provided training and technical assistance to professionals and families throughout the country.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Dr. Ryan Wells is co-Executive Editor of the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability (JPED). He is also Professor of Higher Education and the Director of the Center for Student Success Research, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As a scholar of college access and success, including issues of disability, he has received funding from the National Science Foundation, Spencer Foundation, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, Ford Foundation, and more. His research has been published in top education journals as well.
Catherine Wharton, Ed.D.
Dr. Wharton is the Director of the Diagnostic Center for Educational Assessment and the ADA Specialist overseeing Student Accessibility Services at Lynn University. She joined Lynn University in 2006 and teaches as an adjunct in the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2018, she completed her doctorate in education with a dissertation entitled, “Reading Comprehension in Two Accommodated Reading Tasks with College Students with Reading Disabilities.” Her responsibilities include reviewing psychological testing submitted by students with disabilities, engaging in the interactive process with ADA students and monitoring the implementation of ADA accommodations with fidelity. Dr. Wharton develops content and provides trainings and strategies to support students, academic coaches, tutors, and faculty. She is particularly interested in integrating compensatory strategies, motivational theory and practice within pedagogy to foster a classroom environment of confidence and competence leading to student mastery. In 1996, she graduated summa cum laude from DePaul University with a M.A. in Counseling and spent 10 years in the Chicagoland area as director of intake at psychiatric hospitals. She is a Certified Developmental Education Specialist through the Kellogg Institute at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.
Diversity and Ability
Piers Wilkinson was the last National Union of Students Disabled Students’ Officer, and now supports D&A’s work as their Higher Education Policy and Campaigns Lead. Piers has been deeply involved in disabled student representation across the UK for over 7 years, culminating in their election to national representative positions, and in March 2020 was publicly appointed to the UK’s Disabled Students’ Commission as a Student Voice Commissioner. Prior to the NUS, Piers studied an undergraduate MSci in Physical Oceanography at Bangor University and worked as an access consultant specialising in inclusive design within education, digital accessibility, user design learning, and inclusive campaigns.
Piers’ previous work includes the 2016 UNCRPD inquiry, as a commissioner for the Arriving at Thriving report on disabled student experiences, and providing expert advice on various liberation and social justice projects such as Student Minds’ Mental Health Charter, and the 2019 Phase-out of Plastic Pollution Bill. In their spare time, Piers explores digital accessibility within video games, coaches community wheelchair basketball, and supports grassroots disabled people organisations engage with their communities.
University of North Florida
University of Cincinnati
Megan is a Computer Information Analyst in the UC IT E-Learning team. Megan oversees the university's Blackboard Ally tool and training; she also designs our annual accessibility compliance training program.
Dr. Sarah Young is a seasoned higher education professional with years of experience in both academic and student affairs, where she focuses on increasing accessibility and equity for students through staff and faculty development and improvement of institutional policy and processes. She earned her Doctorate of Education at The George Washington University and her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in English from Old Dominion University. Currently, she works as the Assistant Director of Disability Support Services at The Catholic University of America, and she teaches English literature and composition as a faculty member at three other colleges as well. She recently gave presentations at the AERA 2021 and AHEAD 2021 national conferences. She has chapter forthcoming for publication next year, titled “Experiences of Students with Disabilities Transitioning from On-Ground to Online Courses in the Time of COVID 19.”