Jamie Axelrod, MS, is the director of disability resources at Northern Arizona University, and a past president of AHEAD. He presents regularly on topics related to disability access and higher education, having expertise in disability law and policy, information and communications technology (ICT) access, and the reasonable accommodation process. Axelrod is a respected contributor to professional email lists, having received the Fink-Ryan Award for the quality of his guidance, 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. He has served as cochair of Northern Arizona University’s Commission on Disability Access and Design and on the board of directors for both AHEAD and the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science Education.
Dr. Bryck serves as the Senior Director of the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training. Landmark College exclusively serves neurodivergent students, such as those with learning disabilities, like dyslexia, or ADHD, or autism. His work centers on the study of executive function (EF), including understanding disparities in EF, and testing the efficacy of interventions, programs, and strategies aimed at enhancing EF. He has served as an investigator on grants exploring: a cognitive training program for low income children; the well-being and academic effects of resilience training for neurodivergent college students; the effects of metacognitive and EF scaffolds in math problem solving; and as a program evaluator on an NSF funded project providing STEM mentoring for neurodivergent students. Rick regularly presents professional learning workshops on EF and educational techniques for enhancing learning, and regularly teaches an online course for educators: Student Engagement, Self-Regulation, and Motivation.
Bree Callahan, M.Ed. is the ADA Coordinator at the University of Washington and provides leadership, coordination, and oversight to advance the University’s ADA/Section 504 mission, vision, and strategic priorities relating to accessibility. Recent efforts include updating institutional ADA Transition Plans, revising grievance processes, establishing governance structures, and navigating regulatory engagements. Prior to this role, she directed disability services offices for fifteen years across three universities and has worked in a variety of higher education areas: admissions, academic advising, and residential life. She has over 19 years’ experience in higher education, determining accommodations and providing consultation on ADA compliance matters of digital, physical, and program access. Bree currently serves on the DO-IT Advisory Board and is a past Chair of AHEAD’s Standing Committee on Technology. She has presented at local, state, and national conferences on a variety of topics relating to disability and access, transition of students with disabilities to postsecondary education, and systemic change toward more inclusive campuses.
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.
Christina Fabrey, M.Ed., PCC, BCC (she/her/hers) 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 retention, Christina has been a higher education administrator for over 15 years, including roles as a disability resource provider and administrator. Christina is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), a Board-Certified Coach (BCC), and an Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator. As a Coach Trainer and Mentor, Christina has trained hundreds of higher education professionals worldwide in coaching skills. Christina is the co-author of numerous articles and book chapters that focus on holistic student support. Christina is the co-chair of the Coaching Knowledge and Practice Community for the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD).
Carol Funckes is the 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.
Mandie Greiwe (Gry-Vee) joined the Marian University community as the founding director of the Personalized Learning Center in July of 2022. Prior to becoming a Marian Knight, she has had the opportunity to work within disability offices at Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame, and Emory University over the last 10 years. Mandie enjoys having conversations with faculty, staff and students around accessibility being a shared responsibility and is working diligently to ensure that Marian University is a place where access is at the forefront. Over the last year Mandie has worked hard to support change within the campus culture, through building relationships, updating language and processes, writing policy, and getting buy-in from campus faculty, staff, and students alike.
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, Laws, Policies and Processes. Paul joins Jamie Axelrod, M.S. and Mary Lee Vance, Ph.D. in two book chapters on analytical tools and procedures for DSS officers when they face their most complex and challenging questions, planned for publication by AHEAD in late 2022.
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 community college Knowledge and Skills special interest group. She works as the Director of ACCESS at Collin College in Texas.
Paul Harwell is currently the Associate Director of ADA/504 Compliance in the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity at Dartmouth. Paul is nationally recognized for his work in higher education and disability. His work is grounded in the principles of civil rights and barrier removal being shared responsibilities across institutions. A 16-year higher education and disability resource professional, Paul has extensive experience supporting students, faculty, staff and public access and accommodation. He is passionate about supporting the development and growth of others and serves as a mentor to colleagues and students at Dartmouth and around the country. Currently, Paul is responsible for leadership on campus-wide disability access via policies, procedures, and training. Paul is a doctoral candidate in Higher Education Administration at Texas A&M University, with a focus on higher ed law, policy, and finance. His dissertation topic is about university faculty experiences teaching students with disabilities.
Emily Helft has over a decade of direct Disabled student support experience in both K12 and higher education. Following her undergraduate work at Wheaton College (MA), where she majored in psychology, she embarked on a career focused on supporting children and young adults with disabilities. She earned her M.Ed. and Ed.S. from the College of William & Mary with an intense focus on psychoeducational assessment and evaluation, and worked as a school psychologist in the greater Richmond (VA) area for 3 years. After seeing the impact of regularly incorporating technology into her everyday field work supporting students, she transitioned into higher education as an assistive technology specialist, eventually expanding her skill set into accessible media, accommodation support, faculty consultation, academic skills development, and community education regarding accessibility and the Disabled community. Once she realized her true passion within the field was clearly tied to education and training, she joined Landmark’s College's LCIRT team to both narrow her focus and broaden her outreach. She is particularly interested in learning and cognition strategies, psychoeducational evaluation, and translating research into accessible content for students, teachers, and parents.
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.
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.
L. Scott Lissner
ADA Coordinator and 504 Compliance Officer. Scott 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. Scott is a Past President and Public Policy Chair for AHEAD. He is a regular and popular presenter both nationally and internationally.
Zac Lounsbury is the Access and Accommodation Specialist at Colorado College, focusing on student life accommodations such as housing, emotional support animals, and meal plans. Zac entered the field with a diverse background in education. His experiences range from teaching Shakespeare to middle schoolers to leading instruction in a classroom for students with autism spectrum disorder to helping facilitate post-secondary social justice education curricula. Zac earned his BA in theatre from Middlebury College. He completed his graduate work in higher education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he also worked in the Disability Services Office.
ADA/504 Coordinator, AHEAD ADA Coordinators KPC co-chair. Emily has 25+ years’ experience working in both DS director and ADA Coordinator roles, and has been a member of AHEAD since 1992, serving on the Board of Directors from 2007-2010. Emily has also been the Editor for the AHEAD newsletter, chair of the Policy Committee, and JPED reviewer.
Maranda Maxey the University's ADA /504 Coordinator and Equal Employment Opportunity Officer at Appalachian State University. She also is the Director for the Office of Disability Resources. 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 has experience consulting 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.
Gabriel Merrell is a certified ADA Coordinator who has been working in areas directly related to physical access, IT access, accommodations, inclusion, and universal design for 15+ years. He is a Past President of ORAHEAD, and the co-chair of the AHEAD ADA Coordinators Knowledge and Practice Community.
Michelle Mitchell earned a M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Penn State University and has been in the profession over 18 years. Seeing the inequity of opportunities for persons with intellectual and developmental 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.
Ann Murphy currently serves as the Director of Disability Services at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University. Ann has worked diligently to promote access for students with disabilities and to facilitate inclusive education in the university environment for over 20 years. Her career began as a Retention Specialist in TRIO Student Support Services at Black Hills State University, where she developed the framework for their first DS program. She also served as Director of Disability Support Services at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado, for ten years. Ann has been instrumental in policy and program development, creative solutions such as the recent development of a Sensory Space, and mentorship of many disability services staff, some progressing from student employees or access coordinators to directorship.
My name is Rhonda H. Rapp, Ph.D., and I am an educational consultant with a specialty in removing barriers to learning. I have been an Educational Diagnostician since 1979 (in fact, in my practicum, we tested some of the first students for “special education” placement under the new Public Law 94-142 - now known as IDEA); was a diagnostician/prescriptive teacher for the state of Oklahoma (working with both urban schools, rural schools and “institutional” schools); have been a disability services provider at the postsecondary level for over twenty-five years; and continue to provide training focused on diagnostic assessments and working with students with learning disabilities and/or attention disabilities. At the last university I worked at (before I retired), I got the chance to conduct diagnostic assessments for undergraduates, for individuals in our graduate programs, and for our Law School; I also prepared the documentation for the Bar Exam. Over the years, I have had the privilege to conduct in-depth psychoeducational assessments for a widely diverse population of individuals in a variety of settings. My master’s degree is in Educational Counseling Psychology, with post-Master’s certification as a Diagnostician and my doctorate is in Educational Human Resource Development. I have worked in disability services at both a public community college (which was a HBCU & HSI) and at private doctoral-granting universities (which were HSIs).
Sara is currently the Assistant Director of Accessibility Resources at Colorado College. She has worked in this role for eight years and is thrilled to work in a career that requires attention to detail and continued learning. Sara has been involved with student support through housing, programming, crisis management, and social justice initiatives throughout her career. Prior to this role, Sara worked in residential life at three different institutions and has always found it fascinating to assist students in thinking about effective living and learning spaces on a college campus.
Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, BA, MCC, BCC, is a Master Certified Coach, trainer, mentor and speaker. She is the author of Empowering Youth with ADHD, a contributing author of Becoming Self-Determined: Creating Thoughtful Learners in a Standards-Driven, Admissions-Frenzied Culture (2016) and Becoming Self-Determined: Practical Strategies for a Changing World (2021), and co-editor of From Transactional to Transformational: Coaching in Disability Resources (in print). Her company, JST Coaching & Training, provides research-based student and neurodiversity coach training programs to individuals and educational institutions. 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 neurodiversity coaching. During her two-year term as president of the Association of Coach Training Organizations, Jodi's platform was focused on diversity, equity and inclusion in coach training and she continues to forward social justice initiatives. www.jstcoachtraining.com.
Rebecca ‘Bec’ Smith currently serves as the Assistant Dean and Director of the Office for Disability & Access (ODA) at Oberlin College and Conservatory. She has worked with disabled populations for more than 15 years and is committed to ensuring access and equity in the higher education environment. Bec has held various roles in disability services, including Interpreter, Interpreter Coordinator, Access Coordinator, Assistant Director, and Director. Bec wrote her master’s thesis on the effectiveness of accommodations in the higher education setting. Recognizing disability as a critical aspect of equity, diversity, and intersecting identities is one of her core values.
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.
Chris Toutain serves as the Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator for Reed College. Chris earned master’s degrees in Communication Arts and Sciences, and Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education, and his Ph.D. in Education, with an emphasis in disability studies. Chris has administrative experience in campus housing, student conduct, and sexual misconduct prevention and response - with expertise in policy and procedure creation and revision across these areas. His research interests focus on issues of student disability across the co-curriculum.
Cristin Turner is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has worked in and studied disability since she was an undergraduate student at the University of South Dakota. There she conducted research and wrote her honors thesis on university students’ attitudes toward persons with disabilities, intending to bring attention to stigma and areas for societal growth around the perception of disability. Cristin now serves as the Director of the Disability Resource Center at the University of Northern Colorado, where she assisted in the initial development of formal Housing and ESA policies and procedures as a Graduate Assistant 8 years ago.
Mary Lee Vance
Mary Lee Vance, Ph.D. is the Director of Services to Students with Disabilities the Disability Access Center at California State University Sacramento. During her postsecondary career, she has directed multiple student services including academic advising, career services, TRIO (McNair and Student Services), minority recruitment and retention, enrollment management, student teaching and certification, and minority affairs. In addition, she has served as the interim Director for the Office of Equal Opportunity, Title IX and DHR. Mary Lee has directed disability services at the University of California Berkeley, University of Montana, George Mason University, University of Wisconsin Superior and Orange Coast College. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses, including disability studies, and has successfully written federal grants, as well as published in refereed journals, books and periodicals. She is the editor of DISABLED Faculty and Staff in a Disabling Society: Multiple Perspectives in Higher Education, co-editor of Beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act: Proactively Planning for Accessible Post-Secondary Educational Offerings Now and into the Future, and Advising Students with Disabilities: Developing Universal Success. She served two consecutive terms on the AHEAD Board of Directors, has through the years been active with the REDD SIG, and is a reviewer for two refereed journals, the AHEAD JPED and NACADA journal. Among other honors, Mary Lee was presented AHEAD’s Professional Recognition Award in 2012 and the Duraese Hall Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award in 2020.
Director of the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services, AHEAD ADA Coordinators KPC co-chair. Tina is a certified ADA Coordinator. She has over 18 years’ experience in the field of disability in Higher Ed, including two years as a Title IX Deputy and four years as an ADA Compliance Officer, and has presented on various DS related topics at numerous national, state, and local conferences and events. Tina also previously served as president of SC AHEAD and chair of the SE Regional AHEAD Conference (2017) and currently serves on the NC AHEAD Board of Directors.
Katy Washington, J.D., PhD., is the inaugural Chief Accessibility Officer at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness, and Success and serves as the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator. She currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for AHEAD. She has spent over eighteen years working with faculty and staff to facilitate an inclusive campus environment for disabled students. In her current role, Katy uses an innovative approach to proactively remove physical and digital barriers to equal access by collaborating with workgroups and partners across the university; administering the employment-related accommodation process; and ensuring university compliance with relevant state and federal laws which directly impact equal access and inclusion of disabled employees, students, and visitors. Katy received a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. She also holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Arkansas.
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