Management Institutes

AHEAD’s Management Institutes are offered in early February. We make sure to schedule the workshop-based program in a warm climate to provide both excellent professional development opportunities and a break from winter weather. Four to five two-day, 13-hour workshops offered each year on topics of interest to disability service professionals, student affairs staff and administrators, and TRiO personnel. An Institute for new disability resource personnel, AHEAD Start, is always included. Each attendee chooses ONE Institute for an in-depth focus on a specific topic. The intimate setting, hands-on learning, networking opportunities, and experienced faculty bring attendees back year after year.

Certificates of Attendance and preapproved continuing education units (CEUs) from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) are available. Look for 2019 Management Institute information in November 2018.

The 2018 Program held in New Orleans included the following individual institutes:

  • Institute #1: AHEAD Start: The Institute for New and Newer Disability Resource Personnel
  • Institute #2: Disability Law for DSS Directors, Staff, and ADA Officers: Compliance requirements, analytical tools, and solutions
  • Institute #3: An Introduction to Managing Accommodations for Students in Health Science and Professional Education 
  • Institute #4: G.L.I.D.E into Leadership
  • Institute #5: AHEAD – TRiO Training Institute: Design Your Own Training Focused on Working with Students with Disabilities

Institute #1: AHEAD Start: Setting the Landscape for New Professionals

Carol Funckes, AHEAD

 his Institute provides a comprehensive overview of the major issues that shape access in higher education for those new to the disability resource office. In the dynamic postsecondary environment, that office must be both a student service unit and a vital center of information, collaboration, and leadership for the campus. Disability resource professionals must balance their work in determining and coordinating accommodations for individual students with their equally important role in keeping administrators and other campus stakeholders aware of and in involved in creating equitable experiences for individuals with disabilities. 

Through instruction, discussion, and resource sharing, we will explore the civil rights foundation, legal underpinnings, and practical realities of creating accessible, welcoming higher education environments. We will discuss both what must be done and what can be done and consider ways to reframe messages about disability on our campuses. Guided by participant questions and interests, we will cover the following topics: 

  • basics of disability service in higher education, including foundational legal concepts, perspectives of disability, the power of design, and lessons from history and disability studies;
  • promising approaches for using interview and a variety of forms of information, including third-party documentation, to assess barriers and plan for access and individual accommodations;
  • strategies for designing service delivery practices that minimize extra efforts by disabled students and encourage faculty collaboration in areas such as testing, note-taking, alternative formats, and captioning;
  • developing issues, including service/comfort animals, dietary accommodations, attendance policy modification, etc.
  • the campus-wide role of disability resource staff in collaborating with and consulting on information and communication technology (ICT) accessibility, physical, curricular, policy, and information access;
  • office management: record keeping, strategic planning, budgeting and resource management, and program review and assessment.

Unlike online trainings and other forms of distant education, this two-day Institute provides the opportunity for attendees to begin to develop a professional network of peers, the most valuable professional development tool we can have!

Audience: Novice

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Institute #2: Disability Law for DSS Directors, Staff, and ADA Officers: Compliance requirements, analytical tools, and solutions

Paul Grossman, J.D., Hastings College of Law
Jamie Axelrod, M.S., Northern Arizona University
Mary Lee Vance, Ph.D., Orange Coast Community College 

Back by popular demand, this two-day Institute will give DS, ADA, disability law practitioners and compliance professionals a comprehensive introduction to postsecondary disability law, including the compliance requirements of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Participants will leave with a comprehensive framework for addressing legal responsibilities and answering the questions they encounter daily.

We will begin by placing the responsibilities of disability services into its civil rights context with a review of the history of discrimination against individuals with disabilities and the emergence of the disability rights movement, which culminated in the adoption of disability antidiscrimination laws. Participants will learn what legal traditions and concepts all antidiscrimination laws share and what is unique to disability law. We will first focus on who is an individual with a disability. This will include exploring the practical implications of the ADAAA’s revised and expanded definition of disability, as well as the implications of the new DOJ regulations applying the ADAAA to Titles II & III.

Our next step will be to master the overarching paradigms through which courts and compliance agencies consider the ultimate legal question: whether a student with a disability is an academically and technically qualified individual to be a post-secondary student. Essential to this exploration will be how reasonable accommodation (“academic adjustments and auxiliary aids”) is taken in account in determining whether an individual is qualified. What accommodations are, and are not, required in the college and university setting? Examination of this issue will include mastery of the affirmative defenses to the duty to accommodate students with disabilities, including undue burden, fundamental alteration, and direct threat to the health and safety of others. We will become familiar with the judicially sanctioned-processes that facilitate the resolution of disputes over what is or is not a fundamental alteration and how implementation of these processes gain colleges and universities deference from the courts to their academic decision-making.

We will apply the foundational concepts to cutting-edge legal developments in some of the most challenging and complex issues that face DS offices. This will include the digital world (websites, academic management tools, on-line learning and adaptive technology), service and emotional support animals, mobility devices, architectural and programmatic access, admissions, discipline and conduct, self-injurious students, and internships. Throughout the Institute, opportunities to apply concepts will be provided through discussions of hypothetical cases.

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Institute #3: An Introduction to Managing Accommodations for Students in Health Science and Professional Education 

Lisa Meeks, University of Michigan Medical School
Elisa Laird-Metke, Samuel Merritt University

Schools that offer health science programs, including Medical, Podiatry, Nursing, Dental, Pharmacy, Speech/Language, Physical or Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, Veterinary, or other programs, face unique challenges when creating reasonable accommodations for health science and professional students with disabilities. This introduction to disability services (DS) in the health sciences will provide an overview of how to address complex accommodation requests in classroom, lab, and clinical environments. Common challenges include the lock-step nature of most programs, determining appropriate accommodations in patient care settings, meeting technical standards, and proactive planning to anticipate accommodation needs in clinical environments.

The presenters will cover the basic tenets of practicing in this specialization, including the most relevant OCR decisions and court cases, and participants will have opportunities to work through example scenarios. Complex topics will be presented through a combination of lectures and small group discussions. Each day will end with dedicated time for Q&A.

Throughout the two days, participants will gain:

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

Participants will leave this training with a flowchart to aid in complex decision-making, a reference guide of common health science acronyms and abbreviations, sample written policies and procedures, and a presentation template for providing faculty/staff trainings regarding accommodations in the health sciences.

Audience: This Institute provides foundational information about access in health science institutions. For those interested in exploring the topic in more detail, AHEAD will offer an “advanced” level training in May as part of The Next Chapter: Master Classes for the Seasoned Professional, May 16-19 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Institute #4: G.L.I.D.E. into Leadership

Melanie Thornton, University of Arkansas CURRENTS

If you are like most people who work to promote access and inclusion, you regularly—maybe even daily—are in the position of attempting to influence others on your campus.  It may be in a conversation with a faculty member about course design, during a committee meeting about web accessibility, or in a meeting with an administrator about the budget for accommodations. And then there are the even larger conversations about seeing and representing disability as an aspect of diversity and making sure access is baked into the design of products, processes and procedures across campus. These conversations as well as the role of influencing campus culture require leadership skills and an understanding of the dynamics of change.

Conventional wisdom tells us that people are born leaders, but in truth the skills of leadership and influence that make us more effective in these situations can be learned. 

G.L.I.D.E. is a 5-part leadership curriculum that introduces participants to these core skills.

  • Grow the Gap
    • Slow reaction time and make time for reflection.
    • Make room in your schedule for what matters most.
  • Leverage Your Liability
    • Increase personal accountability.
    • Reflect on mistakes and learn from them.
  • Identify and Clarify Your Intention
    • Know your personal values.
    • Clarify mission and vision.
    • Effectively articulate your vision to others.
  • Decide and Do Deliberately
    • Align behaviors and practices with values, mission and vision.
    • Focus time and energy on what matters most.
  • Engage Others with Empathy
    • Learn to see, listen and understand those around you.
    • Understand the importance of interdependence.
    • Gain an understanding of the dynamics of organizational and cultural change.

In this interactive workshop, you will explore these five areas of leadership, learn specific evidence-based skills that are associated with more effective and influential leaders, and create your own leadership development plan.

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Institute #5: AHEAD – TRiO Training Institute: Design Your Own Training Focused on Working with Students with Disabilities!

Rhonda H. Rapp, St. Mary’s University, Texas

Here’s your chance to get exactly the training you need! Over the past 20 years, AHEAD has delivered highly interactive and positively-reviewed training on serving students with disabilities to TRiO directors and staff. Building on this experience and success, we plan to shake it up a bit this year. Using the same intensive, interactive approach, we will design this year’s two-day AHEAD TRiO Training Institute to specifically address the information participants need.

When you register, you will receive a follow-up communication inviting you to tell us about your training needs. Questions like the following will guide us in creating a two-day experience that answers your questions and focuses specifically on the information and strategies that will support you where you are. 

  • What topics about identifying, recruiting, engaging, and supporting students with disabilities do you need?
  • What specific challenges do you face in working with students with disabilities in your program?
  • Do you wonder how disability impact students’ academic, social, and work lives?
  • Would strategies that have been proven effective in improving the success rates of students with disabilities would be helpful to you in enhancing your services?
  • What information and resources do you need to take home with you to support your own staffs’ training needs?

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people attending a session during the 2018 Management Institutes conference

"No suggestions for improvement -
your conferences are the best I attend all year. "

image of a session during the 2018 Management Institutes Conference

"The presenters were so knowledgeable and had pertinent stories that help bring information 'home' to people."

attendees enjoying some food during a break at the 2018 Management Institutes Conference