Fall 2020 Webinar Recordings

AHEAD Webinar Recordings are an easy way to learn about timely topics from experts in the field of disability and higher education. The fall webinar package provides you with 18-hour of professional development content conveniently delivered to your desktop, or select fewer webinars to concentrate your focus on topics crucial to your campus. Watching recent webinars is a great way to stay engaged during the holidays. All AHEAD webinars include captioning, and the interpreted recording is available on request.

The Fall 2020 lineup brings you presentations that include the impact of COVID-19 on college students, teaching STEM classes online, social media accessibility, and more!

Members of AHEAD can purchase fall 2020 recordings for $25 each or save and buy the full 13-webinar series for $275.  Non-members pay only $40/webinar and $425 for all 13.

Webinar Titles & Description

Learn Coaching Skills to Enhance Your Effectiveness with Students 

Originally Presented: Tuesday, Sept 22, 2020, 3:00-4:30 EASTERN
Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, B.A., MCC, BCC, JTS Coaching

Disability service providers interact with students who need support and strategies to navigate a virtual or hybrid learning environment. In this webinar, providers will learn how to incorporate core coaching skills into conversations with students to help them effectively manage executive function, academic and social challenges. In the current environment, many students struggle with transition issues, lack of motivation and feelings of isolation. Coaching skills such as asking powerful questions, listening actively, and cultivating trust and safety are beneficial in supporting students as they traverse this rocky terrain.   

An Introduction to Social Media Accessibility

Originally Presented: Tuesday, September 29, 2020; 3:00-4:30 PM EASTERN
Melanie Thornton, M.A., University of Arkansas – Partners for Inclusive Communities

We’re all looking for ways to remain connected even as we social distance. Social media is one avenue for connecting. This show-and-tell webinar will offer tips and tools for creating an accessible social media presence. We'll cover general concepts related to digital access and then focus on specific how-to's on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

E-Accessibility: From Compliance to Culture

Originally Presented: Thursday, October 8, 2020 3:00-4:00 EASTERN
Heidi Pettyjohn, M.A., University of Cincinnati

With so many classes moving online, digital accessibility must be a priority for higher education to stay compliant. Learn how the University of Cincinnati created a cross-functional, integrated Accessibility Network that supports the university’s capacity for ensuring full and equal access to web and digital content. We will cover tips for setting up a network to instill shared responsibility for this work and strategies for creating a communication and educational plan that integrates with your school’s commitment to equity and inclusion. Lessons learned after moving 80% of our courses and most of our operations fully online during the pandemic will also be shared.

Grit, Self-Determination and Coaching

Originally Presented: Tuesday, October 13, 2020 3:00-4:30 EASTERN
David Parker, Ph.D., Children’s Resource Group
Sharon Fields, Ph.D., Wayne State University

Particularly in times of stressful transitions, coaching can help college students make self-determined choices about living a more balanced and fulfilling life. Dr. Parker will share research-based examples of how coaching helps students enhance their use of positive self-talk, connect good intentions to behavioral follow-through, and utilize resources for identifying and achieving goals that are meaningful to them. As students strengthen their executive functioning skills through coaching, they are less likely to experience the mental health challenges that can overwhelm members of this generation. 

Exploring Test Accommodations in a COVID-19 World

Originally Presented: Thursday, October 15, 2020, 3:00-4:30 EASTERN
Carsen Kipley, University of Arizona

Join this moderated panel for a mid-term “check in” on exam accommodations and proctoring during the pandemic. Panelists will share their experiences determining appropriate accommodations for online exams and quizzes, working with faculty, and ensuring safety and test security in on-ground and virtual environments. Audience members will have an opportunity to share their own lessons learned while navigating new directions in test accommodations.

Students on the Autism Spectrum Share their Perspectives

Originally Presented: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 3:00-4:30 EASTERN
Jane Thierfeld-Brown, College Autism Spectrum

We often hear from "experts" about issues for students with autism. Let's hear directly from the people experiencing our campuses, the true experts. Students from various majors and wiarying years of college experience will enlighten us with their views of college, experience with transition to remote learning, strategies that work and services needed, especially with all the changes from the pandemic. Disability Service professionals who direct Autism Programs will facilitate the discussion.

Negotiating with IT Vendors Shouldn’t Feel Like a Used-Car Deal

Originally Presented: Tuesday, October 27,2020, 3:00-4:00 EASTERN
Cyndi Wiley, Ph.D., Iowa State University

Negotiating with vendors for software contracts can be exhausting. The digital accessibility professionals at Iowa’s Regent Universities collaborated to purchase enterprise-level closed captioning minutes for asynchronous media. By using a commonsense method, the universities saved thousands of dollars by prioritizing collaboration and accessibility. Join us to learn an effective method of breaking the negotiation cycle.   

Supporting Disabled Students in Virtual STEM Courses

Originally Presented: Tuesday, November 3, 2020 3:00-4:30 EASTERN
Paul Nolting, Hillsborough Community College
Aimee Stubbs, Broward College

Disability providers have a wide array of strategies and resources available to improve STEM success. We cannot sit on the sidelines. We need to think outside the box. Participants will be provided with a variety of resources and learn strategies in five areas: instruction, accommodations, student learning, tutoring and repeaters. Some strategies include teaching Websites, access, platform learning, study skills, testing, anxiety reduction, apps, tutoring, and workshops. You do not have to be at STEM instructor to improve success.  

Accommodating Students with Disabilities in On-Campus Jobs

Originally Presented: Thursday, November 5, 2020; 3:00-4:00 PM EASTERN
Daryn Christenson, University of Minnesota
Staci Samson, University of Minnesota

Disability Resource Professionals are committed to supporting equitable access for students on campus in their courses and course work. What happens when the student is also an employee of the University? Participants will learn how the University of Minnesota Disability Resource Center facilitates the interactive process to determine reasonable accommodations when an individual is both a student and employee. Presenters will discuss strategies for working with supervisors and human resources, possible accommodations for common student positions, additional considerations for working with graduate students, and employment accommodations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compassion Fatigue: Are You Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired?

Originally Presented: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 3:00-4:30 EASTERN
Karen Andrews, M.Ed., University of California Irvine
Frances Dias, Ph.D., University of California Irvine

As advocates dedicated to accessibility, our work requires understanding, empathy, and compassion for student, faculty, and staff concerns. With the shifting landscape caused by the pandemic, resources may be even more limited than usual, demand higher and change the only certainty. The ability to remain fully present in the work without impact is impossible. Compassion Fatigue, often associated with health care providers working with trauma, is gaining attention with higher education disability services professionals. This webinar will cover the broad concept of compassion fatigue and share strategies for mitigating impact and reducing burnout and turnover.

Access Considerations for Students with Disabilities During COVID-19

Originally Presented: Tuesday, November 17, 3:00-4:30 EASTERN
Paul Grossman, Hastings School of Law
Mary Lee Vance, California State University - Sacramento
Jamie Axelrod, Northern Arizona University

We will address masking and other questions pertaining to “direct threat” to health and safety posed by untested, asymptomatic, and symptomatic students with COVID-19. A paradigm for analyzing these cases will be discussed, and links to federal guidance and other useful authorities will be presented. We will also look at online (synchronous, asynchronous, and hybrid) classes and discuss the accommodations required for students with sensory impairments. Given what is known and all that is unknown, what are the practical, implementable solutions? If a student refuses to wear a mask, is this a DSS problem, a health-center problem, or a matter for security and discipline? Suggested solutions will be shared. 

Designing Accessible Online Learning: Tips You Can Share

Originally Presented: Thursday, November 19, 2020 3:00-4:30 EASTERN
Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D., University of Washington

Learn how faculty, course designers, and those who work with them can contribute to the development of online classes that are fully inclusive of students with disabilities and significantly reduce the need for additional accommodations. Specific access issues, access solutions, and a universal design framework for implementation will be presented. The presenter will share resources for faculty new to this topic, as well as resources that offer in-depth technical guidance to which disability service, teaching and learning center, and department website staff on any campus can link.

Technology Tools to Support Time Management and Organization

Originally Presented: Tuesday, November 24, 3:00-4:30 EASTERN
Rachel Kruzel, Assistive Technology, Accessibility, and Transition Consultant

With so many classes being taught remotely and staff working from home, it can be difficult for disability resource professionals to support students’ organization and time management needs. However, in the COVID academic world, keeping track of tasks, time, people, and information may be even more important than ever. Join us for a review of tools that students can use to help them manage assignments, tests, and necessary social opportunities during this nontraditional fall.

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Presenter Bios

Karen Andrews

Karen Andrews, M.Ed. is the Director of the Disability Services Center at the University of California Irvine. She serves on AHEAD’s Board of Directors as a Director-at-Large and has served AHEAD as the Chair of the Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Disability (REDD Knowledge & Practice Community, a conference presenter, session moderator, and proposal reviewer. Karen has a firm foundation in understanding the complexities of eliminating barriers, providing accommodations and services, and fighting to promote inclusive excellence. She is experienced in leading large, diverse teams.


Jamie Axelrod
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.


Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D.
Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D. is the Director of College Autism Spectrum; and former Director of Student Services at the University of Connecticut School of Law. She is a highly respected national expert on autism, presents extensively, and consults with numerous families, students, school districts and institutions of higher education. Jane has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS News and NPR. She co- authored Student with Asperger’s: A Guide for College Professionals (2009); The Parent’s Guide to College for Students on the Autism Spectrum (2012); and Behavior Management and Self-Regulation (2012) along with many textbook chapters and articles. Jane holds a doctorate from Columbia University, is married, and has three children, the youngest son with Autism.


Sheryl Burgstahler

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D. is the director of Accessible Technology Services at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is the author/editor of several books and many publications and presentations on topics that include the transition of students with disabilities to postsecondary education, accessible online learning design, universal design of all aspects of higher education, and systemic change toward more inclusive campuses.


Daryn Christenson
Daryn Christenson is an Access Consultant at the University of Minnesota. Daryn has worked with the University of Minnesota’s Disability Resource Center for 10 year and has served as an Access Consultant in the UReturn office, a division of the Disability Resource Center that serves all employees, for 3 years. Daryn began a joint role in January 2020 in the DRC serving both employees and students at the University of Minnesota, providing him a unique perspective to serving students in employment situations. Daryn earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 2008.


Frances Diaz

Frances Diaz, Psy.D. is the Director of the Counseling Center at the University of California Irving. Frances is is an advocate for addressing the care needs of those in the helping fields and familiar with the increasing demands and student needs across the campus as well as the country. Her special interests are in addressing personal development, impact of family on academic achievement, first-generation college students, acculturation, international students, issues of adjustment, and Latino mental health. Frances has presented at several national conferences in the field of psychology (e.g. ACCTA, APPIC, NMCS) and served on the board of directors for the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies.


Sharon Field
Sharon Field, Ed.D is Professor Emeritus, in Educational Leadership, College of Education at Wayne State University (WSU) and Founder of 2BSD:Resources for Self-Determination. Her areas of specialization include self-determination, managing transitions, and applied positive psychology practices. Sharon has directed numerous federally funded transition and self-determination projects, most focused on building competencies related to self-determination from early childhood through adulthood. In recent years, Sharon has focused on the application of self-determination practices in college and university settings. She is co-editor of Becoming Self-Determined: Creating Thoughtful Learners in a Standards-based, Admissions-Frenzied Culture. She is also an author of the Steps to Self-Determination curriculum and the Self-Determination Assessment Battery Internet. As a former K-12 teacher, university professor/administrator, and parent, Sharon believes passionately in the power of self-determination to help individuals identify and achieve what is most important to them.


Paul Grossman
Paul Grossman, J.D. served as a civil rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), serving as its Chief Regional Attorney in San Francisco for 30 years. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Disability Law at Hasting College of Law, University of California, and a member of the AHEAD Board of Directors, the Public Policy Committee of the Association for Children and Adults with AD/HD (CHADD), and the Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) Expert Advisory Board. Dr. Grossman has worked on every type of education discrimination and investigated, written decisions, and settled hundreds of disability discrimination cases, often developing new approaches to protecting students with disabilities. He is the coauthor of The Law of Disability Discrimination (8th Edition) and its companion publication, Law of Disability Discrimination Handbook: Statues and Regulatory Guidance.


Carsen Kipley
Carsen Kipley is the Assistant Director, Accommodations Services for the University of Arizona's Disability Resources. He oversees Accommodation Services, which ensure curricular access for students with disabilities. Carsen supervises exam access, alternate media and communication access, lecture content. His previous work Disability Resources includes time as the Exam Administration Coordinator and as an Accommodations Consultant in which he met with students to determine reasonable accommodations through an interactive process.


Paul Nolting
Paul Nolting, Ph.D. is a Learning Specialist at Hillsboro Community College and national expert in assessing math learning problems, from study skills to learning disabilities. He has consulted with over 100 college campuses on accessible math instruction, effective learning strategies, and appropriate testing accommodations. Paul has presented at AHEAD conferences and for the American Mathematics Association and the National Developmental Education Association. He is published in the Journal of Developmental Education and the American Mathematical Association and is an adjunct instructor for the University of South Florida and Florida Gulf Coast University.


David R. Parker
David R. Parker, Ph.D. is a Postsecondary Disability Specialist and ADD/life coach at CRG (Children’s Resource Group) in Indianapolis, IN. Three decades of work with students with LD, ADHD, and ASD have included positions as a high school special education teacher, director of a private school for students with dyslexia, administrator of LD/ADHD programs at UNC-Chapel Hill and UCONN and program manager of a National Science Foundation STEM/UDI grant project at Washington University in St. Louis.  Dr. Parker has conducted training on best practices for college students with ADHD, LD and ASD in Italy, Japan, Austria, and Kuwait. He helped conduct the first national study of ADD college coaching through Wayne State University. A board member of four peer reviewed journals and former executive editor of AHEAD’s Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, Dr. Parker is the co-author of numerous research articles, book chapters and three books, including Becoming Self-Determined:  Creating Thoughtful Learners in a Standards-Driven, Admissions-Frenzied Culture (AHEAD, 2016).


Heidi Pettyjohn
Heidi Pettyjohn, M.A. is Executive Director for Accessibility at the University of Cincinnati, where she also serves as ADA Coordinator and EIT Accessibility Coordinator. 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. In the past four years, Heidi’s work has focused particularly on leading the university in sweeping changes to ensure that websites and other electronic and digital content is accessible to disabled students, employees and community members. She co-created 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.


Staci Samson

Staci Samson, M.Ed. works as an Access Consultant for the Disability Resource Center at the University of Minnesota. She works in the UReturn office, a division of the Disability Resource Center that serves all employees (including faculty and staff) with any disability or medical condition requiring accommodations or workplace adjustments. Staci facilitates workplace accommodations, assists with return-to-work planning for staff and faculty, and serves as a liaison to various campus departments. Staci earned her bachelor’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and her Master’s degree in Human Resource Development from the University of Minnesota. Staci is passionate about working with employees to implement systems for organization and workflow management. 


Aimee Stubbs

Aimee Stubbs, Ed. S. is the Associate Director of Accessibility Resources at Broward College. She has over 26 years of teaching, training, leading, and counseling experience at all grade levels and adult education, secondary, and post-secondary institutions. Aimee is a long-term member of AHEAD and a well-respected national presenter. Among numerous service positions, she has been the President of the Florida AHEAD, on the Board of Bridging the Achievement Gap program, and the Chair of the Pinellas Interagency Networking Council. Aimee has a passion for education and supporting students through technology, teaching strategies, and her years of teaching, counseling and mentoring disability resource professionals. She has degrees in Specific Learning Disabilities, Varying Exceptionalities and Counseling.  


Jodi Sleeper-Triplett
Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, B.A., MCC, BCC is a trainer, mentor, presenter and keynote speaker. Jodi is the author of Empowering Youth with ADHD and contributing author of the AHEAD publication, Becoming Self-Determined: Creating Thoughtful Learners in a Standards-Driven, Admissions-Frenzied Culture and a regular presenter at AHEAD conferences. Her company, JST Coaching & Training, provides coach training programs to individuals and institutions worldwide. Jodi developed the first coach training programs focused on coaching students with ADHD. She is the recipient of the 2016 CHADD Hall of Fame Award, the 2017 Founders Award from the ADHD Coaches Organization and is seen by many as the foremost authority in the field of student and ADHD coaching. Jodi’s coaching model was used in the Edge Foundation College Coaching Research Study and ADHD Benefits of Coaching Scale. Jodi is the president of the Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO).


Melanie Thornton
Melanie Thornton, M.A., CPACC is the Coordinator of Access and Equity Outreach at the University of Arkansas - Partners for Inclusive Communities. In this position, she provides professional development and technical assistance on topics related to disability, diversity, digital access, and leadership. Previously, she worked at the Disability Resource Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where she served as the Associate Director and as the Director of Project PACE. In the capacity of Director of Project PACE, she led the campus community in increasing capacity related to web accessibility and inclusive curricular design. Melanie currently serves AHEAD as Treasurer. She has presented at state, national and international conferences on topics related to disability and access and has worked as an independent consultant in a variety of capacities for 15 years.


Cyndi Wiley
Cyndi Wiley, Ph.D. (Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs) is the Digital Accessibility Lead for Iowa State University and former Associate Professor of Art & Design. They began their career in the late 90s in St. Louis, Missouri, working as a graphic designer and creative director, running a business, and developing a deep love of cats. Cyndi has 10 years of experience teaching face-to-face and fully online courses in interactive media, game design, and graphic design. Their research areas are UX/UI, game design, serious games, intersectionality of art and technology, and experiencing empathy with other humans. Cyndi holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and a PhD in Human Computer Interaction from Iowa State University.

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