Spring 2021 Webinar Recordings

With the impact of pandemic on higher education, disability resource offices, and disabled students’ access, AHEAD’s fall webinars were the most highly attended in the Association’s history. Many of you reached out to let us know how valuable it was to have professional development opportunities readily available at your home offices and to connect with colleagues during this isolating time. 

The spring 2021 webinars covered a variety of topics from technology applications to faculty and administrator relationships to accommodation decision-making, and beyond. To ensure the content is current, presenters have incorporated thoughts about ways the pandemic has impacted their topics. 

All webinars were hosted in the Zoom webinar platform and include captioning and ASL. 

AHEAD does not pre-arrange for CEUs with any certifying bodies. If you plan to use a webinar for CEU credit, contact your certifying agency to learn what information is necessary for you to request independent CEUs. Contact AHEAD at profdev@ahead.org if you need any programming or presenter information that is not available on AHEAD’s website. To request a certificate of attendance, please contact ahead@ahead.org.

2021 Spring Webinars graphic with colorful tulips

Purchasing & Costs

Individual Webinars All 11 Webinars
AHEAD Members: $59 Each AHEAD Members: $499
Non-Members: $99 Each Non-Members: $599


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Webinar Titles & Description

Writing Effective Alternative Text for Educational Content: Best Practices for Reducing Cognitive Load  

Originally presented Thursday, February 4, 2021
Valerie Morrison, Center for Inclusive Design & Innovation

Writing alternative text for images can be a complex and subjective experience. Finding the balance between providing too much and too little information is key for creating your own alt text and for guiding faculty in adding alt text to their instructional materials. This webinar will walk through the basics of how to approach alternative text writing for educational content when being thorough, informative, and clear are paramount. Best practices for reducing cognitive load and identifying the kinds of details that should be included to provide access to photographs, charts, infographics, and diagrams will be shared.

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Training Faculty to Create an Accessible and Inclusive Virtual Classroom

Originally presented Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Ian B. Kunkes, M.S., Virginia Commonwealth University

Since the start of the pandemic, faculty and staff have been asked to convert many courses and programs to fit a virtual and hybrid model. For many, the task has been nearly insurmountable. Ensuring accessibility and inclusion has taken a back seat to basic logistical demands. However, now is an ideal time for disability resource professionals to leverage the work we have been doing in this area long before the COVID-era and teach colleagues how to design courses, syllabi, and programs in a manner that ensures the highest level of accessibility, inclusion, and impact. This webinar will help you support your institutional colleagues as they approach this daunting, yet critical task. Based on well-established best practices and direct feedback from 100+ students with disabilities, university faculty, and administrators who experienced the transition to virtual learning over the past year, we will offer tips and insights you can share with your campus partners. These will include basics of accessibility in the virtual space, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles for inclusion, and designing syllabi and courses that include all students.

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Normalizing Adaptive Technology in the Classroom

Originally presented Thursday, February 25, 2021 
Sidney Fletcher, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

This webinar looks at the shift to normalizing the use of adaptive technology in the classroom for all students, but especially for those with disabilities. We will draw upon principles of Universal Design for Learning while educating faculty about the holistic benefits of promoting and encouraging the acceptance of adaptive technology in the classroom setting. Specifically, we will aim to connect philosophy, framework, and implementation of practices focused on accessibility, inclusion, and diversity to support the learning development process of all students.

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Mobile Supports for the Diverse Learner – The iPad Edition

Originally presented Tuesday March 9, 2021
Mark Coppin, North Dakota State University

When our colleges and universities went fully on-line last March in response to the pandemic, most (if not all) classroom materials were delivered digitally. The availability of digital formats provided valuable flexibility for delivering educational content in a variety of ways. However, it also made it glaringly apparent that, in addition to accessible materials, students need to address a variety of executive functioning issues: organizational skills, planning and prioritization, self-monitoring, and task initiation. Fortunately, most students have access to mobile devices and use them to access curriculum and complete assignments. We must leverage those devices by both customizing them and using their built-in accessibility features to support diverse learners. In this webinar, we will cover the accessibility features available on the iPad and apps that students and educators can use to support student success. We’ll cover apps for note-taking, organization, optical character recognition, text-to-speech, captioning, writing supports, reading supports, and much more.

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Online Test Proctoring Systems: An Exploration of the Options

Originally presented Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Moderator: Dawn Hunziker, University of Arizona

While online testing has been popular for some time, the pandemic has kicked the practice into high gear and ensured that it’s here to stay. With this new reality, a major challenge for both faculty and disability resource professionals is identifying testing practices that are both accessible and secure, often using online test proctoring tools. Respondus, Proctorio, Honor Lock, Examity, and other proctoring tools offer different levels of accessibility and various strengths and limitations. Join our panel of experts to explore a variety of online proctoring tools, their strengths, limitations, and the workarounds that support students who use assistive technologies.

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Disability Rights in a Pandemic – Maintaining Compliance and Inclusion

Originally presented Thursday, April 8, 2021
Eve Hill, Brown, J.D., Goldstein & Levy LLC
Jennifer Mathis, J.D., Bazelon Center
Introduced by Paul Grossman, Hastings School of Law

The pandemic has changed higher education dramatically in the past year. It has also changed the landscape for college students with disabilities. This session will explore how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies under these changed circumstances – from admissions to online learning to exams to graduation requirements – whether they be temporary or permanent. Join us to learn more about higher education’s responsibility to students with mental health conditions and how disability resource offices can respond to issues of access and inclusion for these students as our institutions continue to evolve in response to the new “normal.”

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Critical Lenses for Disability Services

Originally presented Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Jon McGough, Western Washington University
Mary Gerard, Bellingham Technical College

Challenging access situations are prevalent in higher education, and it’s tough to know where to turn for advice on the “right” answer. Ask a question on a listserv and get a dozen different answers: someone will quote a court case and OCR Resolution Agreement, another colleague will bring up universal design, and a third will provide an explanation based on systems of power, privilege, and ableism. This is what makes listservs confusing but also wonderful! ADA compliance, universal design, student development theory, and disability studies are not mutually exclusive schools of thought; they are critical lenses to analyze and inform our work. We’ll discuss these “lenses” and share case studies outlining how we can use each in resolving questions of access.

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Fostering Better Teaching and Learning for Students with Disabilities

Originally presented Tuesday, April 20, 2020
Elizabeth Harrison, University of Dayton, retired
Tammy Berberi, University of Minnesota Morris
Richard Allegra, NCCSD/AHEAD

In this webinar, we will discuss innovative ways campuses and disability resource offices (DROs) can support faculty in their work with students who have disabilities – in and out of the classroom. In addition to exploring strategies for enhancing the DRO/faculty relationship and collaborating with administrators and faculty development centers, the webinar will introduce a new online faculty training resource from the National Center for College Students with Disabilities. There will be time for questions and an opportunity for participants to share ideas that have worked for them.

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Full and Flexible Participation of Students with Psychological Disabilities

Originally presented Thursday, April 22, 2021
Jane M. Castillon, University of California at Santa Barbara
Jennifer Lofthus, J.D., University of California at Santa Barbara

Disability resource offices are seeing a rapid expansion of students requesting services based on psychological conditions. The impact requires service professionals to innovate processes, adjust communication strategies, and consider standards for determining reasonable modifications that do not fundamentally alter courses. Existing frameworks inform best practices for communication with faculty and campus stakeholders and center the intersection of course design and disability as both social justice priorities and an ADA mandate. However, differentiating between qualifying for complex accommodation and implementing them and oppositional attitudes can strain our capacity to ensure access. In this webinar, we will discuss the characteristics often associated with psychological conditions that may warrant participation modification, accommodation decision-making, and the balance between reasonable accommodation and fundamental alteration.  

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Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Temporary Conditions and Service Provision

Originally presented Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Jamie Axelrod, Northern Arizona University
Doris Pierce, University of Central Arkansas

One aspect of disability access work, which happens regularly but can be difficult to process and manage, is the provision of temporary accommodation. Multiple situations may call for temporary accommodations, but they can be just as varied as all other requests for accommodations. Therefore, the reasons for providing temporary accommodations and the nature of the barriers students temporarily face need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis, the same as we do when making all accommodation decisions. While that is the case, it can still be challenging to understand when providing temporary accommodations is necessary and how to approach those decisions. There are also numerous aspects to managing the implementation of temporary accommodations that can be tricky. In this webinar, we will explore the whys, hows, and best practices in this area.

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Strategies for Prioritizing Access and Disability on Your Campus

Originally presented Thursday, April 29, 2021
Amanda Kraus, University of Arizona

When disability resource professionals get together, the following phrases are often part of the conversation: Access is never brought to the table; Disability is always forgotten; No one cares about access; My office is under resourced and no one will listen. While these sentiments can be harmful to progress and self-sabotaging, they may also feel and even be true. Join us for a discussion of what you can do to impact the way your campus administration views access and disability to the benefit of your work.

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Presenter Bios

Richard Allegra
Richard Allegra, M.S.is the Associate Director of Education and Outreach Services for National Center for College Students with Disabilities and the Managing Editor of AHEAD Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability. In his role with NCCSD, Richard creates resources for and provides technical assistance to students families and higher education professionals. After working in several disability resource offices, Richard began is work with AHEAD in 2003, with responsibility for designing professional development activities, curating materials, and resources, and offering individualized professional mentoring and guidance. Richard’s expertise includes 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.

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.

Tammy Berberi,
Tammy Berberi, Ph.D., is an associate professor of French at the University of Minnesota Morris, past president of the Society for Disability Studies, and a current member of the AHEAD board of directors.  As a teacher, mentor, colleague, and advisor for 20+ years, Berberi advocates for the experiences for disabled students and others who have been underserved in higher education. At Morris, Berberi has served as director of the Honors Program and interim director of the Office of Equity, Diversity & Intercultural Programs. Along with collaborators Jigna Desai and Jennifer Row, she was recently awarded “Dreaming Up the Change Disability Makes,” a University of Minnesota grant to develop programming in critical disability studies at the University of Minnesota. In 2019, Berberi received the University of Minnesota President’s Award for Outstanding Service. 


Jane M. Castillón, M.A.

Jane M. Castillón, M.A. is the Associate Director for the Disabled Students Program at the University of California Santa Barbara. Jane has served AHEAD on the board of the Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Disability (REDD) Knowledge & Practice Community and as a conference presenter. With graduate training in Counseling Psychology, she works primarily with students affected by psychological conditions. As adjunct faculty at a neighboring graduate program, Jane has taught Psychological Assessment, Psychopathology, Psychopharmacology, Human Sexuality, and Career Development.  She is passionate about strengths-based approaches to advocacy, learning, and teaching.


Mark Coppin

Mark Coppin is the Director of Disability Services at North Dakota State University. He is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional. Mark has presented at state, regional, national, and international conferences on such topics as technology and teaching, special education, assistive technology, mobile devices in education, and autism. He has presented twice at the United Nations on the importance of accessibility. Mark holds a bachelor's degree in speech communications and special education and a master’s degree in educational media design and technology. In 2009, Mark was named an Apple Distinguished Educator, and served on their advisory board from 2009-2012. In 2013, Coppin was one of 10 educators recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House. Coppin also serves on the SXSWEDU (South By Southwest Education) advisory board.


Sidney Fletcher
Sidney Fletcher has been working as the Adaptive Technology Specialist for the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services for 5+ years at the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Sidney’s passion for working in disability services comes from a belief in using his voice to serve as an advocate for creating equity and inclusion in the world. He received his Bachelor of Arts with a focus of International and Global Studies from UNC-Greensboro. Sidney is currently enrolled as a graduate student within UNCG’s M.Ed. program. In his spare time, Sidney enjoys spending time with his dog, Paige Seraphina, playing video games, and listening to music.


Mary Gerard

Mary Gerard, M.Ed. is the Director of Accessibility Resources at Bellingham Technical College. In her previous career, Mary was a Medical Technologist at the University of Michigan Medical Center Flow Cytometry Lab. Mary finished out the 2020 year as past President of the Washington State Disability Support Services Council (DSSC) and is also a past President of the Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability (WAPED). She has over twelve years’ experience in higher education disability education and accommodation provision. Mary’s practice intentionally creates an environment where students with disabilities engage in their disability identity development, enhancing students’ self-efficacy and self-advocacy in college and beyond. She pioneered the BTC Accessibility Team in 2012, a cross-campus constituency of those committed to the work of disability allyship.

Elizabeth Harrison
Elizabeth Harrison, Ph.D. served as the Director the Office of Learning Resources and Associate Director of the Ryan C. Harris Learning Teaching Center at the University of Dayton for 12 years. In that role, she oversaw learning center support for all students and Disability Services. Prior, she was a faculty member, Associate Director of the University Teaching Center, and Director of the University Learning Center at the University of Arizona. Beth has given many workshops and presentations for AHEAD, the Professional and Organizational Network (faculty development), the American Society for Engineering Education, and colleges and universities around the country and was awarded the AHEAD Professional Recognition Award for her work in bringing Universal Design into the higher education arena. She retired in 2020.


Eve Hill
Eve Hill, J.D. is a Partner at the law firm of Brown Goldstein & Levy and a Principal with Inclusivity Strategic Consulting. She is a nationally known disability rights advocate and expert on disability and civil rights law. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Hill was Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she was a member of the Civil Rights Division’s leadership team and was responsible for oversight of the Division’s disability rights enforcement, educational civil rights enforcement, Title VI interagency coordination and the American Indian Working Group. Highlights of Ms. Hill’s work at the Department include participating as part of the negotiating team for the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled; filing briefs and developing guidance supporting the rights of refugees, limited English proficient students, and transgender students; testifying before Senate Committees; enforcing ADA requirements for websites and other digital technology; implementing Olmstead community integration requirements in residential, employment and education settings; and enforcing civil rights in education, law enforcement, employment, public services, and health care contexts.


Dawn Hunziker
Dawn Hunziker, M.S. is the IT Accessibility Consultant for the University of Arizona’s Disability Resources. She co-coordinates the UA's IT Accessibility Program to support the UA’s commitment to full accessibility of electronic and information technology employed on campus. Dawn works with campus units and committees, program managers, content developers, faculty, and staff to provide input and proactive accessibility solutions. Dawn also coordinates the assistive technology availability on campus, supports alternate format production (documents and media), and collaborates on faculty development, accessible course, and Web design initiatives. She currently serves as President of the ATHEN Executive Committee. Dawn has presented at local, state, and national conferences on PDF/web accessibility, captioning processes, and inclusive curricular design.


Amanda Kraus

Amanda Kraus, Ph.D. currently serves as Assistant Vice President for Campus Life at the University of Arizona and Executive Director for Disability Resources. She serves as President of the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and has had the privilege of delivering keynote addresses and facilitating workshops at institutions such as Singapore Management University, Duke University, and Wake Forest University on such topics as reframing disability, microaggressions and universal design. Amanda earned her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in Higher Education.


Ian Kunkes
Ian Kunkes, M.S. is the Director of Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity and a co-founder and chair of the Transforming Accessibility Initiative at Virginia Commonwealth University. Ian has worked in a wide range of educational settings, including public high schools, independent consulting, and higher education. In each, his focus has been on ensuring equal access, inclusion, and success for students, particularly those with disabilities. As Ian explains, the impact of COVID-19 has impacted all of us. “As a result, I propose that the work of the disability resource or accessibility professional presents a proven roadmap to ensuring inclusion, access, and success for our community moving forward." Ian is a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership program at Virginia Commonwealth University.


Jennifer Lofthus
Jennifer Lofthus, J.D. serves as the Deputy ADA Compliance Officer for the University of California at Santa Barbara where she works to ensure compliance with the ADA and Section 504 in all aspects of campus life: access to services and programs, removal of physical access barriers, and academic and employment accommodations. Jennifer is an active collaborator with the Disabled Students Program, a valued stakeholder of the campus community, and integral to effective communication with faculty, Chairs, and University Deans. Her legal training affords expertise in risk analysis centered on compliance mandates. In 2019, she became a certified ADA Coordinator prioritizing transparency around grievance procedure protocols, active engagement, and education of faculty. Jennifer seeks to streamline appropriate use of resources through campus policy. Prior to her work at UC Santa Barbara, Ms. Lofthus practiced civil litigation in Santa Barbara, CA.


Jennifer Mathis

Jennifer Mathis, J.D. is Deputy Legal Director and Director of Policy and Legal Advocacy of the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law where she engages in litigation and policy advocacy to promote community integration of individuals with mental disabilities, other non-discrimination work under the ADA and Section 504, and the Medicaid rights of adults and children with disabilities. Ms. Mathis helped coordinate the amicus briefs filed in the Supreme Court in the case of Olmstead v. L.C.  She also served on the team of disability community negotiators who worked with the business community to craft what became the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. Ms. Mathis serves as special assistant to EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum in 2010-2011 to help draft regulations implementing the ADAAA. Before joining the Bazelon Center, Ms. Mathis conducted litigation involving ADA, Section 504, the Fair Housing Act, and Title XIX claims with the Disabilities Law Project in Pittsburgh.  She also practiced with a private law firm where she pursued litigation on a broad range of civil rights issues. Ms. Mathis holds an A.B. from Harvard University, an M.A. from New York University, and a J. D. from Georgetown University Law Center.



Jon McGough

Jon McGough, M.Ed. is Director of the Disability Access Center at Western Washington University and serves as a consultant to Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. Jon served on the Board of the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education and is a past President of the Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability. He has over 10 years’ experience in disability resource work in Higher ed. Jon’s adventures in disability services began on a construction crew specializing in custom home modifications for people with disabilities and evolved into a career of disability rights and advocacy work.


Valerie Morrison

Valerie Morrison manages the E-Text department at CIDI, the Center for Inclusive Design & Innovation (formerly AMAC Accessibility). She has specialized in E-Text production since 2012 and focuses on making accessible textbooks for students with print-related disabilities. Before working at CIDI, Valerie earned her doctorate in English and served as an instructor of composition, contemporary poetry, American and British literature, and the postmodern novel. As an academic, her main interest was in the content of books, and not so much on how accessible they were or how they functioned on digital platforms. Now her focus is on providing educational materials to all students and finding new ways to transform textbooks into accessible digital formats.  


Doris Pierce
Doris Pierce, M.S. is the Director of the Disability Resource Center at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA). Prior to her employment at UCA, Doris was the Disability Services Counselor and Coordinator for Disability Services at Pulaski Technical College (PTC) and an Education Specialist, Tutor Coordinator and Local Coordinator the Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) program for the Disability Resource Center at Henderson State University. She is the current Chair for the Racial, Ethnic Diversity and Disability (REDD) Knowledge & Practice (K&P) Community. Doris obtained a BA in Psychology and a MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, both from Henderson State University.


Wendy Harbour
Wendy Harbour, Ph.D is the director of the National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD), based at the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD). She has advised the DREAM national group for college students with disabilities since 2011. Wendy serves on the National Council on Disability and is a lecturer in policy and communication equity at Saint Catherine University. She holds a bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s degree and doctorate from Harvard University.


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