The 2010 Preconference Institutes provide opportunities for attendees to participate in intensive, topic-specific, workshop-style events taught by notable and well-respected experts in their field. Ranging from 3 1/2 hours to two full days, the Institutes are an outstanding chance for Conference attendees to receive in-depth professional development.

Preconference Institutes do require advance registration by July 1, 2010 and an additional tuition fee (separate from the Conference registration fee). On-site registration for Preconference Institutes is not available. Registration for Preconference Institutes includes all instruction materials and refreshment breaks. Meals, housing and travel are not included unless noted. Please see the registration form for applicable tuition charges.

Two-Day Preconference Institutes

Monday, July 12th and Tuesday, July 13th

9:00 am-5:30 pm each day

#UDE Universal Design in Higher Education – Current Practice and a Common Vision for the Future

Co-sponsored by the UD ITEACH Project, (Universal Design Infusion of Technology and Evaluation for Accessible Campuses of Higher Education), Rehabilitation Research Design & Disability Center (R2D2 Center), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee:

Roger O. Smith, Director R2D2 Center, Co-Principal Investigator

Dave Edyburn, Co-Principal Investigator

Aura Mollick Hirschman, Outreach and Training Coordinator

Presenters also include Elizabeth Watson, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; Gladys Loewen and Melanie Thornton, University of Arkansas, Little Rock; Tom Lo Guidice, University of Wisconsin – Platteville; Kirsten Behling, Suffolk University; Maria Bacigalupo, Curry College; Sue Steinwig and Jennifer Williams, East Carolina University; Susan Edelman and Lawrence Shelton, University of Vermont; Jackie Dutot and Karen Mattison, Capella University; Howard Kramer, University of Colorado; Catherine Schelly, Marla Roll, and Craig Spooner, Colorado State University; Sarah Bryans Bongey, The College of Saint Scholastica; Trudie Hughes, University of Minnesota - Duluth.

Conference attendees who are interested in campus-wide issues of universal design and accessibility are invited and encouraged to attend this low-cost 2-day Preconference Symposium. Presenters from a variety of campuses and initiatives will offer snapshots of existing theory and research, and best practices relative to the infusion of universal design into campus accessibility policies and practices in the instructional, service, media and physical environments. This hands-on symposium will also place a focus on what the future holds for increasing campus inclusiveness and accessibility through universal design, including a virtual tour of a universally designed Disability Student Services Office at the UW-Whitewater, where the “university and administration adopts the concepts of universal design” and “social equity as a standard of operation to aspire to for all new construction and remodeling/renovation”. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to designing a curriculum for an on-line universal design course and a post-event publication of the pre-conference proceedings. Details about each presentation will be available online in upcoming months.

The UD ITEACH Project is providing funds to minimize the pre-conference registration fee and at least one “working” lunch and other refreshments will be provided for participants. The Preconference symposium is open to all conference attendees, whether employed in a 2-year or 4-year institution. Other campus educators, staff and administrators are also encouraged to attend.

Further specific details of the two-day program will be made available at beginning in mid-May.

The UD ITEACH Project is supported in part by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Post-Secondary Education, PR/Award # P333A080071. Any opinions in this text are those of the grantee and do not necessarily reflect on those of the U.S. Department of Education.

#PC1 The AHEAD Institute on Accessible Curriculum Production

Ron Stewart, Chair, AHEAD Instructional Materials Accessibility Group

Gaeir Dietrich, DeAnza College

Edward McCoyd, American Association of Publishers

Building on the very popular AHEAD E-Text Institutes, this two day workshop will focus primarily on the conversion of publisher-provided source files. This workshop is designed for an intermediate to advanced audience and will build on the content of the prior trainings. We will explore advanced management topics, dealing with publisher-produced content, the creation and archiving of content, and advanced editing techniques. Participants will develop expert alt format production and management techniques, become familiar with the use of a variety of tools for the creation and editing of digital curricular content, and learn advanced techniques for data storage and management. It is recommended that participants have participated in a prior AHEAD e-text training or equivalent, or discuss the content with the presenters prior to participating.

Audience: Intermediate to Advanced

#PC2 Introduction to Disability Law for DS Professionals

L. Scott Lissner, The Ohio State University

Paul Grossman, Hastings College of the Law

(Throughout this conference, Mr. Grossman is participating in his private capacity. The views expressed in his presentations will be the result of his independent research and do not necessarily represent the views of the US Department of Education or government.)

This presentation will give DS professionals a comprehensive introduction to postsecondary disability law and establish a framework for answering the questions they encounter on a daily basis. When is a medical condition a “disability” entitling an individual to “accommodations?” What accommodations are, or are not, required in the college and university setting? What must be done to make facilities and programs accessible to persons with disabilities? This institute will begin with a review of the history of discrimination against individuals with disabilities and the emergence of the disability rights movement culminating in the adoption of disability laws. We will learn what legal traditions and concepts all antidiscrimination laws share and then what is unique to disability law. Given the amendments to the ADA, we will provide an exploration of the practical implications of the new definition of disability. Topics unique to higher education, such as admissions, discipline, academic accommodations, internships and many others will be covered. Finally, we examine ways in which these laws have been interpreted to fit the unique needs of academia. We will cover procedures to ensure compliance, common pitfalls to avoid, handling internal complaints of discrimination, cooperation and noncooperation by faculty, the scope of the duty to provide accessible web sites, alternative media, and adaptive technology.

Audience: All

#PC3 Learning Disabilities & Psycho-educational Assessment: From Theory, to Understanding , to Practice.

Rhonda H. Rapp, St. Mary’s University, San Antonio

It is a well known fact that students with learning disabilities are one of the largest populations of students with disabilities on college campuses today. Most colleges and universities require recent, comprehensive psycho-educational evaluations of students with learning disabilities in order to best shape the students’ academic accommodations. However, many postsecondary disability services professionals come to their positions with little or no up-to-date or formal training in the complexities of learning disabilities and the administration and/or interpretation of psycho-educational evaluations; even though they are required to request assessment documentation and review it in order to assess the most appropriate academic accommodations for students. The goal of this institute is to provide a thorough and in-depth understanding of learning processes, learning disabilities, and to make psycho-educational reports accessible and meaningful to professionals working with postsecondary students with learning disabilities. This Institute will describe strategies for the assessment of learning disabilities from a psycho-educational perspective. The focus will be on students in all types of postsecondary education settings. Topics will include recent research, learning processes, characteristics of learning disability subtypes, and evaluation methods. Accommodation strategies will be directly linked to psycho-educational test results. This two-day institute will be highly interactive and hands-on; designed to provide ample time for specific questions, examples, case-studies, and discussion.

Audience: Novice to Intermediate

Full-Day Preconference Institutes

Tuesday, July 13th 9:00 am-5:30 pm

#CBI-1 Emerging Populations: Students with Intellectual Disabilities

on Campus

Cate Weir, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Debra Hart, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Meg Grigal, TransCen., Inc.

Molly Boyle, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Jane Thierfield-Brown, UConn School of Law

As changes to the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 encourage colleges and universities to develop initiatives that offer postsecondary education opportunities to students with intellectual disabilities, Disability Services providers find that their work is impacted, as students with intellectual disabilities begin to have a larger presence on their campuses. This session is designed as an interactive presentation and discussion of the issues that arise when students with intellectual disabilities attend college. The day-long session will allow participants to understand the current climate as it relates to the inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities in college and university, to hear from colleagues who are successfully including students with intellectual disabilities in college, and to learn about key best practices that they can use on their own campus, including Universal Course Design tools that they can provide to their faculty. Opportunities for small group discussion and strategic planning will be included throughout the day.

Audience: All

#CBI-2 Transitioning from Higher Education to Community and

Employment: Service and Volunteerism as a Solution

Jason Wheeler, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Paula Sotnik, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Sheila Fesko, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Volunteering and community service are proven avenues through which individuals have been able to improve their communities, gain skills, explore career paths, develop social networks and experience the satisfaction of making a difference in the lives of others. This innovative session will explore the connections among civic engagement, better transition outcomes and increased academic achievement.

Audience: All

#PC4 Psychological Disabilities 101: Back to the Basics

Aaron Cohen, University of California, Berkeley

This presentation is designed to give service providers information about how they can best serve students with psychological disabilities. The session will begin by describing symptoms of common psychological disabilities; will then move to best practices in documentation and end with a discussion of reasonable accommodations. By the end of the day participants will be able to identify common psychological diagnosis and name symptoms associated with these diagnosis, will understand best practices in quality documentation for psychological disabilities and will be able to identify reasonable accommodations appropriate for students with psychological disabilities.

Audience: Novice

#PC5 Foundations in Disability Services for New and Newer Professionals

Mike Shuttic, Oklahoma State University

Anne Reber, Texas A&M University

Learn about the nuances of the challenging field of disability services. Long-time professionals will present on philosophical and practical matters that influence our profession. Recognize the history of disability and society, the complexities that impact our field, the practical to-do’s necessary for effectiveness and reducing “exposure” to complaints, and how to nurture a team approach on your campus for good decision making. Participants will enhance management skills, acquire knowledge or fill knowledge gaps on effective service delivery, affirm best practices in documentation, review and discuss program standards and professional standards, explore critical thinking skills and use of a decision-making model, recognize personal biases and potential impact on professional philosophy.

Audience: Novice

#PC6 Transitioning from Secondary to Post Secondary Education for Students with Disabilities: What Every Service Provider Should Know

Mary Helen Walker, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Nicolette Campos, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

This presentation is intentionally developed to look at the transition of the student with a disability (SWD) to higher education, how it impacts the student who is moving from one educational system to another, and will give service providers working with the family some ideas and skills-training to deal with this major family systems change. The presentation will also look at secondary system employees, their role in the transition, and how postsecondary providers can partner with them to assure a more smooth transition to college for SWDs. This proposed presentation is designed for service providers to aid SWDS and their families in the adjustment and transition to higher education. Best practices and models will be discussed.  Materials for development of transition programs and partnerships at your local schools will be included.

#PC7 Opening Doors for Nursing Students with Disabilities: DS Professionals as Change Agents

Bronwynne C. Evans, ASU College of Nursing & Health Innovation

Beth Marks, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago

Martha R. Smith , EEO/Affirmative Action/ADA Coordinator, Oregon Department of Transportation

This workshop will provide disability service and resource professionals with tools and resources to understand and address the complex issues involved with providing support to students with disabilities in nursing programs and nursing faculty. Based on clips from a newly-released documentary film about a nursing student with a disability who used a wheelchair in nursing school and is now working as a licensed Registered Nurse, the presenters will facilitate in-depth discussions on how to accept and promote students with a variety of disabilities in nursing programs.

This workshop will provide information and interactive discussions on issues associated with accommodating and evaluating students in the classroom and clinical settings. Participants will be asked to consider questions such as the following:

  • What issues might underlie the resistance of nursing faculty to admitting students with a variety of disabilities into nursing schools?;
  • How can you as a disability service or resource professional support nursing faculty in a way that will enable students with disabilities to be successful in nursing programs?; and,
  • What resources do nursing students with disabilities need to advocate for themselves in school?

The workshop will provide attendees an opportunity to re-conceptualize the benefits of including students with disabilities in nursing and the role of DS professionals in this process.

Audience: All

Half-Day Preconference Institutes – Morning

Tuesday, July 13th 9:00 am-12:30 pm

#PC8 Thinking Beyond Surveys: Developing an Assessment Plan for Your DS Office

Kristie Orr, Texas A&M University

Demonstrating effectiveness is becoming critical in higher education. Satisfaction surveys can indicate whether students are satisfied, but how do you know what they are getting out of their experience? This workshop will provide DS coordinators with hands-on experience with multiple methods for measuring satisfaction, learning outcomes, and effectiveness that can be used to develop an assessment plan for DS offices.

Audience: All

#PC9 Working with Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing:

An Introduction

John Hosterman, Association of American Medical Colleges

Ruth Loew, Educational Testing Service

Marcia Kolvitz, PEPNet

Dann Trainer, University of Minnesota

This preconference institute will cover three main topics: an overview of key issues in working with individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, including an introduction to Deaf culture; strategies for determining appropriate accommodations for deaf and hard of hearing students in the postsecondary environment; and assistive technologies that enable students to access classroom as well as co-curricular activities.

Audience: All


Half-Day Preconference Institutes – Afternoon

Tuesday, July 13th 2:00 pm-5:30 pm

#PC 10 Hands-on Speech-to-Text Workshop

Emily Paul, University of Minnesota

Erin Watson, University of Minnesota

This hands-on workshop will provide an opportunity for current speech-to-text providers to observe and practice with other professionals in the field. Participants should come with their laptops and software (C-print, TypeWell, etc.). We will explore live captioning, abbreviation styles, equipment set-up, teaming practices, and more. This is a rare opportunity to discuss best practices in a collaborative environment.

Audience: Speech-to-Text Providers

#PC 11 We are STILL Underprepared! Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Online Courses

Kelly Hermann, SUNY Empire State College

Jane Jarrow, Disability Access Information and Support/DCCOL

Since 2005, we have been reminding you that accommodations in online courses can’t be handled by diligent attention to technological access. An accessible platform is just like ramps and elevators - it gets you to the classroom but it doesn’t make the content accessible. So, now what do we do? Are you overwhelmed? Stressed? Don’t worry - We have a plan! This workshop will address such topics as documenting disability in a virtual environment, making decisions without knowing a student individually, the importance of collaboration, considering the student role, and the impact of DS office data. We’ll share examples and case studies and you’ll leave with steps you can apply to your own campus’ online environment.

Audience: All

May we be of assistance? Do you have questions about the conference?

Please call AHEAD at (v/t) 704-947-7779

or e-mail to

We’ll be happy to help.