August 2013 ALERT

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Letter from the Editor

Welcome back to another year and greetings to the class of 2017! Yikes. When I think about that, I wonder where I will be when this class graduates in four years. Most of this year’s class was born in 1995. Again I think, where was I in 1995. It is hard to believe where the last 10-20 years have gone. Each year the Beloit College Mindset List provides “a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall.” Here are some of the highlights. For the full list, go to:

  • For this generation of entering college students, born in 1995, Dean Martin, Mickey Mantle, and Jerry Garcia have always been dead.
  • GM means food that is Genetically Modified.
  • As they started to crawl, so did the news across the bottom of the television screen.
  • As their parents held them as infants, they may have wondered whether it was the baby or Windows 95 that had them more excited.
  • As kids they may well have seen Chicken Run but probably never got chicken pox.
  • They could always get rid of their outdated toys on eBay.
  • They have known only two presidents.
  • Rites of passage have more to do with having their own cell phone and Skype accounts than with getting a driver’s license and car.
  • The U.S. has always been trying to figure out which side to back in Middle East conflicts.
  • While they've grown up with a World Trade Organization, they have never known an Interstate Commerce Commission.
  • Planes have never landed at Stapleton Airport in Denver.
  • Thanks to Megan's Law and Amber Alerts, parents have always had community support in keeping children safe.
  • With GPS, they have never needed directions to get someplace, just an address.
  • Java has never been just a cup of coffee.
  • They have never attended a concert in a smoke-filled arena.
  • They have never seen the Bruins at Boston Garden, the Trailblazers at Memorial Coliseum, the Supersonics in Key Arena, or the Canucks at the Pacific Coliseum.
  • They have always been able to plug into USB ports
  • Washington, D.C., tour buses have never been able to drive in front of the White House.
  • New York’s Times Square has always had a splash of the Magic Kingdom in it.
  • Bill Maher has always been politically incorrect.
  • They have always known that there are “five hundred, twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes" in a year.

I am not sure if working with students makes me feel older or keeps me young. Have a great year everyone!

Emily (Singer) Lucio

ALERT Editor

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Message from AHEAD President: Scott Lissner

It is the end of July; Our annual conference in Baltimore was a huge success (my thanks again to staff, presenters, and volunteers). Like many of you I am back on campus catching up and beginning to think about how to incorporate what I have learned into plans for the start of the year. Baltimore’s opening plenary, "504 at Forty," reminded me that September is rich in contrasts and history. The academic year gets underway and summer turns to autumn; Elvis Presley (9/9/1956) and Star Trek (9/8/1966) broke into our national consciousness; President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation (9/22/1862); and President Eisenhower ordered the National Guard to assure racial integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas (9/24/1957). On the disability front September marks the culmination of state sponsored eugenics programs with the initiation of Germany’s T4 Program (9/1/1939) and the signing of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (9/26/1973), a major step in guaranteeing civil rights for the disabled.

September’s history forms a perfect backdrop for a conversation about the current politics of disability as the academic year gets under way. High on the list of current issues is whether or not the United States should Ratify the United Nations’ Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD). Discussing the pros and cons of ratification on campus provides opportunities to discuss:

  1. The philosophy and protections of the ADA in comparison to the CRPD;
  2. The value of international study and scholarship to a college education; and
  3. The roles of the United States and United Nations global economy and international relations.

The CRPD and the ADA represent similar philosophies on the nature of disability and human rights and in concrete terms of protections on our campuses the CRPD and the ADA are congruent so ratification would not add protections. So if it won’t add any protections why might it be important? Currently the employment provisions (Title I) of the ADA cover employees working in other countries for U.S. employers (EEOC Guidance). A disabled faculty member leading a summer abroad program is entitled to reasonable accommodations, but her students are not.

Study abroad is not only an increasingly important aspect of a good education but a graduation requirement many programs. If study abroad is in countries that have signed the CRPD it will afford students some basic protections. While this is true even if the U.S. does not ratify the CRPD, ratification would give the U.S. a voice in how the CRPD is implemented.

The concerns of those opposed to the CRPD seem to have less to do with a position on disability rights and more to do with a more general opposition to the U.N. While some U.N. treaties might be interpreted as asking the U.S. to give up authority or impose rules we would not otherwise follow, the CRPD does not. First, because under the ADA we grant the same or greater protections to both U.S. Citizens and to international students, workers, and tourists in the U.S. Second, because ratification would not impose limits related to the U.N receiving, investigating, and resolving complaints because they are not in the CRPD but in the Optional Protocol which can be debated further and considered at a future date.

The Senate can ratify the CRPD without risking sovereignty, allowing they U.S. to engage the over 125 signatories on the world stage and lead by example, embracing its eight guiding principles:

  1. Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one's own choices, and independence of persons
  2. Non-discrimination
  3. Full and effective participation and inclusion in society
  4. Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity
  5. Equality of opportunity
  6. Accessibility
  7. Equality between men and women
  8. Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities

L. Scott Lissner

AHEAD President

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 Conference Wrap-Up

Dear AHEAD Colleagues,

I would like to thank everyone who had a role in making the AHEAD 2013 conference in Baltimore a success. Everyone on the conference planning committee, the program committee, and especially all of the AHEAD staff, were instrumental in making this year’s conference one of the best (of course I am a bit biased….smile). I hope that everyone in attendance will build on the professional development and networking opportunities that were started at the conference and continue to challenge perspectives as we bring new and out of the box ideas back to our campuses.

I would like to congratulate again and recognize members and partners who received honors for their continued outstanding support of AHEAD at the 2013 award luncheon.

  • The Ronald E. Blosser dedicated service award was presented to Jim Kessler, UNC at Chapel Hill.
  • Ashley Bryant of Mobility International USA (MIUSA) was presented with the AHEAD Honor for Meritorious Contribution
  • The AHEAD professional recognition award was given to Wendy Harbour, Syracuse university.

As we look forward to the 2014 conference in Sacramento, CA, be on the lookout for the call for proposals which will be announced soon.

Cheryl Muller, 2013 Program Chair

Thank you to everyone for such a wonderful conference!

As your Conference Co-Chairs, this would not have been a success without all of you! Putting on a conference once a year for 1000+ people takes a real team effort. Thanks to all of those who volunteered, the Conference Committee members and the Chairs, the AHEAD office staff, the Board members, and especially the attendees! We could not have done it without help from all of you.

Some highlights from the week:

  • The Silent Auction raised $6,699.00. While we did not beat the record of $7015.00, we came pretty close. Thanks to our auction chairs for getting such fabulous items, and also to everyone who bid! This is a great cause.
  • We could never have anticipated the demand for the Aquarium tickets. Thankfully when we sold out, we were able to get more. We were amazed that all of the additional tickets sold quickly as well. We do hope that everyone who wanted to, got a chance to visit the aquarium. It is a fabulous place to visit in Baltimore!
  • Many of us got to see the fireworks from the baseball game on Friday night from the hotel. Some of us also were able to go to the game. How cool was it to be so close to Camden Yards?

We do hope that everyone got to visit the different areas of Baltimore. We hope you enjoyed it enough to come back and visit one day. Thanks again to everyone for attending and helping to make this conference such a wonderful success.

Emily Lucio, 2013 Conference Co-Chair

Peggy Hayeslip, 2013 Conference Co-Chair

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Professional Development Opportunities

Mark your calendar for these upcoming professional development opportunities:

August 2013

A Clear Standard for Access to Instruction

A crucial AHEAD to You audioconference for all postsecondary personnel.

Thursday, August 29, 2013, 3:00 - 4:30 PM ET

AHEAD President, Scott Lissner will host a nationally recognized panel of experts as they present important highlights of recent cases, discuss campus obligations for accessibility in online environments, and give concrete steps you can take to review, plan, and refine your online access policies and delivery methods. This is a training opportunity that you will want to invite faculty and administrators to.

October 2013

Fall 2013 Workshops: Foundations in Disability Resources and Services

  • AHEAD Start: Setting the Landscape for the New Professional
  • Introduction to Disability Law for DS Professionals
  • I’m Supposed to Understand Computers (and Alternative Format) Too?!

October 18 - 19, 2013

Charlotte, NC

Registration information available at

November 2013

Accessing Higher Ground

November 4-8, 2013

The Westin Westminster

Westminster, CO

January 2014

AHEAD TRiO & Management Institutes

January 30 - February 1, 2014

New Orleans, LA

In addition, we are planning a lineup of informative webinars, audioconferences and on-demand training this year.

More information will be available at this Fall.

And looking forward…

AHEAD 2014

July 14 – 19, 2014

The Sacramento Convention Center, The Hyatt Regency Hotel,

& The Sheraton Sacramento Hotel

Sacramento, California

We hope to see you at future AHEAD events!

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AHEAD Standing Committee Updates

Standing Committee on Professional Development

Carol Funckes, Chair

Sharon Downs, Committee Member

The Standing Committee on Professional Development had a large and successful presence at the recent conference in Baltimore. By offering two complete strands of content (two two-day preconference sessions and 18 concurrent presentations) under the titles “Out of the Box II and AHEAD Start, we had the opportunity to engage both novice and experienced service professionals in informing, provocative conversations. Over half of the conference attendees participated in at least one of the sessions, and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Of note:

  • Tammy Berberi’s conversation about how we identify our offices (“What’s in a Name”) fueled a lively conversation about the merits and concerns of maintaining the word “disability” in our office titles that has since continued on the AHEAD listserv.
  • Conversations that explored how power and privilege impact our work (“Exploring Power and Privilege Dynamics in Disability Services”; “Professional Practices: Parasitic or Mutualistic?”) were well-received. Increasingly AHEAD members seems interested in engaging in serious consideration of the impact of our role as “professionals” and in challenging practices that center the problem of disability in the individual.
  • Stephan Smith’s panel discussion on students with intellectual disabilities (“Students with Intellectual Disabilities: the Next (but it’s here) Frontier”) highlighted both the positive and challenging aspects of designing postsecondary options for these students. Participants valued the opportunity to hear from those ‘on the ground’ whose comfort in disagreeing with each other offered an honest overview of the topic.
  • Sessions that explored AHEAD’s documentation guidance (“Evolving Approaches to Documentation and the Student Interview”; “Refocusing your Service Delivery”) provided practical examples of how to use a wide variety tools to inform accommodation decision-making. Feedback indicated that a growing number of offices are looking for ways to create more student-centered, less burdensome processes.
  • The final session, “How it All Fits,” paired disability service providers with disability studies scholars and OCR representatives to consider common issues from a 360 degree perspective. The work we do has consequences both in the area of institutional compliance and in how disability is viewed on our campuses. The conversation highlighted the importance of attending to both aspects in how we structure our offices and respond to requests.

The members of the Standing Committee thank all the presenters who contributed to these conference sessions and the participants whose active engagement made conversations so rich. If you have thoughts to share or ideas for conversations that you would like to see explored next year, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Committee.

Standing Committee on Diversity

Amanda Kraus, Chair

This year’s conference was a wonderful opportunity to come together, explore important professional topics, and connect with colleagues. Reflective of AHEAD’s commitment to diversity, themes such as social justice and power and privilege were pervasive across many conference sessions.

As mentioned in the last ALERT, a priority for the Standing Committee on Diversity is to grow membership and increase visibility. We are happy to report that we held a very productive meeting during the conference in which 15 of us came together. The group discussed the committee’s priorities and shared our personal hopes and goals relative to diversity. We established initial action items and we are eager to begin working this semester.

Our hope is to be in dialogue with the membership. We will share our progress and do invite your questions, comments, and participation. If you are interested in learning more about the Standing Committee on Diversity, please contact me at

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Affiliate’s Corner

Terra Beethe, Affiliate Liaison BOD

Margaret Camp, Lead Affiliate Representative

Baltimore hosted a phenomenal conference this year; outstanding conference sessions, terrific food, and delightful conversation with colleagues from across the country!

Affiliate Breakfast: Representatives from 28 affiliates met on July 11th during the 36th Annual AHEAD conference. The breakfast program included networking activities, sharing opportunities, and guest speakers, Ms. Marian Vessels and AHEAD President, L. Scott Lissner. The two hour program was informative, entertaining, and interactive.

Affiliate Booth: 21 affiliate representatives volunteered to help with the booth organized by Lead Affiliate Representative, Margaret Camp. Volunteers donned Train Engineer hats to promote Sacramento 2014. Linda Wolford, University of Minnesota, won our Sacramento-colored “AHEADgehog” donated by Beth Harrison, Ohio AHEAD. Train whistles and gold stress bricks were passed out to all that stopped by.

I would also like to say a special thank you to Margaret Camp for the past two years she has served as Lead Affiliate Representative. Margaret’s help has been priceless and valuable to the affiliate program. It has been a pleasure working with you. Thank you again, Margaret!


Traumatic Brain Injury Symposium: Understanding the Impact to the Brain and How to Best Create a Cohesive Approach to Providing Support Services to College Students

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:00 am-3:30 pm

The Catholic University of America

620 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC

For more information contact: Emily Lucio


FL-AHEAD honors one of its own and his legacy lives on! Established in 2012, the DR. KEN MARQUARD PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE Award is named after Dr. Ken Marquard, the soon to be retired Director of ACCESS and the MEED Program at Miami Dade College. Dr. Marquard’s dedication to the field and to the professionals working at Florida’s colleges and universities was the driving force in the formation of FL-AHEAD. Dr. Marquard’s colleagues introduced this award and presented him the award during FL-AHEAD’s 2012 fall conference at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. This award will be presented yearly during our Affiliate’s spring conference to a member of affiliate who demonstrates a superlative commitment to our profession’s ideals of accessibility and inclusion, and to the sharing of information, resources and support on behalf of its members. Congratulations, Dr. Ken and thank you for all you do. Inquiries about this or any FL-AHEAD announcements can be directed to our Publicity Director, Dr. Ellen Ward at

“Elevating practice requires knowing more about (1) the pressures that drive/constrain practice; (2) contemporary issues in the field; and (3) what is needed to improve” (Dr. Goldstein). Join the FL-AHEAD for its Fall conference on Friday, September 27, 2013 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the University of South Florida in Tampa when Dr. Adam Goldstein, Associate Dean of Students at The Florida State University, illuminates how we can use assessment to elevate our practice and our profession. Contact for additional information about this and future regional conferences of the FL-AHEAD.


Ohio AHEAD will be hosting our annual conference on Friday, October 25 at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Our theme this year will focus on the intersecting role of disability and social justice. More information will be available on our website at For more information, contact Carey Busch at buschc@ohio.ed.


The Fall Drive In Conference will be held Friday, November 1st from 9 am to 3 pm. There will be four host sites linked by technology so that participants can choose the satellite location closest to them (Germanna CC, Patrick Henry CC, Tidewater CC, and Central Virginia CC). The agenda will include updates on documentation guidelines and a session led by Beth Ann Dickie from Old Dominion University, as well as the popular session with the Office for Civil Rights (Howie Kallem). The cost will remain level from past years:

$50.00 for membership

$50.00 for the conference

$100 for non members.

An email will go out soon with registration information; interested participants can also access that information on the AHEAD in Virginia web page (National AHEAD web site) as soon as it is available.

The spring conference will be held in Ashland, Virginia at Randolph-Macon College. Save the date: March 27-28, 2014. A national speaker, OCR, and more information about relevant technologies will be features.


Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability (WAPED) – is proud to be a new AHEAD Affiliate. We are a strong, vibrant organization comprised of over 180 individual members and 43 member institutions. Our Fall conference will be in Spokane, Washington October 24-25. Contact: Meredith Inocencio at

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Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Community College SIG

Jennifer Radt, Chair

  • There were 17 individuals in attendance – a mix between new and veteran service providers.
  • The Chair provided an update on 2012-2013 activity. We are especially pleased with our first-ever “stand alone” conference track.
  • The group discussed the possibility to continue the track for future conferences and possibly collaborate with another SIG to address issues for small campus offices.
  • The Chair briefly discussed the membership survey that we addressed with the Private Colleges SIG and presented to the AHEAD Board of Directors for further review.
  • Future plans for programming include more webinars as we have hosted in 2011 and 2012. A possible speaker (Dr. Paul Nolting) was suggested for a webinar or next year’s conference meeting.
  • Members don’t feel the list-serve is an efficient form of communication. We discussed the use of Twitter or another communication method such as Linked In for our members.
  • Those in attendance feel that the development of a CC-SIG Wiki would be helpful for members to share information and best practices.
  • Future plans could include the development of faculty training. This training could be a partnership with HR (ADA Coordinator) and be mandated in some way for all adjuncts and new hires. This could be developed in an online module format and be tied to promotion, retention, and tenure or other salary advancement tool.

Disability Studies SIG

Karen Pettus and Susan Man Dolce, Co-Chairs

Exciting Year for the AHEAD Disability Studies Special Interest Group!

The Disability Studies Special Interest Group focused its efforts this year on writing a proposal for the AHEAD conference that became session 1.5 on Wednesday, “Current Students Challenging Disability Perspectives” (PowerPoint will be posted on the AHEAD website under Disability Studies Special Interest Group). The session was very dynamic (60 attendees). Student videographers from Molloy College videoed the concurrent session and video (s) will be produced and shared through the DS/SIG list serve and the AHEAD website Special Interest Group section.

The 2013 AHEAD DS/SIG meeting was unusual in that we combined with a student lead “Lunch and Learn” session about the STEEP/LEED programs at Molloy College in New York (power-point will be posted on the AHEAD website under Disability Studies Special Interest Group . This was done because four of the students had participated in session 1.5 on Wednesday and wanted to be at the DS/SIG meeting and the DS/SIG group wanted to attend the student Lunch and Learn, so we combined our sessions! It was great!

Following the student presentation the DS/SIG meeting focused on discussion of how the Society for Disability Studies (SDS) and AHEAD DS/SIG might continue to work together. We discussed:

  • writing a proposal for the AHEAD 2014 conference in Sacramento, CA after the conference theme is announced in August.
  • future student involvement in AHEAD, including getting all of the Special Interest Groups involved in having students present at AHEAD by writing proposals that include students, arranging for scholarship mechanisms within AHEAD and possible co-sponsoring a combined SIG/student reception at AHEAD annual conferences.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Disability Studies Special Interest Group is welcome to contact Karen Pettus at or Susan Mann Dolce at

Graduate and Professional Schools SIG

Neera Jain, Chair

GAP SIG met at the AHEAD conference in Baltimore in 2013. We were delighted to have a turnout of 18 people, 15 of which were new to the SIG.

There were some questions that came up about the group’s name. People noted that the SIG was listed as GAP SIG some places, without explanation. It was discussed that it should always be listed as the Graduate and Professional School SIG, to avoid confusion. Some also noted that SIG is an unfamiliar term to them. Perhaps AHEAD or the SIG leadership can do some awareness campaigns with the membership about what SIGs are and what we do. The new attendees expressed interest in joining the GAP SIG listserv to continue a dialogue beyond the conference. The group discussed some complex cases that they had been struggling with on their campuses, pertaining to graduate and professional schools.

The group agreed that we would like to pursue a strand or group of sessions on graduate and professional school issues for next year’s AHEAD. We will strategize further via the listserv. Some ideas for sessions include one specific to law school, one specific to medical/health sciences, and one specific to other types of graduate programs (e.g. PhDs in the humanities, life sciences, etc).

Private Colleges SIG

Gavin Steiger and Donna Musel, Co-Chairs

The Private Colleges SIG met during the AHEAD conference in Baltimore, MD on Friday, July 12, 2013. The SIG also met for dinner the previous night.

We need to communicate with AHEAD to keep them updated and ask for support when needed. One SIG chair asked for AHEAD to let us know of any individuals who checked off an interest in a SIG when completing their membership application/renewal. The use of social media was discussed.

A few people at private colleges who were not aware of the SIG connected with us. We as a SIG will discuss ways we can inform DS professionals of our group and promote membership in it.

The private colleges SIG co-chairs have been in contact with Jen Radt, the chair of the community colleges SIG, to discuss proposing a “small college friendly” theme for next year’s conference to address topics geared toward small schools. The SIG members supported this idea.

Student Athletes

Matt Springer, Chair

The Student Athletes SIG met in Baltimore on Thursday afternoon. On the agenda was the new DOJ regulations on accessible opportunities for recreation and facility space, nominations for new chair or co-chairs, and the NCAA policy on ADD stimulant medications. However, these items were not discussed; as the SIG had other topics in mind.

Members discussed how their DSS office interacts with the athletics department on their campus. Each member had a different model, and a different relationship, on their institution. A great conversation was had, as each member shared the strengths and weaknesses of their particular institution. Institutions where DSS and athletics worked closely together while simultaneously respecting the role of each department seemed to be the most effective.

Concepts of universal design were also discussed. For example, instead of one-on-one AT training, one could train an entire team as to the benefits of certain assistive technologies. This eliminates stigma, while also “normalizing” the use of certain technologies. Similarly, providing access information during orientations or summer practices (in conjunction with academic advising and student support services) gives all athletes information about the DSS office and the institution’s policies and procedures regarding accommodations—then should an athlete choose to seek out the DSS office, there is already a connection and a sense of familiarity with the staff. It was a great discussion, and one that lasted past the allotted time and into the hotel lobby. The SIG hopes to continue discussion on the new List-Serve.

Wounded Warriors and Veterans with Disabilities in Higher Education

Jorja Waybrant, Chair

SIG brochure – The attendees present discussed the creation of a free brochure made available electronically through the SIG web pages. The brochure can serve to provide information about disability services in postsecondary ed for Veterans as well as transition counselors who may work with Veterans. Recommendations are for the brochure to be tailored in the language of the user to reach the widest audience. Any SIG members who would like to be added to this task please contact Jorja Waybrant at .

There was discussion of experiences in assisting wounded warriors was lengthy and faculty/staff training and also discussion of research efforts and outcomes.

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Ashley Bryant

Supporting the Rights of Students with Disabilities Internationally: What DS Professionals Can Do

At July's annual AHEAD conference, we at Mobility International USA (MIUSA) were honored to accept the AHEAD Honor for Meritorious Contribution. MIUSA is proud to be a member of this network of professionals and is fortunate to have had the support of AHEAD and its members over the years as it works to promote the participation of people with disabilities in international education.

In turn, we'd like to commend AHEAD for bringing increased attention to issues that not only affect higher education access here in the U.S., but around the world. As disability rights activist Judy Heumann noted in her plenary address, "Disabled people are gaining their voices in many countries around the world," referring to the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 132 countries and counting. Those voices are demanding, among other things, access to education.

AHEAD members can support worldwide disability rights efforts such as the UNCRPD in their own work by reaching out to colleagues from universities in other countries. AHEAD offers several opportunities for engaging with international colleagues at its annual conference, through its international portal (visit, and other professional development trainings. By taking advantage of such opportunities to build global connections, share trends, and exchange best practices, we can all support education access and social justice for people with disabilities in other countries.

AHEAD members can also lend momentum to the international disability rights movement by advocating for students' access to international education. Members are welcome and encouraged to take advantage of MIUSA's free services and resources for including students with disabilities in international education programming. Whether your institution sends students abroad, welcomes international students to your campus, or both, MIUSA staff can work with you and your colleagues so that students with disabilities share the same opportunity to participate in these life-altering educational experiences as their peers without disabilities.

Thank you again to AHEAD for recognizing MIUSA with this honor; we value our relationship with AHEAD and its members, and will continue to strive to uphold its mission through our work at home and internationally.

AHEAD in Collaboration with the University of Arizona Partners with U.S. Department of State to Bolster Disability Rights in Ukraine

August, 2013 - AHEAD in collaboration with the University of Arizona has been selected to participate in a U.S. Department of State sponsored Professional Fellows EMPOWER Program, administered by Mobility International USA (MIUSA). This two-way international exchange program aims to expand the capacity of organizations in the U.S. and abroad to promote inclusive communities and advance the rights of persons with disabilities around the world.

AHEAD in collaboration with the University of Arizona has partnered with two Ukraine-based organizations, Lugansk Regional Social Organization for the Young Disabled and Volodymyr Dahl East-Ukrainian National University, to implement a long-term project to support the inclusion of deaf and hard of hearing students in postsecondary education.

In September 2013, AHEAD will send Carol Funckes, Associate Director of Disability Resources and Sue Kroeger, Director of Disability Resources from the University of Arizona, to Ukraine for a preliminary exchange visit to gain an understanding of disability and inclusion in Ukrainian communities and to lay the foundation for an effective ongoing international relationship.

Lugansk Regional Social Organization for the Young Disabled and Volodymyr Dahl East-Ukrainian National University will then be hosted by MIUSA, Oct. 13–19, 2013, and at the University of Arizona, Oct. 19 - 29, 2013, where they will work alongside American counterparts to gain first-hand experience on how issues in their field are addressed in the United States.

AHEAD in collaboration with the University of Arizona is one of 20 U.S.-based organizations and institutions competitively selected to host approximately 40 disability rights advocates and leaders from 40 international organizations in 20 different countries. Projects range from inclusive education, independent living, healthcare rights, laws and policy, recreation and sports, access to public services, and advocacy for all persons with disabilities. Learn more about the projects here.

At the conclusion of the U.S. program, all overseas participants and their U.S. hosts will gather in Washington, D.C., for a three day conference facilitated by MIUSA, Oct. 29- Nov.2. Participants will have the opportunity to network with other leaders in their field, and share plans for long-term programming that will be implemented upon their return home.

Expanding Horizons Institute on Learning Differences: Collaborating to Make a Difference

Sandi Patton

The Expanding Horizons Institute on Learning Differences is celebrating its seven year anniversary in November 2013. The Institute evolved from the collaborative efforts of Lone Star College System (Houston, Texas), Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (Putney, Vermont), and the Association on Higher Education and Disabilities in Texas (AHEAD in Texas).

The Institute offers faculty and individuals within the Disability Services field the opportunity to access cost effective training from nationally acclaimed presenters on topics related to providing exemplary educational opportunities for students whose disability directly impacts the learning process. Topics include research and training in Learning Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Executive Functioning, Neuroscience of Learning, Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress (particularly as it impacts returning veterans), and Universal Design for Instruction, just to name of few. Speakers include internationally recognized experts in the field.

It is the collaborations that make this event so unique and successful. Lone Star College System underwrites and hosts the event at the college annually. Each year, Landmark College Institute for Research and Training sends speakers who are experts in their field and who are currently versed in the most up-to-date research on their topics. As a co-sponsor of the Institute, AHEAD in Texas procures keynote speakers and coordinates Continuing Education credits. The conference draws attendees from a variety of areas, including faculty, postsecondary administrators, Disability Services providers, K-12 staff, adult service agencies and organizations, and parents. Networking is an important component of the conference.

Lone Star College System is a large community college system north of Houston, Texas. The system has 6 colleges and serves in excess of 85,000 students. Of those students, 1,400 are registered with Disability Services. Part of the Strategic Plan of Disability Services is to provide high quality, low cost professional development opportunities for faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as the institution’s Disability Services providers and community agencies and members. Expanding Horizons supports Lone Star College System’s Disability Services to fulfill that component of the Strategic Plan.

Landmark College is a 2 year institution located in Putney, Vermont that serves students with documented disabilities. For more than 26 years, Landmark College has been the leader in creating successful learning strategies for students with learning disabilities, ADHD, and ASD. Landmark has a history of promoting educational success and successful transition of their students, whether they transition to another institution or transition to the work environment. At Expanding Horizons, they present their unique strategies so that those same success strategies can be replicated at other institutions. All of their sessions include the most current research on the topics being presented, ensuring that participants are learning cutting edge approaches to help promote the success of their students with learning differences.

AHEAD in Texas is the state affiliate of the International Association on Higher Education and Disabilities. AHEAD in Texas’ primary mission is to provide leadership to Disability Service providers in Texas and surrounding states. One of the primary ways AHEAD in Texas does so is by providing educational and professional development opportunities. Expanding Horizons is one of two conferences sponsored annually by AHEAD in Texas. Expanding Horizons also offers a rich environment for networking, which supports another primary part of AHEAD in Texas’s mission.

This year is the seventh annual Expanding Horizons Institute on Learning Differences. It will be November 21-22, 2013 at Lone Star College System Office, 5000 Research Forest, in The Woodlands, Texas. Among the featured speakers are nationally recognized presenters Dr. Lupita Quintanilla, a member of the National Hispanic Hall of Fame and the Hispanic Women Hall of Fame. She was also chosen to be a part of "The State of Texas Outstanding Women" traveling exhibition. There are also several books about Dr. Quintanilla being used in schools across the country and several scholarships awarded in her name. Recently the DuPont Corporation named part of their national training center in Wilmington, Delaware after Dr. Quintanilla. Her primary interest is to encourage students to develop their love for learning.

Additionally, Expanding Horizons features Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler, acclaimed for her work with projects such as DO IT, AccessSTEM, AccessDL, AccessComputing, and the Center for Universal Design). Dr. Burgstahler has given over 200 presentations, more than 35 invited and plenary presentations nation-wide and internationally. Dr. Burgstahler has vast experience in grants; she currently is PI/Co-PI/Director of grant-funded projects totaling more than $48,000,000, with a focus on technology-based instruction, inclusive teaching practices, and interventions to increase the success of students with disabilities in postsecondary education and high tech fields.

Expanding Horizons also features a speaker from Landmark College Institute for Research and Training, who will present sessions on “The Neuroscience and Learning Disabilities: New Understanding of the LD Brain” and “Implications for Learning and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Understanding Postsecondary Academic Challenges and Interventions”. Sessions presented by Landmark College Institute for Research and Training always provide research-based ideas and tips that can be replicated at other institutions.

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by student veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress, Expanding Horizon features a strand of session specifically geared towards promoting the success of this population. Additionally, the Institute offers a variety of concurrent sessions on other topics related to promoting the success of students with learning differences, along with strategies that can be replicated at other institutions.

Expanding Horizons Institute on Learning Differences is a true example of how collaborative relationships that foster transformative change to better promote the success of students with learning differences. For more information on the conference, visit our website at

Registration information is included at the website and we would love to see you attend! If you have questions, contact Sandi Patton at