April 2014 ALERT

Download the April 2014 ALERT in PDF or Text document.

Letter From the Editor

Hello everyone. Spring has sprung! After a long, harsh winter (for many of us) it is nice to finally put the winter coat away. As many of you know in December I had a baby. Becoming a mother has been a wonderful change in my life. I hope to bring Grant to Sacramento this summer so that everyone can meet him. It is officially time to start thinking about the Conference. In just a few short months we will gather together to share ideas, commiserate about various challenging issues, and learn from each other about new trends in the field. This year we are in sunny California. I know that may be a long way to travel for some people, but if you have never been to a Conference, I would strongly encourage you to attend. We are all here to support each other and Conference is a great time to get rejuvenated. I hope to see many of you there! Emily (Singer) Lucio lucio@cua.edu ALERT Editor

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Message From AHEAD President: L. Scott Lissner

Spring has been slow in coming but busy for AHEAD.  Some of the highlights include:

  • Joined nine other disability organizations to discuss issues pertaining to equity and opportunity for students with disabilities with Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan along and his senior staff including the Assistant Secretaries for Civil Rights and Special Education and Rehabilitative Services;
  • Participated in a Department of Labor sponsored roundtable focused on educating, recruiting, and retaining individuals with disabilities in health care professions;
  • Invited to participate in a Food Allergy Network sponsored summit to develop guidance and best practices for accommodating students with food allergies
  • Lead a group of 11 disability organizations in writing and filing a friend of the court brief in Rawdin v. The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). AHEAD, AAPD, DRA, Bazelon, NCIL ,and the other organizations joining in the brief believe the Court erred in several determinations including finding Rawdin did not have a disability under the ADAAA and according the a professional association (the APB) academic deference, that is historically reserved for educational institutions, in determining fundamental alterations;
  • Submitted public comment on Department of Justice rule that makes its regulatory definition of disability in line with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (who were tasked by Congress to take the lead in the ADAAA);
  • Hosting pepnet 2 at our 2014 Conference--a visible example of the many collaborations that enrich our activities and support our work; and
  • Board nominations just closed and we have multiple candidates for every slot.

As I move into the last few months as President I see these highlights as indicators of AHEAD’s health as an organization. We are increasingly relied on for national and international leadership, our membership has increased in numbers and participation, and the quality and variety of your benefits and services continues to grow. AHEAD’s growth in stature on the national stage is reflected by the increasingly interdependent campus leadership roles our members accept as our profession evolves. This is seen in the focus of the opening plenary in Sacramento; students with disabilities are integral to the institutions they attend and their presence benefits the cultural climate and the outcomes for all students.

I can take a small part of the credit for this as a member of AHEAD’s Board who plots our course. Do keep this in mind when elections open (I will consider my term an inarguable success if at least half of our members vote rather than the less than 25% that is typical). Beyond the Board, our Standing Committees are increasingly effective at transforming member input and efforts into services and initiatives. I would be remiss if I did not list the third leg holding up our leadership stool - our superb staff (Richard, Tri, Oanh, Jeremy, Jane, Valerie) led by Stephan.

L. Scott Lissner
AHEAD President

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Professional Development Opportunities

Mark your calendar for these upcoming professional development opportunities:

AHEAD 2014
July 14 – 19, 2014
Sacramento, California
The Sacramento Convention Center, The Hyatt Regency Hotel, & The Sheraton Sacramento Hotel

Only three months until Conference 2014 in Sacramento, California! This year AHEAD will host the Conference in conjunction with pepnet 2. Hundreds of information-rich sessions will be available to attendees covering topics useful for new disability service managers (AHEAD Start), seasoned disability professionals (Out of the Box III), pepnet2 attendees, those interested in Civil Rights & Disability Law and DS Office Management, and more! Check out the Preconference Sessions Monday and Tuesday for an even more in-depth experience. These range from intensive 2-day workshops to half-day sessions.

In addition to learning, don't forget to have fun! Sacramento, California is sunny, a farm-to-fork capital, and provides ample opportunity for socializing and networking with your colleagues from around the world. Detailed information about the Conference, including online registration, is available at:http://www.ahead.org/meet/conferences/2014

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AHEAD Standing Committee Updates

Standing Committee on Diversity
Amanda Kraus, Chair

The Diversity Standing Committee has been engaged in good conversation around how to define and operationalize diversity and inclusion. We have been doing benchmarking research to explore how other professional associations discuss their commitments to access and equity, and we are also in the process of developing ways to survey membership on how they see diversity represented in AHEAD initiatives.

We meet monthly and stay connected between phone meetings via email. If you would like to join the Diversity Standing Committee, please contact Amanda Kraus, Chair, at akraus@email.arizona.edu.

Standing Committee on Professional Development
Heather Mole, Chair

The Standing Committee on Professional Development has been working to provide new resources for you, and two members of the committee have short briefings to share with you below. I am going to take this opportunity to let you know that my work circumstances have made it more difficult for me to be able to continue as a member of AHEAD long-term and therefore, in the interests of having an engaged and well lead committee, I am handing over the responsibility of chair to the more-than-capable Sharon Downs (the vice-chair). I will continue on the committee until the summer. Please continue to support Sharon as she takes on this role.

Sharon Downs’ briefing on future resources:
We have been working to provide training modules on various helpful topics, including universal design, alternatives to disability simulations, and documentation practices.  At the AHEAD conference last year in Baltimore, the committee was able to film several segments, which will be available on ahead.org soon.

With these training modules, you will be provided with ongoing professional development at your fingertips, as well as easy-to-use trainings for faculty and staff on your campuses.  The committee's plan is to develop these primarily along the lines of the Out Of The Box and the management strands at the Annual Conference.  We will be filming more segments in Sacramento.

Your input is welcomed!  Please send your ideas to sadowns@ualr.edu

Adam Meyer’s briefing on a new strand at the Summer Conference:
For the 2014 Conference, the Standing Committee on Professional Development is excited to offer a new Management strand, entitled Running a DS Office: It is YOUR Business! While the Conference is a great opportunity to learn more about relevant topics such as office philosophies and approaches, disability concepts, and strategies for the coordination of accommodations, it can be easy to overlook the need to be intentional about successfully running a disability office on campus.   The work that we do in our disability offices often has all of the same demands and expectations of a business in that we have to satisfy the demands and expectations of our core customers/stakeholders (students, faculty, and the campus community) while working effectively with our office and campus colleagues. 

The sessions in this strand are intended to offer you information that you can use to be a better manager and leader of your office through your position no matter where it fits within the office hierarchy. General concepts to be discussed within the strand sessions will include:

•         Vision and strategic planning;

•         Strong internal office practices;

•         Leading people within the office, including yourself;

•         Being a leader and collaborator beyond the DS office walls.

Our goal is that this strand will become a staple in our professional development resource kit at the Annual AHEAD Conference. If you attend one of these sessions, please let us know what you think on your evaluation and let us know what types of future management and leadership topics you would like to learn about in the future!

As ever, we want to know what you, the membership, think about the professional development opportunities at AHEAD. Please email any of the committee members to let us know your ideas, concerns, and feedback.

Standing Committee on Public Policy
Emily Lucio, Chair
Eric Wagenfeld, Co-Chair

As many of you know the hot topic in policy right now is the ratification of the CRPD.  Ratification provides the U.S. an opportunity to play an important and expansive role in the development of disability rights around the world without having to change any U.S. laws or add additional costs to its budget.  On December 4, 2012 the United States Senate considered the ratification of the CRPD but fell 5 votes short of the super majority vote required. The media coverage of the Senate’s failure to ratify the disability treaty has been overwhelming and the CRPD’s Senate leaders remain committed to bringing the disability treaty up in the 113th Congress.  AHEAD is one of the many supporters of this ratification.  The Public Policy committee continues to get the word out to members and encourage them to contact their Senator’s for support. There is a wonderful video by Sen. Harkin ( D. IA) that is worth watching and sharing.  http://www.harkin.senate.gov/help/crpdstories.cfm   We encourage AHEAD member to support this.  For more information, go to:  http://www.disabilitytreaty.org/  

Standing Committee on Technology
Teresa Haven, Chair

AHEAD and the Standing Committee on Technology provided a successful series of webinars this academic year, serving participants from around the world.  Topics including note taking, assistive technology, and captioning, among others, led participants to think critically about their own needs and goals.  Institutions shared their questions and challenges for discussion and suggestions from peers and presenters.  AHEAD invites requests for topics for next year's series; please send comments or suggestions to Richard Allegra, richard@ahead.org.  

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Affiliate’s Corner

Terra Beethe, Affiliate Liaison BOD
Kim Ochsenbein, Lead Affiliate Representative

Affiliate Update:

The Regional Affiliates will host their Spring Conference Call on April 14 at 3 pm EDT. We are excited to start planning our Affiliate Breakfast along with coordinating the Affiliate booth at AHEAD 2014. Be sure to stop by and register to win our “infamous” AHEADeghog!

This time of year also brings regional professional development workshops all across the country. Several offerings are highlighted in the updates below. Please feel free to visit the Regional Affiliate page on the AHEAD website for the most current information (http://ahead.org/affiliates).

Terra Beethe, Affiliate Liaison BOD

Updates from our regional affiliates:

AHEAD in Texas Spring Conference will be held in Lubbock, Texas from April 9-11th. The theme for this year’s conference is “Changing Perspectives.” Susan Mattison, a private consultant who once worked at OCR, is the keynote speaker and will address recent changes within the disability services paradigm. The conference registration is available on the website at http://ahead.org/affiliates/texas/about/event-spring.

Ark-AHEAD will be hosting its annual spring conference entitled “Compliance and Beyond: Reaching New Heights” starting the afternoon of Monday, April 7th and concluding on Wednesday, April 9th in Hot Springs, AR. Paul Grossman will be the main conference speaker and conference topics include disability law terminology and application, prospective students transitioning into higher education, leadership in disability services, library database accessibility and assistive technology and testing. For more information, please contact Doris Pierce at dpierce@pulaskitech.edu.

KanAHEAD, the Kansas AHEAD affiliate, will be hosting a professional development opportunity on April 11, 2014 at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. Our featured speakers are Claire Fitzgerald, OCR Attorney (Kansas City DOE) and Robert Beach, Assistive Technology Specialist from Kansas City Kansas Community College, who will be demonstrating Read&Write Gold software. Please contact Jaclyn Anderson at jaclyna@ku.edu for further information.

The Kentucky Association on Higher Education and Disability is pleased to host the 2014 KY AHEAD Conference: Putting the Pieces Together from Wednesday, May 21st to Friday, May 23rd. This year's conference will be held at General Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton, KY. Howard Kallem of the Office for Civil Rights will be the keynote speaker. Registration is due by Friday, May 2nd. For more information visit http://kyahead.org/events.html.

New England AHEAD will be hosting its regional conference entitled “Online Learning and Accessibility” on June 3rd at Worcester State University in Worcester, MA. Guest speakers from the University of Connecticut will cover topics on developing accessible online courses, the roles of disability services and faculty, and getting the campus on board with online course accessibility. To register please follow this link: https://www.regonline.com/newenglandaheadspringconference.

WINAHEAD (Western Iowa and Nebraska) will be hosting a regional Spring conference on May 15&16 at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte, NE. Three separate sessions are planned. Keith Bundy, ADA coordinator and Assistant Dean for Student Development at Dakota State University, will discuss the concerns of non-traditional students with disabilities who are returning to the classroom. Dan Senstock, an Account Executive for Apple Education, will demonstrate the accessibility of Apple products from the IPad to the IPhone. Patti Neill, Nebraska Statewide Program Coordinator for the Assistive Technology Partnership/Education, will discuss the ATP program and showcase assistive technology. WINAHEAD's regional Fall conference is scheduled for Nov. 6&7 in Lincoln, NE. Dr. Paul Grossman will be the keynote speaker. Members of other AHEAD affiliates may register and attend at member rates. For more information please contact Melinda Classen at mclassen@mccneb.edu.

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Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Michael Johnson, Chair

SIGs are Special Interest Groups made up of members from the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD). Members of the SIGs share a common interest or concern with regards to a particular topic or issue. SIGs foster this interest while providing information and referral, organizing professional development opportunities and networking for members to name a few.

It is of vital importance for SIGs to remain active and to reach out to their membership by providing them with the opportunity listed above. To that end, as the liaison to the Board of Director I am asking all SIGs to send me updated information on your particular SIG. I will need the most current Chair and Co-chair information along with current e-mail and telephone number. As well as information as to whether your SIG is currently active and has a Chair. This information will be updated on AHEAD’s website as well. Below is listed the Expectation of all SIGs as found on AHEAD’s website:

Expectations of SIGs:

In order to maintain active SIG status, each SIG must do the following annually:

  • Maintain accurate SIG webpage. A web page on the AHEAD site is to contain:
  • Purpose statement; goals and objectives if available
  • At least 3 links to additional resources
  • At least 3 “Frequently Asked Questions” or FAQ’s
  • Contact information for chairs and other SIG members willing to provide information and referral on the topic
  • Contribute to the ALERT. At least two ALERT articles regarding information of interest to the SIG need to be arranged for by SIG members (note, not necessarily written by SIG members, but that SIG members solicit or arrange for.) Articles can be informational, or be position statements, newly-developed FAQ’s, book reviews, etc. ALERT articles will be cross-posted to the SIG web site after publication.
  • Attend the Annual Conference SIG Chairs Meeting. At the annual conference, SIG chairs are expected to attend the SIG chairs meeting, and be prepared to provide a SIG update.
  • Conduct SIG Meeting at the Annual Conference. Since AHEAD will arrange a room, time and location for each SIG to meet, it is important that each SIG have a member able to facilitate the session. Topics could include discussion on issues of concern, developing or refining position statements, selecting new chairs as needed, thinking of presentation strands for upcoming conferences etc. If more than one SIG meeting time is requested, SIG chairs will need to notify the Board of Director Liaison (BODL) at least 2 months before the annual conference to have this arranged.
  • Provide a post conference/SIG meeting annual report to the BOD liaison within a month of the conference, to be shared with the AHEAD BOD at its' fall meeting.
  • Should SIG chairs be non-responsive to BODL requests for information or participation in AHEAD conference activities for at least one year, the SIG will lose its’ approved status with AHEAD and be denied AHEAD resources or support until such time as it re-applies and is again approved for AHEAD active status.

In closing, I look forward in working with the SIGs and hope that together we can move the SIGs to the next level of their evolution. mjohnson@monroecc.edu

Did you sign up to be a member of a SIG?

Many of you may have signed up for a Special Interest Group (SIG) when you joined AHEAD or renewed your membership. If you are like me, you checked the box and forgot all about it and maybe didn’t have any further involvement with your SIG. There are two primary ways to get involved with the SIGs that you have signed up for. One is through a listserv. The SIGs that have listservs are listed on the AHEAD webpage at http://www.ahead.org/sigs.

Some listservs are more active than others, however, you are always welcome to post questions or resources for others who have similar interests. The other way to get involved with your SIG is to attend a SIG meeting at the national conference. The SIG meetings are listed in the conference program and they are a great way to find out about current issues and connect with other professionals who are facing similar challenges and can be a resource for you. In order to be meaningful, the SIGs need the members to be involved, so don’t be afraid to start a discussion and see where it takes the group!

Kristie Orr, Ph.D.
Disability Services
1224 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-1224
(979) 845-1637

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The Best of Sacramento

Farm-to-Fork Capital
No major city in America is more centrally located amid such a diverse range of high quality farms, ranches and vineyards. 70 percent of the region’s land is agricultural, forest or other open space. Additionally, the region contains 7,000 to 8,000 acres of boutique farms and provides numerous public sales platforms at more than 50 regional  farmers markets, many of which are year-round fixtures. In September, a weeklong culinary festival will make its debut bringing together the regional restaurant and farming communities.

Old Sacramento Historic District
28-acre historic riverfront district with more than 125 boutique shops, restaurants and attractions

California State Railroad Museum
North America’s most popular railroad museum  features 21 restored locomotives and railroad cars.
Crocker Art Museum
A 125,000 sq. ft., $100 million expansion is the new jewel of Sacramento. The Crocker displays Californian, European and Asian works of art.

California State Capitol, Museum and Grounds
The museum features changing exhibits and historical rooms that offer a view of California’s political past; the rest of the building acts as a living museum.

The California Museum
The home of the California Hall of Fame is a cultural destination dedicated to telling the rich history of California and its unique influence on the world of ideas, art and culture.

Outdoor Recreation:
23-mile American River Parkway is a biking/walking trail surrounded by natural protected habitats, scenic bridges, acres of parks, fishing spots, kayaking and tubing areas. White water rapids of every class are just minutes from Sacramento, and whitewater rafting companies ‘deposit’ you right into the parkway.

Northern California’s Other Wine Country
The region is home to one of California’s oldest wine-producing areas. Over 200 wineries in the region and most offer free tastings and intimate access to the winemaking process and the winemakers. Visit sacramentowineguide.com

Urban Sacramento
Cool without the pretention – that’s Downtown and Midtown Sacramento where the city’s main theaters, art galleries and cultural venues are found, plus boutique shops and entertainment venues.

Dining & Nightlife
Surrounding farmers and growers keep Sacramento restaurants serving up the freshest ingredients via creative and unbelievable menus. After dinner, take a walk Downtown where you’ll find mermaids and mermen, wine bars, dancing and mechanical bulls. Seriously.

The Delta
Popular boating and recreation area features thousands of miles of navigable waterways and is home to hundreds of species of birds, fish and other wildlife.

Gold Country
Famous Hwy 49 lies only 45 minutes outside of Sacramento, taking you to picturesque Gold Rush-era towns and cities. Today, many celebrate their heritage of both gold and agriculture while showcasing their modern era, with wineries, shopping areas and restaurants serving local foods.

Major Sacramento Events
Second Saturday Art Walk: Second Saturday, every month
Sacramento Music Festival: May (Memorial Day Weekend)
Save Mart’s Grape Escape: June
Sacramento Juneteenth Celebration: June
California State Fair: July
Gold Rush Days: August/September (Labor Day Weekend)
Farm-to-Fork Festival: September

What’s Happening in Sacramento
Visit Sacramento365.com the year-round source for Sacramento events.

How to Get to Sacramento :
Highways 5, 99 and 80
Direct flights into Sacramento International Airport
Capital Corridor, San Joaquin, Coast
Starlight, California Zephyr
San Francisco Bay up through the Delta

For More Information
Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau
1608 I St., Sacramento, CA 95814

Old Sacramento Visitors Center
1002 Second St., Sacramento, CA 95814
Open daily 10 am.

Learn more at http://www.visitsacramento.com


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