The Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD) Presents the 9th Annual Management Institutes

Overflow Hotel Available!

The Host Hotel, Sheraton Riverwalk Tampa, is sold out. We have secured an additional block of rooms at the Aloft Tampa Downtown (located directly beside the Sheraton). They are offering attendees a discount rate of $169 per night and are taking reservations through Monday, January 26.

Aloft Tampa Downtown
100 W Kennedy Blvd
Tampa Fl 33602
(P) 813-898-8000

Tampa Florida city skyline

February 5-7, 2015
Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel
Tampa, Florida USA

AHEAD warmly invites you to join us in colorful Tampa, Florida to network with colleagues and learn best practices for disability resources and services from highly regarded instructors.

Each year the acclaimed AHEAD Management Institutes offer managers, directors and other professionals in postsecondary education an intensive opportunity to gain knowledge and skills an intimate and interactive learning setting. This year we’ve included workshops of interest to administrators, faculty, and academic skills personnel, as well as disability services staff.

Each attendee will choose one of four topical tracks to attend all day
Thursday and Friday of the Institute:

Institute #1:  AHEAD Start: The Institute for New and Newer Disability Services Managers
Institute #2:  Taking the Lead on the Path to Access: Ways to Make a Difference on Your Campus
Institute #3:  On the Road to Educational Success: Removing Barriers to Student Development
Institute #4:  The Future is Now: “EIT” and Accessibility

plus a Saturday morning plenary session for ALL attendees:


A New Perspective on the Future – Helping Students See the Light at the End of the Tunnel
Saturday, February 7, 2015, 9:00 am – 11:30 am

Key dates:
Discounted registrations are available until December 23, 2014.
Accessibility requirements must be registered by January 9, 2015.
The discounted hotel rates are available until January 20, 2015.

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Institute Program Details

Institute #1:  AHEAD Start: Setting the Landscape for New Professionals

Thursday, February 5, 2015 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)
Friday, February 6, 2015 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)

Carol Funckes, University of Arizona

Designed specifically for disability resource professionals who are new to the field, this two-day institute offers a comprehensive overview of the issues that shape postsecondary disability services. No longer only a service office for students, the disability resource office is an vital center of information, collaboration, and technical assistance for the campus community. Higher education administrators, faculty, and students rely on disability resource personnel to provide effective consultation and services to lead the institution in creating inclusive, welcoming campus environments.

Through lecture, discussion, and resource sharing, we will explore how legal principles and philosophical constructs intersect with the practical realities of working in higher education disability services today. We will discuss strategies for moving our campuses beyond a compliance narrative and provide the opportunity for participants to develop a professional network and find confidence in their dual role of service provider and campus consultant. Topics to be covered include:

  • basics of disability service in higher education, including foundational legal concepts, perspectives of disability, the power of design, and lessons from history and disability studies;
  • promising approaches for using interview and a variety of forms of information, including third-party documentation, to assess barriers and plan individual accommodations;
  • strategies for designing service delivery practices that minimize extra efforts by disabled students and frame problems of access as resulting from poorly designed environments;
  • the institution-wide role of the disability resource office in collaborating and consulting on physical, curricular, policy, and information access;
  • office management: record keeping, budgeting and resource management, and program review and assessment.

Audience: Novice

Institute #2: Taking the Lead on the Path to Access: Ways to Make a Difference on Your Campus

Thursday, February 5, 2015 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)
Friday, February 6, 2015 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)

Adam Meyer, University of Central Florida
Kristie Orr, Texas A&M University

We may know a lot about accommodations, processes and specific disabilities. But as employees at our institutions who are expected to develop and maintain access on campus, progress will stall if we do not know how to lead our office and our campus partners on this journey toward greater accessible thinking. This two-day hands-on, interactive session will explore essential concepts all disability professionals need to know in order to make a difference on campus. Topics include:

  • Exploring the purpose of your office
  • Characteristics of leadership
  • Effective communication
  • Building trust
  • Creating and working through change
  • Considerations in important decision-making
  • Working intentionally within your office culture
  • Collaborating beyond your office walls
  • Finding the passion in what you do

Familiarity with social model thinking as an office direction is beneficial but not required. Those in attendance will be expected to participate in various ways, such as small and large group discussion and role plays. At the end of the discussions, participants will have more tools in their leadership tool kit. From there, the excitement begins in taking it back to campus and figuring out how to further develop your effectiveness as a leader. Disability personnel in all positions and sizes of offices are welcome.  Caution: Those attending the session may have a lot of fun learning important leadership concepts. 

Audience: Intermediate to Advanced

Institute #3: On the Road to Educational Success: Removing Barriers to Student Development

Thursday, February 5, 2015 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)
Friday, February 6, 2015 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)

Rhonda Rapp, St. Mary’s University, Texas

Access to higher education is crucial to succeeding in most sectors of the 21st-century workforce. College, graduate school, and professional schools not only prepare students for the workforce, they are the setting in which many young people transition to adult life. Although unprecedented numbers of students with disabilities now pursue college and graduate school, students with disabilities still face barriers to education (The American Association of People with Disabilities – AAPD).   In order for students with disabilities to be successful in higher education, we have to work together to move beyond accommodations by removing the various barriers to education that still exist after accommodations have been implemented.

In this intensive, hands-on workshop, we will focus on student services in higher education and the removal of barriers to those services for students with hidden disabilities (students with learning disabilities, ADHD, psychological disabilities, and students on the spectrum).  Topics will include:

  • Training Tutors to Work with Students with Hidden Disabilities
  • Academic Advising and Students with Hidden Disabilities
  • Career Exploration/Development and Students with Hidden Disabilities
  • Program Planning and Students with Hidden Disabilities
    • Mentoring
    • On & Off-campus activities
  • When to Refer Students with Psychological Disorders for Disability-Related Services and accommodations

This workshop is for those who provide programming and services for students in higher education including, but not limited to: TRiO administrators, staff and faculty, Learning Assistance Center administrators and tutors, the administrators and faculty of Learning and Living communities, and disability service providers.  Time will be set aside for Q&A.

Audience: All

Institute #4:  The Future is Now: “EIT” and Accessibility

Thursday, February 5, 2015 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)
Friday, February 6, 2015 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)

Jamie Axelrod, Northern Arizona University
Teresa Haven, Northern Arizona University

Welcome to the 21st Century!  Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) has become as much a part of today’s higher education environment as paper and pencil – and in many cases, digital content and tools have replaced paper completely.  Access to all the tools and materials used in higher education environments is critical for student and institutional success.  In this workshop, topics will include:

•What is EIT and where does it appear in your institution?

•What is accessibility in the context of EIT?  What is “equally effective” access?

  • Recent settlement agreements and federal guidance
  • How does this integrate with accommodations, academic adjustments & auxiliary aids?

•Access means everyone – students, staff, faculty, guests…

•Institution-wide responsibility

  • Procurement, in-house creations, legacy items;
  • Collaboration and cooperation across departments and divisions

•Strategies for improving accessibility

  • Working with vendors, faculty, staff, administrators;
  • Policies, procedures, guidelines, and best practices
  • Training and educational resources

Because EIT is an ever-evolving environment, participants will be invited to share challenges, ideas, and successes from their own experiences throughout the event.  Attendees will gain greater knowledge in this area, and take away strategies for meeting immediate and long-range needs on their campuses.

Audience: All  We encourage you to invite your IT, Library, Faculty, Instructional Designers and other campus colleagues to this important workshop.

Saturday Morning Plenary Session

A New Perspective on the Future – Helping Students See the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Saturday, February 7, 2015, 9:00 am – 11:30 pm (2.25 hours direct instruction)

Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, JST Coaching, LLC

In the 21st century, one would hope that all students are viewed equally, regardless of their level of ability or disability.  Unfortunately, our world is not quite there yet, requiring us to be the champions for student accessibility and equality, to facilitate change, foster learning and support students who are not yet ready to support themselves.  At the post-secondary level, students are expected to self-advocate, self-direct and balance academic, social and personal obligations independently.  We know that this is not possible for many students with disabilities.  This is where coaching comes into the picture.

Coaching research (Field, Parker, Sawilowsky & Rolands 2010) has shown that college students with ADHD/EF/LD increased their skill, will and self-regulation when receiving coaching on a regular basis as compared to the control group.  Students reported a shift in their thinking and a new perspective on how to manage their lives today and see more clearly towards the future. 

Life coaching, with an ADHD/EF/LD component, provides a platform for discovery. At the core of coaching models is the premise that each of us is creative, resourceful and whole.  The coaching process fosters an increased sense of well-being and a connection to the larger academic and social community for students; a big shift from the mindset of  students who see themselves as broken, labeled and “unfit” in the eyes of others. The support and structure provided in the coaching relationship helps students who receive coaching to set realistic goals and expectations, manage time, stay organized, and better self-regulate in both academic and personal situations.

In this keynote presentation, the speaker will share her 20 plus years of knowledge and expertise in the  ADHD youth coaching field, sharing case examples to enlighten the audience and provide insight into how coaching can challenge the medical model of disability services to benefit their students.

AHEAD is applying for CEU pre-approval from the CRCC for this program. General Certificates of Attendance will be available for use with other licensing agencies and employers.

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Institute Faculty

Jamie Axelrod, M.S.
Jamie Axelrod earned a B.A. in Psychology from New York University and an M.S. in Counseling at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating with his M.S., Jamie began worked as a mental health therapist in Valparaiso, Indiana and Lander, Wyoming. After thirteen years at a community mental health centers Jamie went to work for Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc., a disability rights advocacy law firm. At Protection and Advocacy Systems, Jamie served as an advocate assisting individuals with disabilities with claims that their civil rights had been violated.Jamie joined the Disability Resources team at NAU in August of 2007 as a Program Coordinator and became the Director of the Disability Resources program in October of 2009. Jamie has served on the Board of Directors for AHEAD since 2011, and has been elected to President-Elect for 2016-18.

Carol Funckes, M.A.
Carol is the Associate Director of the University of Arizona’s Disability Resources and a Past President of

AHEAD. She served as the Chair of AHEAD’s Standing Committee on Professional Development, was a trainer for Project SHIFT, a federally-funded grant on progressive service delivery, and has an Advisory Board member for pepnet 2. Carol has worked in postsecondary disability services for over 30 years, is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences and conducts on-site reviews of disability resource service offices. At the University of Arizona, Carol works with a staff  of Access Consultants, technology staff , and service coordinators responsible for coordinating accommodations for students, and resources for faculty. Carol represented AHEAD in collaboration with the University of Arizona to participate in a U.S. Department of State-sponsored Professional Fellows EMPOWER Program to the Ukraine in Fall 2013.

Teresa Haven, Ph.D.
Co-Chair of AHEAD’s Standing Committee on Technology, and Accessibility Analyst for Northern Arizona University, Teresa Haven has worked with access technology and media accessibility for over 20 years. Her areas of expertise include alternate format production; web and educational technology accessibility; and faculty development and education. She has taught on the college level as well as serving as a disabilities services provider and a private consultant. Her passion is for creating accessible, usable, and welcoming environments for all.

Adam Meyer, M.A.
Adam Meyer is currently at the University of Central Florida’s Student Disability Services following four years at Eastern Michigan University and nearly five years at Saint Louis University. Adam was part of a now completed national US Department of Education grant that explored ways in which concepts of social justice could be more regularly and routinely incorporated into the operations of the disability services office. This grant project fell very much in line with how Adam has wanted to operate since entering the field. Adam is currently on the AHEAD Standing Committee for Professional Development, which seeks to develop ways to create greater professional growth opportunities and for AHEAD members. Adam has presented on the social model of disability, documentation practices and disability office practices at various times over the past four national AHEAD conferences.

Kristie Orr, Ph.D.
Kristie Orr is the Director of Disability Services at Texas A&M University and has worked in Disability Services for 16 years.  Kristie has her M.Ed. in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and her Ph.D. in School Psychology from Texas A&M University.  Kristie has presented at state and national conferences, including AHEAD, on issues related to working with millennial students with disabilities, assessment, and engaging others on campus with disability issues.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Association on Higher Education and Disability and serves as the liaison for the Food Allergy Research and Education organization, working towards guidance for colleges and universities on working with students with food allergies and other dietary needs.

Rhonda Rapp, Ph.D.
Rhonda H. Rapp, Ph.D. is currently the Coordinator of Disability Support Services and Adjunct Faculty member at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.   She is a former Director of a TRiO-SSS program and former Lead Trainer for a TRiO Training grant.   Dr. Rapp has been in the field of disability services for over 30 years and has provided a variety of services for students with disabilities including  psychoeducational assessments, accommodation prescription and implementation, academic advising, career counseling, transition services, and individual and group counseling.  She has also created and presented training focused on working with students with disabilities for faculty (kindergarten through postsecondary) and support personnel.  Besides working full time at St. Mary’s University, she is also the disability consultant for the Kamehameha School System in Hawaii and a Technical Advisor for the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD).

Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, MCC, SCAC, BCC
Frequent and respected AHEAD presenter, Jodi Sleeper-Triplett is the foremost expert on ADHD youth coaching. She is a master coach, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, JST Coaching, provides training programs to coaches, educators and mental health professionals worldwide. Her first book, Empowering Youth With ADHD (2010), is the core of the JST Coach training programs and a highly acclaimed tool for parents and professionals alike. Jodi is an active member of ICF, AHEAD, ADDA, CHADD, and ACO.

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All housing and events associated with the 2015 AHEAD Management and TRiO Institutes will be held at the The Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel. 

We know you will enjoy your time in this wonderful city while you learn a lot, and meet great colleagues!

AHEAD has secured sleeping rooms for AHEAD Management and TRiO Institute Attendees nearly 50% off the hotel’s standard rate. 

The room rate for AHEAD attendees is $159 + tax per night for a single or double occupancy room. 

The Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel
200 North Ashley Drive
Tampa, FL 33602

In case you’d like to “visit” the hotel in advance, please feel welcome to check out: 

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Registration is now closed!

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