December 2013 ALERT

Download the December 2013 ALERT in PDF or Text document.

Letter From the Editor

We made it through another semester!  It's really hard to believe how fast time flies. I'm sure that many of us are either in the midst of exams or getting ready to start them.  Exams are always an interesting time around here because students whom we don’t see for most of the semester suddenly reappear.  Students who have never even requested accommodations now all of a sudden want them and those who are on the brink of failing come knocking at our door.  It's always wonderful to have the students stop by, but it would be great if they did it under different circumstances and earlier in the semester.  Oh well, I guess that is one of the things we have to deal with when working with students.  And as much as I enjoy working with them, I equally enjoy that short time when they are away and things here are quiet for a week or two.  Speaking of being away, I hope that all of you have a wonderful break and get to spend some time with family and friends.  I too will be away until mid-March while out on maternity leave.  But, don’t worry; I have left the ALERT in the very capable hands of Valerie Spears-Jarrell, AHEAD Manager of Communications and Events. Happy holidays to everyone and we will connect again in the new year.

Emily (Singer) Lucio
ALERT Editor

Message From AHEAD President: L. Scott Lissner

I know it's December because I just received a reminder for the 2014 Management Institutes in New Orleans and planning is well underway for the Sacramento Conference.  I have been thinking about professional and organizational development as we move into the last quartile of my term of office.  On most objective measures AHEAD is doing well.  Our finances are healthy, there were choices in the last election, membership is up and so is the number of state/regional affiliates. We have also been more proactive in informing both our membership and policy members about issues of access.  As always we are looking for more effective ways to get the work of our organization, supporting your efforts to ensure seamless access on your campus, done.  There have been significant improvements to our web space and use of social media.  Thanks to the dedicated volunteers who make them work, the standing committee structure is beginning to show solid results in its third year. I half expect Emily Singer Lucio, who chairs our public policy committee, will be calling me from the maternity ward to see if I have called my Senators and ask them to publicly support ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (I have).  Seriously, as the year comes to a close I want to thank the long list of volunteers from Committee members to Board members as well as the office staff. 

L. Scott Lissner
AHEAD President

Professional Development Opportunities

Mark your calendar for these upcoming professional development opportunities:

January 2014
AHEAD Management Institutes
January 30 - February 1, 2014
New Orleans, LA
Complete information available at

And looking forward…

Florida AHEAD Annual Conference
CALL FOR PRESENTERS/PROPOSALS: A call for proposal is out for FL-AHEAD’s Annual Conference to be held in beautiful Clearwater (FL) on April 3-4, 2014 at St. Petersburg College’s EpiCenter.  Go online to to submit a proposal.  All questions about this can be directed to Peg Connell at 727-341-3398 or via email:

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

We hope to see you at future AHEAD events!

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AHEAD Standing Committee Updates

Standing Committee on Diversity
Amanda Kraus, Chair

Greetings!  The Diversity Standing Committee continues to explore important professional topics around diversity, social justice, power and privilege.  We have been active in submitting conference proposals for AHEAD 2014 that are reflective of AHEAD’s commitment to diversity.  We will also participate in reviewing proposals to better understand how and where issues of diversity are represented across the membership and in conference sessions. Together with the Standing Committee on Professional Development, we are working on ways to infuse diversity-related content across the various conference strands and sessions. 

A priority for the Standing Committee on Diversity is to grow membership and increase visibility. If you are interested in learning more about the Standing Committee on Diversity, please contact me at

Standing Committee on Member Development
Mika Watanabe, Chair

The Standing Committee on Member Development consists of five volunteer members representing diverse backgrounds and geographic regions.  The members include: Debra Hagen, Vancouver Island University; Mike Shuttic, St. Gregory’s University; Ken Marquard, Miami Dade College; Tom Thompson, Consultant; and Mika Watanabe, University of Montana.  Jane Johnston is the AHEAD Member Services Coordinator serving as a staff liaison and Bea Awoniyi, President Elect, serves as ex-officio.   

This standing committee has been given several responsibilities by the Board of AHEAD. As one of these responsibilities, we are currently focusing on developing and recommending methods for AHEAD to domestically and internationally engage current and prospective members and groups. 

In order to address the above task, the committee has identified three targeted areas and action plans.  They include:

  • Partnering with international organizations: Identify specific international organizations that AHEAD should consider reaching out to and offering partnership.    
  • Retention: Design the methods for AHEAD to respond to its members who have signed up with Special Interest Groups (SIGs) or have volunteered to serve on committees.    
  • Developing countries: Understand developing countries’ needs and determine how AHEAD could reach out and offer support/services to these countries.  

The Member Development Standing Committee welcomes volunteers to help us.  Volunteers can contact the Chair Mika Watanabe at

Standing Committee on Professional Development
Heather Mole, Chair

As the new chair of this standing committee I would like to introduce myself briefly and encourage you to contact me by email ( if you have any ideas around professional development that you want to share with us. I have, up until this summer, been working at McGill University in Montreal, Canada as a disability advisor for 6 years, and prior to that I was a British Sign Language Interpreter. I am now back in the UK, based in Edinburgh, and will be starting a similar position in January with a nationwide distance learning university (the Open University).

We began this year by reviewing the summer conference strands that were offered and tailored by the committee namely AHEAD Start and Out of the Box. We added the Out of the Box strand this year for seasoned professionals and the overall feedback was positive. We had various different formats, some of which went down extremely well while others require some tweaking in the future and the content clearly drew in people. We decided, based on feedback that different committee members received, that a new strand on management of DS would be a welcome addition in the coming year and Adam Meyer will be coordinating this effort as well as the other strands. Please note that we opened these sessions up to the general call for proposals so that people who felt their material fell within these strands could make this clear and their offerings will be considered in that light.

As a committee we work closely with Richard Allegra, Director of Professional Development, to ensure that he is supported in his role. We will be acting as an advisory board to him when he is presented with proposals for development opportunities and will make recommendations based on AHEAD's goals and objectives.

We are also very interested in researching the needs of people in single-person DS offices to find out what training they are seeking and finding ways to provide that in timely, cost-effective ways. If you have ideas or comments on this, do let us know. We also hope to collaborate with the membership standing committee on this.

This year is all about collaboration and each member of the committee has taken on a role which will enable us to stay connected with the other standing committees. That collaboration extends to you, so let me emphasise again that we want to stay connected with you so please contact us if you want to share your ideas about professional development at AHEAD.

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.  There have been two committee hearings recently.  The next step will be a mark-up followed by a vote out of committee.  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.  We encourage AHEAD member to support this.  For more information, go to:

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Affiliate’s Corner

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

Affiliate Update:

The Affiliates would like to welcome our new Lead Affiliate Representative, Kim Ochsenbein. Kim is currently the President of Tennessee AHEAD and very excited to be a part of the team. 

The Affiliates held its Fall Conference Call on November 5th with 25 of 35 affiliates in attendance.  The conference call included a recap from the Summer 2013 meeting, updates on conference 2014, and news from AHEAD.  Our next conference call will be in April.

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

Terra Beethe, Affiliate Liaison BOD

Updates from our regional affiliates:

Ark-AHEAD will be hosting its 11th Annual Spring Conference “Compliance and Beyond:  Reaching New Heights” April 7-9, 2014 in Hot Springs, AR.  Paul Grossman and other conference presenters will be presenting on various topics.  For more information please contact Doris Pierce at

New England AHEAD will be hosting a one-day workshop on alternative format of text entitled “Alternative Text 101 (What is it? How do I do it? How do I get help?)”. The workshop will be held at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH on January 10th from 10:00am to 4:00pm. To register for the workshop please visit this site:

New England AHEAD also asks members and those interested to Save the Date for our annual Spring Conference. This year’s conference will be held on June 3rd at Worcester State University in Worcester, MA. The theme this year will be on how to ensure accessibility within the online environment (classes, hybrids courses, learning management systems and websites). Registration information will be available after the New Year. For information on either of these events please contact Kirsten Behling at

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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 just 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 Directors 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 email 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. Feel free to contact me via email at

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

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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Book Review
L. Scott Lissner

The Law of Disability Discrimination, Handbook and Teachers Manual (8th Edition)by  Ruth Colker and Paul Grossman, Lexis Publishing

I should warn you that this is an atypical review of a text book from a biased source.  Atypical in part because I don’t write book reviews and in part because I am recommending a textbook for your professional library.   It is biased because in turn each of the  previous seven editions had a space on my book shelf.  I have had the privilege of teaching with both of the authors, and more importantly, the authors are my “go to” people when I need help understanding a case or applying law to a unique context. 

The new edition incorporates 2008 Amendments (the ADAAA) along with the associated implementing regulations as well as the Department of Justice’s 2010 revisions to the regulations for Titles II and III of the ADA.  It features a number of new cases alongside classic case law and continues a tradition of analysis that weaves facts, regulations, agency guidance, and statute into a single fabric.  In this edition the chapter covering education has been expanded into two chapters with one devoted entirely to higher education.

The coverage from the standards of Accessible Design to workplace accommodations is thorough.  I found the presentation of the “new” definitions of disability and the boundaries set for documenting the need for accommodations stood out for me as particularly cogent.  There are salient and timely discussions of alternative media for people with print disabilities, the impact of new technologies on the obligation to provide effective communications for individuals with sensory impairments, and service versus support animals.  In part because it is a good textbook, the reader is prompted to see more than the collections of facts and decisions in a wide range of cases, but a conceptual framework that supports extending the principles to new facts and contexts.  

The Eighth Edition of The Law of Disability Discrimination reflects a dramatic re-write of a book that Professor Colker first authored in 1993. This is the first edition to comprehensively address the most profound changes in disability discrimination law in twenty years — encompassing a new definition of disability and rules for documentation, new architectural access standards, and a wide variety of new subject area regulations covering topics from service animals to qualified interpreters. In addition, it is evident that since the last edition was published in 2009, the availability, use, and impact of technology are rapidly becoming a critically important disability law question. This edition will provide students with the foundation necessary to watch this issue unfold in an informed manner.

The Law of Disability Discrimination begins with an introduction that seeks to place the development of the law of disability discrimination in its historical context. The introductory chapter ends with discussion of the enactment of the 2008 Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).

There is also a comprehensive Eighth Edition Teacher’s Manual (available mid-December) that includes the private roles for the simulations.

Author Details
Ruth Colker Distinguished University Professor and Heck-Faust Memorial Chair in Constitutional Law Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University
Paul D. Grossman  Adjunct Professor, Hastings College of Law, University of California

Publication Available in Three Formats

  • Print ISBN 9780769882017 | Spring 2014 Retail Price $174
  • loose-leaf ISBN 9780769882024 | Spring 2014 Retail Price $139
  • eBook eISBN 9780769882048 | Spring 2014 Retail Price $104

Information from Lexis Nexis
The Law of Disability Discrimination Handbook: Statutes and Regulatory Guidance (8th ed. 2013), includes reference material relevant to interpreting federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability. The Handbook includes the statutory language of the ADA as amended. In addition, the authors have included regulations, section-by-section analysis, and technical assistance promulgated by the EEOC and DOJ. The Handbook also includes statutory, regulatory and guidance documents for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1998, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the IDEA, the EEOC Compliance Manual on Employee Benefits. The Handbook also contains the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Handbook will be available after November 27. 

  • Print ISBN 9780769882031 | Spring 2014 Retail Price $67
  • eBook eISBN 978076988205555 | Spring 2014 Retail Price $47

Prices do not include sales tax, shipping and handling where applicable. The prices are subject to change without notice. We currently estimate that we will keep this edition on the market for several years. We welcome your comments and feedback for future editions. You can provide a review on the Store site ( . You can also see other offerings in this subject on the Store site.