SIGS (Special Interest Groups)

Get Involved!

AHEAD works because of you, the members! Every day, we receive requests for information on hot topics such as open enrollment, documentation requirements for students with psychiatric disabilities, transition issues, job placement, etc. These are not new questions; they are the ones that arise for all of us in our day-to-day work. But there is a way that we can organize and help one another. SIG's, or Special Interest Groups, are AHEAD members organized around an interest or concern. SIG's provide leadership to the AHEAD membership by providing information and referral, organizing professional development opportunities, and networking around a particular topic. Consider setting up a discussion forum; if you're active in a SIG (or would like to be) request a listserv on a topic of interest or join an existing one. Or perhaps you'd like to learn more, below is a list of the SIGs that have been established over time. Contact the leaders and see how you can get involved. You can review the SIG Policy and Guidelines here, edit your SIG affiliation by logging in as a member here and scrolling to the bottom to the "Edit SIG" section, or you can contact the AHEAD office for more information.

ADA Coordinators

Responds to members' concerns about education, communication and training for persons charged with ADA compliance for their campuses. Contact:


The Autism/Aspergers Special Interest Group provides information and resources for professionals working with students with Autism. As this challenging population on college campuses continues to grow, the SIG will sponsor conference session and have a listserv to share ideas and resources. Contacts:

Blind and Low Vision

Using an equity lens and foundation in social justice, the Blind and Low Vision SIG provides supports and resources to DS offices in order to increase equity and access for students who are blind and low vision.. Contacts:

Career Planning/Placement

Provides employment related resources and information to Disability and Career Services professionals. Assists with making meaningful connections between employers who are actively seeking to hire and college students with disabilities who are searching for internships and/full time employment. Shares information about employer programs and partnerships that specifically offer opportunities for students with disabilities. Encourages AHEAD members to be actively involved with improving employment outcomes for college students with disabilities. Contacts:

Community Colleges

Serves as a forum for dissemination of information and promotion of shared problem solving around the unique issues concerning disabilities and community and junior colleges. Contacts:

Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Promotes postsecondary education equity for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Contacts:

Disability Studies

Promotes an awareness of the discipline of disability studies and provides a forum for discussion of current issues and trends in disability studies. AHEAD members who are interested in the field of disability studies are encouraged to attend Disability Studies SIG meetings and join the Society for Disability Studies, Contacts:

Graduate and Professional Students-"GAP"

Purpose is to help bridge the GAP experienced by many service providers and students with disabilities in graduate and professional programs. Contacts:


Purpose is to collaboratively address the current and salient issues of students with learning disabilities (LD) and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) in the postsecondary setting and the professionals who work with them. Contacts:


The LGBTQA Special Interest Group (SIG) will serve two primary groups of AHEAD members, 1) those who are LGBTQA-identified, and 2) those who would like more information on the LGBTQ community so as to better serve those students on our respective campuses. Contacts:

Nutrition & Dietary Accommodations

The Nutrition & Dietary Accommodations Special Interest Group seeks to support students with food-related disabilities having equal opportunity to participate in campus dining programs. Our goal is to promote collaboration between disability services, dining services, and campus operations to ensure that students have healthy and safe food options. AHEAD members who have questions about the nutritional impact of a medical diagnosis or how to effectively implement dietary accommodations are welcome to participate. Contacts:

Online and Distance Learning

The online and distance learning SIG provides AHEAD members with an opportunity to learn more about the unique challenges of accommodating students with disabilities in online and distance learning. The SIG also offers members an opportunity to share resources and strategies as well as to network with others who are working with online courses at their institutions. Contacts:

Private Colleges (formerly) Independent Colleges and Universities

The Private Colleges SIG offers AHEAD members representing private colleges and universities an opportunity to create a network of DS providers at these types of schools and address the issues and concerns unique to our institutions. This group serves as an advocate for private colleges and informs the AHEAD administration of issues relevant to us. Contacts:

Co-Chair: Lori Colchagoff
University of Findlay

Co-Chair: Laura T. Rich, M.Ed.
Director of Access and Outreach
Campbell University

Co-Chair: Tynisha Henderson, MA. Ed. Psy.
Director of Student Accommodations & Support Services
Formerly Office of Disability Services
Elms College

Mental Health Disability

The mission of the Mental Health Disability Special Interest Group is to improve services and the campus climate for students with psychiatric disabilities. This is accomplished by establishing a network for disability service providers, providing a forum to get answers to their questions, sharing useful resources, and developing and promoting the use of best practices to provide equal access to higher education for students with psychiatric disabilities. Contacts:

Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Disability

Aims to increase the awareness of AHEAD members on issues of diversity pertaining to students from historically underrepresented groups. Contacts:

Student Athletes with Disabilities

The purpose of this SIG is two-fold: to discuss issues and best practices as they relate to student-athletes with disabilities in existing varsity sports and to discuss ways to increase athletic opportunities on college campuses for students with disabilities. Contacts:


The AHEAD Special Interest Group on Technology provides a means for members to learn about, and get connected with, resources that are critical to the intersection of disability and technology in higher education today.

The purpose of the Technology Special Interest Group (SIG) is twofold:

  1. To facilitate collaboration and connections between members who are curious about, or engaged within, work related to accessibility of technology at colleges and universities.
  2. To provide a means by which members can identify resources helpful to their professional work

Current Chairs:


The purpose of this SIG is to bring awareness of the unique skills and knowledge required to work effectively with veterans with disabilities in higher education. This SIG will provide a forum for discussion of current issues and a network/clearing house/liaison for AHEAD members on veterans' issues. Also, this SIG will sponsor and promote scholarly research about student veterans with disabilities and conduct outreach activities to other professional organizations working with veterans with disabilities in higher education. Contacts: