University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Schedule [2012]

Schedule

Following are the confirmed sessions. Additional presentations will be posted as confirmed.

Poster Session (Tuesday, 7:30–9:00 p.m.)

FREE Assistive Technology Resources – Where are They?? — Ann Dolloff, CTRS, M.Ed., Assistant Director, Institute on Disabilities, Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT), Temple University

Poster session will include contact information for all AT Act Programs nationally, with an explanation of the assistive technology activities (short-term loan of AT devices, AT device demonstrations, AT device reuse, and alternative financing for the acquisition of AT devices) each program is required to provide. If possible, AT devices that are typically used in higher ed for student accommodations, can be displayed during the poster session.

Research on Retention and Graduation of Students with Disabilities — Larry Markle, Director, Disability Services, Ball State University, & Roger Wessel, Associate Professor, Ball State University

The purpose of this longitudinal study was to determine if students with disabilities persisted to baccalaureate graduation at different rates than students without disabilities. Additionally, the study sought to determine if retention and graduation rates differed between students with apparent and non-apparent disabilities. These data are important to understand so that colleges and universities can provide effective programmatic interventions so that students with disabilities have the necessary support to succeed.

Hanging Out: Socializing in College for Students on the Autism Spectrum — Johanna Isaacs, Psy.D., Director of Disability Services, Widener University, & Jennifer Cullen, M.S.W., Assistant Director of Student Success and Retention, Widener University

Individuals on the autism spectrum often experience challenges with the nuances of social interactions. Many of these individuals, by the time they reach college have participated in a myriad of social skills intervention techniques. These social skills interventions may not have addressed the new challenges and experiences that accompany the college environment. In terms of their developmental process, most students in college including those students on the autism spectrum are searching for individuals who share their views and interests and opportunities to experience college life and “hang-out.” The Office of Disabilities Services at Widener University created a model for meeting the social needs of these individuals based on their own preferences and interests. The objective for this poster presentation is to share with other service providers ideas for how to support individuals on the autism spectrum in their search for social connections. In doing so we will describe the theoretical basis for a model of group interaction, the methods for implementation of this group format, and ideas for expanding the students’ social experiences beyond the group.

Disseminating Accommodative Services Information on University Websites — Darlene Perner, Ph.D., Graduate Coordinator, Department of Exceptionality Programs, Faculty Advisor, Office of Accommodative Services, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Robert Wislock, Ph.D., Deputy to the President for Equity, Office of Accommodative Services, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, & Randi Jo Preston, Graduate Assistant, Department of Exceptionality Programs, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Over the past decades, the percent of students with disabilities entering college has steadily increased. According to Shaw (2009) and based on the National Longitudinal Transition Study?2 (Wagner, Newman, Cameto, & Knokey, 2009) “postsecondary education is a primary goal for 80% of secondary students with disabilities” (p. 2). Federal legislation (i.e., The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) requires higher education institutions to support students with disabilities by providing reasonable accommodations and services. Although these laws assist students with disabilities to access postsecondary education, many students, high school educators and postsecondary employees lack knowledge about the accommodations and services that are offered at a particular higher education institution. This lack of knowledge for students with disabilities may result in limited use of the available accommodations and services and for high school educators and postsecondary education employees this may result in limited or misinformation provided to these students prior to or after entering a college or university. The Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) offers Program Standards and Performance Indicators (see Shaw & Dukes III, 2006 pp. 17?23) to help ensure equal access to postsecondary education for students with disabilities. One of the AHEAD Program Standards and Performance Indicators entitled, Information Dissemination states that “the office that provides services to students with disabilities should…disseminate information through institutional electronic and printed publications regarding disability services and how to access them” (Shaw & Dukes III, 2006, p. 18). The purpose of this presentation is to inform participants about the types of information that is currently being disseminated on university websites regarding the accommodations and services offered. The data that will be reported are from an ongoing research investigation that began in May 2011. The criteria being used to assess this information is based on the performance indicators established by AHEAD. In this presentation, the overall findings of this study will be reported and implications and recommendations will be shared.

  1. The participants will identify and discuss the AHEAD Program Standards and Performance Indicators entitled, Information Dissemination.
  2. The participants will compare and contrast data taken from university websites that relate to the different types of information disseminated electronically about accommodations and services offered for students with disabilities.
  3. The participants will share in discussion about the implications and recommendations reported from this research investigation and relate this to their university or agency website.

Correlation Between Profile Statistics and Performance — Tina Vires, Coordinator of Disability Services, Limestone College

The objectives of the presentation, presented in a pseudo scientific method format: 1. Address the question: Do specific profile statistics of learning disabled students predict academic performance? 2. Express the research process. 3. Present the hypothesis: Learning disabled profile statistics correlate to academic performance? 4. Present the data, collected over a 7 year period, from a fee-for-service program. 5. Indicate the conclusion and any need for further research.

Rationale and content:

In 2004, as a new employee with the Program for Alternative Learning Styles (PALS) at Limestone College (a small, private, liberal arts college), I wondered if the various cognitive and academic deficits identifying students with disabilities correlated with their ultimate academic success. As a project for a Statistics course, I collected the data for one year and began to seriously investigate this possibility. As I began to see some correlations, I continued to accumulate and record data in an Excel spreadsheet for a total of seven years. Utilizing the IAP Generator developed by Dr. Joe Sutton and Dr. Jim Knisely, I was easily able to separate out specific cognitive and academic deficits and develop statistical profiles for each student. Additional information included gender, class year, age, full scale IQ and GPA.

This presentation, through the usage of colorful charts and graphs, organizes the results at various stages. For example, did males perform better than females? Did those with specific cognitive deficits underperform those with more academic deficits? Does IQ play a role in the success rate? The results offer both intrigue and the demand for more information, expanded queries and correlation threads based on comparing specific deficits with IQ, etc. My goal is for viewers to increase their awareness of profile factors that may influence academic success and to encourage more extensive research which may benefit future disability service providers, and, ultimately, the students.

Strand Descriptions

Please note: Each Strand is continuous for three days. You will make one choice from Strand I and one choice from Strand II.

Strand I, Sessions A-D (Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday, 8:15–10:00 a.m.)

A. Disability Services: Extreme Make-Over Edition (Beginner) — Christine Wenzel, M.A., Assistant Director, Center for Students with Disabilities, University of Connecticut, & Bryanna Anderson, M.A., Program Coordinator, Center for Students with Disabilities, University of Connecticut

As we know, students with disabilities are the fastest growing minority population on college campuses. One in ten college students identify as being a student with a disability(ies), which would imply 10% of your campus’student body should be registered with your office, but are they? In order for students to receive accommodations and services at the post secondary level they have to identify to the disability services office—a task that many students need encouragement to do. And although the numbers of students are increasing, it doesn’t necessarily mean your staff will. Thus, it is also critical to reach out to constituents across campus in an effort to make your office more visible. In this interactive session, participants will learn what the Center for Students with Disabilities at the University of Connecticut is doing to change the face of disability services and make our office more accessible to students, staff, and faculty. Over the course of the strand, participants will be exposed to practical ways to connect with students, faculty and staff in an effort to build awareness of disability services. Participants will have an opportunity to partake in activities and strategies specifically designed to create a more discernable and accessible environment of disability services. Examples include an activity called Better Than Angry Birds, which brings disability awareness to student groups; cutting edge workshops on current issues in disability services designed for faculty and staff; and low-cost, no-costs ways to create a more welcoming environment. Through participation in this strand, it is the goal that attendees will: develop an understanding of the

challenges in engaging students with disabilities; learn specific strategies and activities to take back to their own campus and ways to share them with students, faculty, and staff; and develop a practical plan of their own to implement on their campus to increase awareness of their office.

B. The Legal Mythbuster: Interpreting the ADA in an Age of Confusion — Jeanne Kincaid, J.D., Drummond Woodsum & MacMahon

In the past few years, Congress has amended the ADA statute and the Department of Justice has amended its regulations. With these changes, institutions of higher education are facing new obligations to an expanded array of students with disabilities and are getting “trapped” by the “regarded as” prong of the ADA. But what is real and what is fiction? Attorney Jeanne Kincaid will attempt to help participants better understand emerging legal issues facing disability service providers and ADA coordinators. As an increasing number of students with serious psychological conditions are enrolling in higher education, the ADA’s expansion of legal protections and changes in ADA regulatory obligations are presenting challenges and causing confusion. This strand will include a focus on student safety and revisiting the confidentiality provisions of federal law.

As the inclusionary movement has stretched into higher educational opportunities, this strand will revisit the concept of “otherwise qualified” to facilitate an understanding and a discussion about emerging trends in responding to the enrollment of students with intellectual disabilities. Attorney Kincaid will also update the participants on the growing field of “emerging technologies” and how a student’s ability to access information presented in the expanding media is implicated by the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. As always, we will review recent court and agency rulings interpreting these federal laws to enable the participant to understand more fully how to respond to compliance concerns.

C. Learning Disability and ADHD Documentation 101 (Beginner) — Deborah Merchant, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Education, Keene State College & David R. Parker, Ph.D. Postsecondary Disability Specialist, Children’s Resource Group, Inc. and Executive Editor, Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability

Novices to the field of postsecondary disability services may feel overwhelmed and confused when reviewing evaluations of students with learning disabilities (LD) and/or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders (ADHD). What do these reports tell us and how can we use them to make eligibility/accommodations decisions? Geared for newcomers to the field, this strand will include information related to the fundamentals of assessment, common methods of diagnosing LD and ADHD, widely used assessment instruments, and recommended practices for documentation review. Participants will have hands-on opportunities to explore tools and methods for determining reasonable accommodations based on example documentation provided by the presenters.

D. Improving Math Success for Students with LD, TBI, ADHD, PTSD, and Wounded Warriors (All Levels) — Paul Nolting, Ph.D., Learning Specialist, State College of Florida

Many students with disabilities have difficulty learning math because they have not been taught effective math learning strategies, provided appropriate educational accommodations, testing accommodations or give the opportunity to take higher level math courses that have less of an affect on their disability. Students through individual session, DVDs, Web sites, workshops and/or courses can improve their math success by improving their motivation, note-taking, on line homework, reading, test-taking and reducing test anxiety. These strategies will be demonstrated and participants can also practice these skills. This presentation will teach participants how to teach math learning skills that are especially effective for students with LD, ADHD, TBI and wounded warriors with the understanding of which strategy is best for different disabilities.

Participants will also learn how to understand how processing deficits affect math leaning for students with LD, TBI, ADHD and PTSD, recommend appropriate math classroom/studying/ test accommodations and course substitutions. Participants will then be able to explain to the student and instructor the affects of the deficits and suggest appropriate educational and testing accommodations. Some of these accommodations will be demonstrated along with alternatives if the students cannot pass the course with accommodations such as by passing course. Handouts will be given to participants pertaining to how LD, TBI, ADHD and PTSD affect math learning. Next is discussing the math course substitutions procedures base on processing deficits that cannot be accommodated. Participants will receive cognitive processing information sheets that can be use as guidelines for these processes. An additional focus will be on new research on wounded warriors and how to help these students pass math.

Participants will then have the opportunity to put all these skills together in the form of real case studies. Participants are encouraged to bring their own case studies with the names blacken out. Different case studies will be provided for small group discussion. The small groups will decide appropriate study skills, educational accommodations, testing accommodations and if there is evidence for a math course substitutions. Finally the presenter will suggest how to develop a disability summit that will have all aspects of the college/university working together to improve the success of students with disabilities and veterans.

Strand II, Sessions E-H (Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday, 10:15–12:00 p.m.)

E. Conduct Code Violations When Disability is the Cause: Best Practice for Prompt, Equitable Resolution — Megan Turske, M.A., University of Pittsburgh & Melissa Frost, J.D., Division of Risk Management, State of Utah

For students with disabilities, transition to post-secondary means leaving behind academic and environmental modifications that are not reasonable in higher education, including the security of disciplinary safe holds that maybe included in their Individual Education Plans (IEPs).

While in primary and secondary educational environments, IEPs can be established to ensure that the student is not punished as a result of disruptive behaviors that interrupt the educational environment and are a direct manifestation of their disability. If a student with a disability violates a conduct code in the kindergarten through twelfth grade environment, a manifestation determination meeting is held. Members of this meeting perform a functional behavioral assessment to determine if the student’s action was a direct result of their disability. If so, the student is not punishable under the same disciplinary actions as non-disabled students, and a behavioral intervention plan is created. This plan helps educators and the student to modify the behavior, reduce possible environmental triggers, and hopefully prevent the behavior from occurring in the future. Once a student leaves the safety net that the IEP mandates, the above mentioned procedures are no longer required. The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act does not require a college or university to tolerate unprofessional or disruptive conduct by students, whether the behavior is related to the disability or not. However, the disability office may serve an essential role by pre-emptively identifying triggers and implementing accommodations that will help the student follow the code of conduct.

When any college student violates the institution’s code of conduct, he or she has the right to a due process hearing. While this procedure can vary slightly by institution, typically a student is given the opportunity to provide witness statements and/or physical evidence to support their case. A judiciary board, encompassing multiple members of the institution, will then hear both sides of the case and determine whether the student’s behavior violates the code of conduct, and if so, the appropriate sanctions. These sanctions can include behavior contracts, voluntary or involuntary withdrawal and establishing criteria for readmission. When a student with a disclosed disability violates a code of conduct, should they be treated the same as any other student, even if the conduct is a manifestation of the disability? Should the judicial process be altered for a post conduct disability disclosure?

While there is no transitional measure in place from the procedural process of high school behavior violations to a college or university judicial hearing, some institutions are taking informal measures, with the assistance of their campus disability offices, to understand the actions of the student in relation to his or her disability. Prior to a hearing, the judicial board may contact the disability office in order to better understand the student’s actions in relation to their disability. While any recommendations given are not mandated, some boards will take the information in to consideration. What sanctions are appropriate when the student poses a direct threat to self or others? How quickly must the institution act? If a violation is severe enough, the student will be dismissed no matter the disability, however, if the misconduct is minor to moderate, many campuses are creating developmental disciplinary systems that offer learning opportunities.

This session will expose participants to the blending of campus judiciary systems and pose suggestions for pre-emptive accommodations and effective disability specific accommodations throughout the judiciary process. It will propose a more systematic and open interface between judiciary boards and campus disability services in order to provide students transitional supports as they navigate conduct codes. All level of participants will benefit from this presentation.

Objectives:

  • To understand the elements necessary to meet Title II and III requirements to establish and consistently implement the code of conduct. (including bullying)
  • To understand the value of the threat assessment team, their role, and how to involve law enforcement when necessary.
  • To learn the principles necessary to ensure a case-by case analysis is complete before taking action under the code of conduct process.
  • To highlight the essential role the disability office plays when the code of conduct is violated by student’s with known disabilities.
  • To understand the due process requirements for student removal and readmission after unacceptable behavior.
  • To explore approaching behavioral infractions with an understanding of the effects of the disability on behavior and determine effective accommodations throughout the due process procedure.
  • To recognize how and when to implement the grievance policy and procedure promptly and equitably.

F. New Documentation Guidelines for Psychiatric Disabilities: Unraveling Complexities of Documentation Review and Accommodation Determination — Manju Banerjee, Ph.D., Vice President and Director, Landmark College Institute for Research and Training, Landmark College & Loring Brinckerhoff, Ph.D., Educational Testing Service

Students with psychiatric disabilities are one of the fastest growing populations among college students. The 2008 Amendments to the ADA has refocused attention on episodic disabilities such as obsessive compulsive disorders, anxiety disorders, and bi-polar disorders. Participants will be introduced to the newly revised documentation guidelines for psychiatric disabilities by ETS, and will participate in a step- by-step application of psychiatric documentation guidelines in determining accommodations. Day 2 will focus on an emerging cadre of accommodation request by students with psychiatric disabilities, including classroom absences, housing, and alternate format testing. Day 3 will culminate in application of the documentation guidelines and accommodation determination through selected case studies.

G. Grant Writing for Higher Educators: How to Develop Successful Grant Proposals (All Levels) — Stan Shaw, Ph.D, Professor, University of Connecticut

In these challenging economic times it is imperative to access external grant funds to support program initiatives. This session will help educators identify grant opportunities, select a fundable idea, conceptualize a proposal, craft a productive abstract, develop a grant budget and write a competitive grant narrative. Participants are encouraged to bring ideas for a grant they might want to write.

H. Students with Asperger’s and Autism: Executive Function, Self Regulation and Social Cognition — Jane Thierfeld-Brown, Ed.D., University of Connecticut Law School & Lorraine Wolf, Ph.D., Director of Disability Services, Boston University

What does the world look like to students on the spectrum? How does this population of students function at college and how can we improve their situation as students and future employees? How can we help students improve behavioral issues, anxiety and social interaction. This strand will examine some of the major issues for students on the Autism Spectrum and give practical strategies to use in your office and on your campus.

Single Sessions (see below for specific days and times)

Wednesday, 1:30–3:00 p.m.

Student Confidentiality: Laws and Policies (All Levels) — Denielle Burl, J.D., Special Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Risk Management, University of Connecticut, & Morgan Cottrell, M.A. Candidate (2012), Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Connecticut

The two main objectives of the workshop are to: (a) facilitate an understanding of laws and policies pertaining to student disability records maintained and created by those who administer accommodations within higher education settings, and (b) provide participants with resources to inform their practice when questions arise about sharing student records. These objectives will be achieved by a seventy five minute presentation that will identify and explain the federal laws applicable to student confidentiality, draw distinctions between these laws, explain the role of state laws, and discuss the role of institutional confidentiality policies. The final thirty minutes of the workshop will be for discussion and questions from attendees. As a result of attending, participants will be able to identify the laws and policies that pertain to student confidentiality, and be able to discern between those laws that apply to student records and those that do not. In addition, participants will know where to access resources such as websites, literature, and agencies that can answer questions about this topic.

The federal laws applicable to this subject are the Family Education and Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), the American Disabilities Act (ADA), and, to some extent, the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA). As attendees know, the American with Disabilities Act mandates equal opportunities and access for individuals with disabilities. It mandates confidentiality of individual’s medical records. While HIPAA is relevant as it pertains to medical records, specific provisions of HIPAA exempt student medical records from its privacy mandates. It is FERPA that provides the framework by which universities and college can share information that is directly related to students, including information pertaining to that student’s disability, accommodations and related issues. Pursuant to FERPA, institutions are prohibited from sharing this information, except under specific circumstances that will be defined in this presentation. Finally, presenters will also touch on state laws in terms of disclosure and record retention. A clear understanding of these resources should provide the basis for cogent, compliant confidentiality policies in the higher education setting.

A Grass Roots Approach to Infusing UDL in Higher Education Systems (Beginner) – Bobbie Atkins, Ph.D. Project Director, San Diego State University, & Mari Guillermo, Ed.D., Project Coordinator, San Diego State University

The growing student diversity on college campuses (i.e., disability, ethnicity, language, age, learning preferences) present challenges and opportunities for institutions to design programs/curriculum accessible for every student. One response has been Universal Design for Learning (UDL), which is an approach to designing course instruction, materials, and content that makes learning and programs accessible to all students. The application of UDL principles is gaining momentum as institutions search for strategies and innovations that address diverse student needs.

This presentation will share a capacity building model for higher education with UDL as an anchor and technology as a viable tool for transfer/sharing of knowledge and innovations. The achievements of faculty/administrator/staff who are creatively applying UDL over a broad spectrum will be highlighted, including courses taught in traditional, distance learning and hybrid/blended formats; small and large student enrollment courses; and varied disciplines. These UDL applications are applicable in a variety of settings including 2-year and 4-year higher education settings.

The presentation will also explore a mentoring approach where faculty/administrators/staff serve as resources to promote greater understanding and exposure to effective UDL strategies. The mentoring approach is based on an Asset-Orientation model in which mentors and mentees apply their skills, strengths, and interests to promote and sustain success.

The presenters will introduce the Accountability Bridge Program Evaluation Model used to shape the provision of training and technical assistance to faculty/administrators/staff on UDL and related areas. The model is also used to inform staff for both Project progress and participant learning.

The objectives of this presentation are to: provide concrete UDL examples implemented in higher education institutions; share how a mentoring approach is fostering collaboration and transfer of knowledge within higher education; and examine an evaluation model to inform a program focused on faculty/administrator/staff development. Overall, the presentation will demonstrate cost-effective and innovative strategies, including the utilization of technology, that support both student and higher education success.

Studying Abroad with a Disability: Tips and Strategies for Students on Your Campus (All Levels) — Olivia Hardin, Information Services Specialist, National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, Mobility International USA

An increasing number of students with disabilities are participating in overseas academic programs. While abroad these students may encounter a number of changes in how their disability is viewed and supported, and may not know who or what might help them navigate these changes. Disability professionals are regularly asked to advise students and study abroad offices about preparing students with disabilities for study abroad and for technical assistance in arranging accommodations abroad. The frequency of questions on the topic of study abroad can be seen reflected on disability provider listservs used extensively by professionals working in higher education.

Advising students about a study abroad experience in a different culture with different norms and technologies can be daunting. Similar to being on a US campus, every study abroad situation a disability professional encounters has an individual solution – there are no templates. However, there are resources and tools that exist to assist students and professionals in finding creative ways of making study abroad programs work for all students.

In this session, helpful strategies to support students with disabilities on study abroad programs will be discussed. For example, one of the most effective ways disability professionals can make sure their students are being included in study abroad is to develop a strong relationship with the study abroad office. Occasional meetings with the study abroad office help everyone to be familiar with and address issues around making programs inclusive. A strong relationship will also help when problems or crises do arise. Other topics include (but are not limited to) the incorporation of disability in study abroad policy, models for funding accommodations, differences in disability cultures, legal obligations and issues, thinking creatively about accommodations, working with study abroad field staff, finding resources abroad, and tracking students with disabilities going abroad.

The session format will include ample opportunity for interaction and review of key online resources. Additionally, case studies and small group discussion will be employed to give participants practice applying the material from the presentation.

Following the session participants will be able to:

  • Determine strategies to create a strong relationship with colleagues in the study abroad office.
  • Identify several online tools with advice on different aspects of advising students with disabilities about study abroad.
  • Advise students with disabilities about finding disability resources abroad and preparing for a study abroad experience.
  • Discuss legal issues around the rights of students with disabilities on study abroad programs.

Securing Testing Accommodations on High Stakes Tests: Tips from Behind the Curtain — Loring Brinckerhoff, Ph.D., Director, Office of Disability Policy, Educational Testing Service

This session will focus on the range of testing accommodations that are typically available on the SAT, ACT, and a variety of graduate and professional licensing examinations including the GRE, PRAXIS, MCAT, and LSAT. The presenter will review disability documentation guidelines for LD, ADHD, and psychiatric disorders from ETS. Suggestions will also be offered on how to present your case to a testing agency, how to write a convincing cover letter, and what to provide in order to support the need for accommodations on high stakes tests. A variety of handouts will be provided including “Tips for Test Takers with Disabilities” and “Tips for Evaluators”.

Wednesday, 3:15–4:30 p.m.

Disability Providers Supporting Tutoring for Students with Learning Disabilities (All Levels) – Svea Miller, Learning Center Associate, Green Mountain College

Most colleges have some sort of tutoring program available on their campus. Some of them are already connected with disability support services, but for others, it is a completely separate entity. This untapped resource is a valuable component that if utilized in the right way, can create a larger community of support for students with disabilities. In order to fully extract the potential of this additional support for students, training and specific techniques should be in place for tutors.

Tutoring a student with learning disabilities requires more patience and creativity. Tutors, especially peer tutors, require specialized training in order to be able to effectively work with students who have disabilities. Using the peer tutoring program at Green Mountain College as a model, this presentation will focus on how to train tutors to work with students with LD’s and will offer specific tutoring techniques that have been found to be effective. This presentation will also look at how disability support providers that do not already work with their colleges tutoring program can create a successful collaboration and training curriculum.

Tutors can offer not only instruction in specific course material, but life-long skills that effectively enhance a student’s academic and life successes. Having a disability support provider create a training curriculum for tutors that ensures proper instruction is key. Tutors should be well versed in organizational, time management, and academic and social balancing skills as well as knowing techniques in how to work with a variety of skill levels. Knowing these skills is important, but being able to creatively tutor students with different learning disabilities is critical.

Training tutors to help students develop a foundation for knowledge is also important in the learning experience. This can increase the potential effect for future tutoring and academic success by emphasizing the learning process, rather than the outcome. The benefits of training tutors to successfully work with students with LD’s is that it creates opportunities for those students to develop relationships with others, improve social and personal skills, and gain motivation. This is especially helpful for students with non-verbal learning disabilities.

Disability providers should give tutors the necessary tools to react and engage in situations involving students with a wide range of disabilities. Training tutors to spot errors that are not performance based but disability based and be able to coach them in progressing toward their targeted learning goals is also important. Providing tutors with visual learning aids such as white boards, Cuisenaire rods, writing templates and samples, and computer applications such as Inspiration will enhance the learning experience for many students with learning disabilities. Participants will learn about the training methods given by support providers at Green Mountain College, and will also be supplied with some successful tutoring techniques. The methods and disability support training for tutors that is offered in this presentation will allow participants to reflect upon their own relationship with their college’s tutoring program and give them the necessary information to develop stronger academic support for students with disabilities.

Digital Study Tools for College Success — Manju Banerjee, Ph.D., Vice President and Director, Landmark College Institute for Research and Training, Landmark College

More than simply “leveling the playing field”, technology has transformed the way students learn in today’s educational milieu. Students with disabilities need to be proficient in technology based study skills and strategies that go beyond assistive technologies. Based on an undergraduate class taught at UConn, this single session will share student reviews of a range of no cost/low cost technologies for note-taking, reading, problem-solving, and presentations.

Getting Published in the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability (JPED) (All Levels) — David R. Parker, Ph.D., Postsecondary Disability Specialist, Children’s Resource Group, Inc. and Executive Editor, Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability

The Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability (JPED) is the leading peer-reviewed journal addressing issues about individuals with disabilities in higher education. This publication of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) is published quarterly in multiple formats and indexed in EBSCO and ERIC databases. JPED publishes research articles, policy papers, reviews of the literature, and non-empirical practice briefs about innovative campus services/programs. Dr. Parker will give participants an overview of the journal’s mission and practices and offer suggestions about the types of manuscripts that are likely to be published in JPED. JPED editorial review board members will be invited to share their own insights and recommendations, too.

Inclusive Higher Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities: Translating Standards into Real World Practices (Beginner) — Meg Grigal, Senior Researcher, Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass, Debra Hart, Director, Education and Transition Team, & Cate Weir, Project Coordinator, Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass, & Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass

Think College has developed a validated standards-based conceptual framework for inclusive higher education for students with ID. The goal of this effort was to identify the standards, quality indicators and benchmarks that experts on PSE for students with ID perceive as essential to create, expand, and enhance high quality, inclusive postsecondary education for individuals with ID. A Delphi process was utilized with a panel of 38 experts in the area of PSE and students with intellectual disabilities. Four virtual feedback rounds were conducted via an online survey tool. Panelists were asked to rate the items on a 5 point level of importance scale, and were also allowed to suggest items for addition. At the completion of this process, there were eight standards, eighteen quality indicators and 87 benchmarks deemed to be essential by the panel of experts.

The Think College standards-based conceptual framework for inclusive higher education depicts four standards as cornerstones of practice: Academic Access, Career Development, Campus Membership, and Self-Determination. These standards and associated indicators of quality and benchmarks comprise what experts in the field have indicated are essential elements of quality practice. Another four standards—Integration with College Systems and Practices, Coordination and Collaboration, Sustainability, and Ongoing Evaluation—represent the interdependent elements of service, or programmatic infrastructure necessary for the four cornerstones of practice to occur, be sustained over time, and result in desired outcomes. Together, these eight key elements represent a cohesive framework that supports the tenets of the HEOA while simultaneously acknowledging the individualized services that may be required by students with ID in PSE.

These standards represent an important milestone in the field of PSE for students with ID, as they provide a vision necessary to move the field forward. For disability services providers in higher education, these standards offer a framework with which to view the current programs on their campuses or to assist in the development of new initiatives in which they might participate. The Standards and accompanying quality indicators and benchmarks demonstrate how and where DSS may be involved in these programs and how the provision of services to students with ID fit into their role on their campuses. In addition, the standards will provide a structure for evaluation of programs. Think College, in its role as the Office of Postsecondary Education’s Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with ID (TPSID) National Coordinating Center, has embedded these standards into the TPSID evaluation system. This effort to implement common measures across a wide array of disparate colleges and universities and capture variations at both program and student levels will strengthen our knowledge base around each of the standards, quality indicators, and benchmarks determined essential by experienced practitioners.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Participants will learn about the Delphi process that led to the development of the Think College Standards.
  2. Participants will become familiar with the standards, quality indicators and benchmarks.
  3. Participants will review and discuss how these standards can be translated into practice at the colleges and universities that are supporting students with ID.

Thursday, 1:30–3:00 p.m.

The Intersection of Student Conduct Processes, Behavioral Intervention and Student Mental Health Issues: Expanding the Role of Disability Services Providers on College and University Campuses, Part I (Intermediate)

(Note: This is a two-part session and will be continued Thursday, 3:15–4:30.) — Anne Lundquist, Doctoral Associate, Western Michigan University, & Allen Shackelford, J.D., Attorney/Consultant

Disability services providers are often the first to recognize that a student may pose a risk of harm to her/himself or others on campus. To be effective in providing disability services that serve the best interests of individual students, as well as the safety and interests of the broader campus community and the mission and best interests of the institution, it is important that disability services providers have a clear understanding of relevant legal liability and risk management issues. In addition, it is important for disability services providers to be aware of best practices regarding campus conduct/judicial systems, including appropriate accommodations within that process. Disability services providers also should be well educated on the purpose, structure and membership of threat assessment, student concern and/or behavioral intervention teams. The presenters will discuss and explore the intersection between campus conduct processes, case management, threat assessment and behavioral intervention teams and disability services procedures. Presenters will focus on policies, procedures, and best practices to help ensure attendees that they are doing everything they can to provide a safe campus while simultaneously responding appropriately to individual student needs.

Presentation Outline:

  1. Introduction and Learning Objectives
  2. Lessons Learned from Recent Campus Tragedies
  3. Risk Management
  4. Students with Psychiatric Disabilities
  5. Legal and Regulatory Issues (including recent changes to the Title II and III ADA regulations)
  6. Identifying and Responding to Students Who Pose A Threat of Harm: a. Best Practices b. Response Teams c. Case Management d. Individualized Assessment and Voluntary/Involuntary Withdrawals
  7. The Intersection Between Student Conduct, Threat Assessment and Student Mental Health
  8. Working Collaboratively and Proactively with Colleagues and Faculty to Minimize Threats and Risk on Campus

The pedagogy for this presentation will be interactive, so that there will be a learning exchange in process during the presentation.

Learning Objectives:

During the presentation, participants will:

  • Gain a better understanding of disabilities issues within the context of institutional risk management.
  • Review and describe the legal and regulatory issues affecting institutional decision-making for students with psychological disabilities.
  • Analyze the intersection and relationship between student conduct, threat assessment and effective responses to students with psychological disabilities.
    • Consider institutional strategies for responding to students with psychological and mental health issues and disabilities.
    • Review the benefits of an expanded, integrated model regarding the involvement of disability services providers in this process.
    • Learn how to develop and implement preventative and proactive threat assessment and risk management policies, procedures and protocols for the entire student body, with a focus on students with disclosed and undisclosed disabilities.
    • Share strategies for “educating” and working effectively with faculty and other colleagues in a proactive, strategic, systemic and collaborative way to minimize threats and risk on campus.

Issues regarding student suicide, risk of harm, psychological disabilities and related legal requirements, duties, obligations and constraints will also be addressed.

Introduction to Assistive Technology (Beginner) — Liz Henley, Associate Director, Office of Disability Services, Southern New Hampshire University

This session will cover assistive technology that would be useful for students with basic to mid-range needs and primarily for students with learning disabilities and ADHD. The assistive technology discussed will include options that are free or low cost and will be broken down by types of assistive technology with examples of how it could help students. In addition, participants will learn about how to do a basic assistive technology assessment to decide what may benefit students. After the session, participants will have an increased knowledge of assistive technology that is available, including the categories with examples from each category. They will be able to assess students’ needs to give recommendations of assistive technology within their own work places. The goal of this session is to increase the comfort level of the participants when it comes to assistive technology and have everyone leave with being able to make recommendations to students.

From Brass Tacks to Whiz-Bang: Reimagining Alternative Format Texts and Educational Technology (All Levels) Note: This is a two-part session continued on Friday, 1:30–3:00. – Andrew Cioffi, Assistant Director of Disability Services, Suffolk University

This multi-modal and interactive strand is designed to present three individual sessions that will provide an overview, tactical approach, and state-of-the-art of various assistive and adaptive technologies. Each session is designed to provide a broad enough overview to meet the expectations of the new disability professional, but will also provide enough of a cutting edge look at technology to introduce an array of new tricks to some of the more seasoned assistive tech professionals. Over the course of the strand, consistent attention will be given to directly addressing the needs of students with disabilities.

Objectives

  • Present a primer on assistive technology and the creation of an effective assistive technology lab
  • Present an in depth look at how to acquire, use, and create alternative format course materials
  • Explore the creative usage of mobile technology including ways to move towards a paperless disability services office and to otherwise ‘get connected’.

Content

Day One: Assistive Technology Overview & Alternative Format Course Materials

  • Overview of assistive technology basics
  • Types and categories of assistive and adaptive technology
  • Examples of technology and usage by disability/functional limitation
  • Applications for learning and how to train students, faculty, and staff
  • Defining (and redefining) what is accessible
  • Defining (and redefining) what is reasonable
  • Assessing campus needs and planning/updating/rethinking your AT Lab
  • Overview of alternative format basics
  • Learning styles and examples by disability/functional limitation
  • Files types and uses
  • Necessary hardware and software
  • Programs for providing access
  • Acquiring files from publishers
  • Creating and converting files in house
  • Authoring files (best practices and samples): specific focus on creating materials for blind and low vision students
  • Making math accessible!
  • Defining (and redefining ) what is accessible
  • Defining (and redefining) what is reasonable
  • Coordinating, tracking, and cutting cost

Day 2: The Fun Stuff

  • Overview and basics
  • Mobile devices and usage
  • Proven learning applications
  • Teaching and demonstration purposes
  • Office management (a step towards paperless)
  • ‘Whiz bang’
  • Interactive and multimedia summary of all three sessions

Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Have fun learning about technology
  • Receive a catalog that outlines both technology types and how-to’s for authoring accessible content
  • Learn the basic concepts and objectives of assistive technology usage
  • Understand how to assess campus need, and create, rethink and update AT labs
  • Gain knowledge of the creation of alternative format texts and course materials
  • Explore new ways and directly impact their offices ability to create alternative format materials in house
  • Determine guidelines for accessibility and what is reasonable with alternative format and assistive or adaptive technology requests
  • Learn how to take their office to the cutting edge of consumer mobile technologies

Policies, Practices and Procedures after the ADA Amendments Act — What Should My Institution Be Doing? — Jo Anne Simon, J.D., Law Office of Jo Anne Simon

(Note: This is a two-part session and will be continued Thursday, 3:15-4:30.)

Over the years many postsecondary educational institutions had developed documentation and other policies geared to the narrow interpretation articulated by the Supreme Court. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 rejected those decisions and restored the much broader application originally intended by Congress. The regulations mandated by the ADA Amendments Act were finalized and became effective in early 2011. Regulatory guidance helps us understand who Congress intended to protect under the ADA. Postsecondary institutions should be conforming their policies, practices and procedures to comply with their obligations under the more liberal construction of the ADA intended by Congress.

Thursday, 3:15–4:30 p.m.

The Intersection of Student Conduct Processes, Behavioral Intervention and Student Mental Health Issues: Expanding the Role of Disability Services Providers on College and University Campuses, Part 2 (Intermediate)

(Note: This is a two-part session continued from Thursday, 1:30–3:00.) — Anne Lundquist, Doctoral Associate, Western Michigan University, & Allen Shackelford, J.D., Attorney/Consultant

Disability services providers are often the first to recognize that a student may pose a risk of harm to her/himself or others on campus. To be effective in providing disability services that serve the best interests of individual students, as well as the safety and interests of the broader campus community and the mission and best interests of the institution, it is important that disability services providers have a clear understanding of relevant legal liability and risk management issues. In addition, it is important for disability services providers to be aware of best practices regarding campus conduct/judicial systems, including appropriate accommodations within that process. Disability services providers also should be well educated on the purpose, structure and membership of threat assessment, student concern and/or behavioral intervention teams. The presenters will discuss and explore the intersection between campus conduct processes, case management, threat assessment and behavioral intervention teams and disability services procedures. Presenters will focus on policies, procedures, and best practices to help ensure attendees that they are doing everything they can to provide a safe campus while simultaneously responding appropriately to individual student needs.

Presentation Outline:

  1. Introduction and Learning Objectives
  2. Lessons Learned from Recent Campus Tragedies
  3. Risk Management
  4. Students with Psychiatric Disabilities
  5. Legal and Regulatory Issues (including recent changes to the Title II and III ADA regulations)
  6. Identifying and Responding to Students Who Pose A Threat of Harm:

    a. Best Practices

    b. Response Teams

    c. Case Management

    d. Individualized Assessment and Voluntary/Involuntary Withdrawals

  7. The Intersection Between Student Conduct, Threat Assessment and Student Mental Health
  8. Working Collaboratively and Proactively with Colleagues and Faculty to Minimize Threats and Risk on Campus

The pedagogy for this presentation will be interactive, so that there will be a learning exchange in process during the presentation.

Learning Objectives:

During the presentation, participants will:

  • Gain a better understanding of disabilities issues within the context of institutional risk management.
  • Review and describe the legal and regulatory issues affecting institutional decision-making for students with psychological disabilities.
  • Analyze the intersection and relationship between student conduct, threat assessment and effective responses to students with psychological disabilities.
  • Consider institutional strategies for responding to students with psychological and mental health issues and disabilities.
  • Review the benefits of an expanded, integrated model regarding the involvement of disability services providers in this process.
  • Learn how to develop and implement preventative and proactive threat assessment and risk management policies, procedures and protocols for the entire student body, with a focus on students with disclosed and undisclosed disabilities.
  • Share strategies for “educating” and working effectively with faculty and other colleagues in a proactive, strategic, systemic and collaborative way to minimize threats and risk on campus.

Issues regarding student suicide, risk of harm, psychological disabilities and related legal requirements, duties, obligations and constraints will also be addressed.

How to Get Started: Improving Disability Services through Self-Evaluation (Beginner/Intermediate) — Tina Vires, Coordinator of Disability Services, Limestone College & William E. Hitchings, Ph.D., Graduate Postsecondary Disability Program Director, St. Ambrose University

This presentation follow-up shares how a small private college utilized AHEAD standards and the Participant-Oriented Model (POM) for program evaluation, over a two year period, to better serve its students, faculty and staff now and in the future.

The objectives of the presentation:

  1. Explain why program evaluation is needed,
  2. Describe the Participant-Oriented Model (POM) and its elements,
  3. Describe the process of using the POM with AHEAD standards to evaluate the effectiveness of the disability services program, and
  4. Explain how outcomes may impact and ultimately improve the disability services program and benefit both the students and institution.

Working with students with disabilities involves determining eligibility and accommodations, arranging for assistive technology, and counseling students with specific needs. Disability service personnel work with faculty and staff across the institution and must operate effectively and efficiently while managing legal issues, budget preparation and adherence, strategic planning, etc. Accountability must be addressed: How are we doing? Are students benefiting from our services? Do faculty and staff have the appropriate knowledge to work successfully and within legal parameters with students who have disabilities? How might we assist the major stakeholders on this campus?

In response, the disability staff at Limestone College (a small, private institution), initiated a program evaluation/audit using the standards developed by AHEAD and a Participant-Oriented Model involving the institution’s major stakeholders- students with disabilities, graduates with disabilities, faculty, and staff (along with administrators). Initial assessment served as a benchmark for improving services to students, addressing the needs of faculty and staff, and to become part of the institution¹s strategic planning process, beginning in the fall of 2011.

Initial efforts involved collaboration with institutional administration to survey each stakeholder group and update information provided in annual reports (enrollment data, service use, support to faculty and staff). Results were presented at a series of forums involving the students, faculty, and staff. Forum feedback from stakeholders was summarized and utilized to develop an action plan for the next five years and ultimately be included in the institution’s strategic plan. Year two involved further application of the action plan and a query of stakeholders to assess the benefit of new implemented tactics.

The session is divided into three parts. Part one summarizes the process utilized by Limestone, as well as outcomes. Part two divides attendees into groups, exams program standards, and solicits input regarding assessment within individual institutions. Part three provides participants with templates, ideas and inspiration for program evaluation at home institutions.

Social Media, Avatars, Virtual Worlds: Re-Imagine Learning for Secondary and Postsecondary STEM Students with Disabilities (Beginner) — Gerri Wolfe, Ph.D., BreakThru Project Coordinator, University of Georgia

Considerable attention has been given to the need for educating a diverse workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). National Science Foundation reports (NSF 1996, 2000, 2004) stress the critical importance of strengthening efforts to recruit and retain students chronically underrepresented in STEM fields. Individuals with disabilities are among the most marginalized of these groups (Wolanin & Steele, 2004) and face significant obstacles and barriers to accessing higher education STEM programs (Burgstahler, 1994; NSF, 2000).

The influence of digital media has changed the way young people learn, play, and socialize. As a result, researchers at the University of Georgia and Georgia Institute of Technology developed a learning environment that combines elements of social networking and virtual communities to encourage secondary and postsecondary students with disabilities to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors. The Georgia STEM Accessibility Alliance (BreakThru), a program funded by the National Science Foundation, promotes collaboration between secondary and postsecondary institutions that build and strengthen students with disabilities (SwD’s) capacities to access and succeed in STEM programs across critical junctures: high school → two-year college → four-year college → graduate school. To increase SwD participation and retention in STEM fields, BreakThru integrates virtual mentoring, social networking, video analysis, student learning communities, and preparation of faculty. In addition, BreakThru emphasizes evidence-based STEM learning practices identified as motivation, use of prior knowledge, intellectual engagement, use of evidence, and sense-making (Heck, Banilower, Weiss, & Rosenberg, 2008), as well as, Universal Design for Learning (UDL: Burgstahler & Cory, 2008) solutions throughout all activities.

BreakThru’s most distinctive feature is the use of a virtual world to support or implement project activities. The Mentoring Island is located in the world of Second Life; it is the core resource for BreakThru mentoring and training activities across all partner institutions. Virtual worlds have shown significant promise for mentoring and teaching. Science teaching in virtual spaces using constructivist models is effective for students at all levels (Bruckman, 1998, Turkay, 2008). Research on virtual reality has demonstrated that people identify with their avatars and transfer positive experiences to their physical bodies (Bailenson & Fox 2009), which in turn increases motivation, engagement, self-efficacy, and social skills for SwD (Kizelshteyn, 2008; Holden et al. 1999). Additionally, electronic mentoring has had positive impacts on minority students’ educational and personal goals (iMentor project, MentorNet 2009).

BreakThru students engage using Avatars which they can manipulate using their computer to access virtual mentoring and teaching, social networking, academic support, transition assistance, and research participation. BreakThru teachers and faculty will be able to virtually access training modules on universal design and evidence-based teaching strategies. Virtual worlds can be especially powerful for communities and ushers in a new and vigorous learning environment. BreakThru’s digital media model is an innovative approach to teaching and learning which will revolutionize access to learning for students.

This presentation will provide an overview of BreakThru project activities. A demonstration of the BreakThru virtual world by an Avatar participant panel and social media tools will highlight the session.

Standardized Testing and Students with Disabilities — What’s Up With That? — Jo Anne Simon, J.D., Law Office of Jo Anne Simon

(Note: This is a two-part session continued from Thursday, 1:30–3:00.)

Recent developments calling into question the practices of the standardized testing industry, including updated regulations by the U.S. Department of Justice, the 2011 Report of the US GAO’s audit on students rights to testing accommodations, and in 2012, the unanimous adoption by the American Bar Association of a resolution calling for the LSAC and any other organizations that develops and administers a law school admissions test to administer such tests “to provide accommodations that best ensure that the skills of the test-takers are measured, and not their disabilities,” timeliness of decision-making with a fair appeals process and urging testing entities to not flag scores that have received a disability-based accommodation. In addition, a class action was recently filed by the state of California against the LSAC for inequities in its processes. Many postsecondary institutions seem to watch what is happening with standardized testing companies, and some model their policies on those of the standardized testing companies. Many institutions are confused by the standards that are applied by these companies, including varying requirements for the type and recency of disability assessments.

Friday, 1:30–3:00 p.m.

Achievement Motivation of Students with Disabilities (Intermediate) — Joseph LoGiudice, Associate Director of Disability Services, School of Visual Arts, Dorene Ng, Learning Specialist, New York University, & Maggie Kwak, Learning Specialist, New York University

Researchers have found that students with disabilities contend with major difficulties at the postsecondary education setting due to the lack of support services, accommodations, and empathy (Deci et al., 1992, 1991; Fortier et al., 1995; Guay & Vallerand, 1997; Mowbray & Megivern, 1999; Vallerand & Reid, 1990, 1988). Studies reveal that students with disabilities may have greater difficulty in the postsecondary education setting, and that these difficulties affect their achievement motivation adversely (Deci et al., 1992, 1991; Fortier et al., 1995; Guay & Vallerand, 1997; Mowbray & Megivern, 1999; Vallerand & Reid, 1990, 1988). This study seeks to examine students with disabilities’ self-determination in the academic environment by using the Achievement Motivation Scale (AMS) (Vallerand et al., 1992). This study will examine three questions: (1) Is there a difference in achievement motivation among students with disabilities?; (2) Does the ethnicity/race of students with disabilities influence their achievement motivation?; and (3) Does the gender of students with disabilities influence their achievement motivation?

From Brass Tacks to Whiz-Bang: Reimagining Alternative Format Texts and Educational Technology (All Levels) Note: This is a two-part session continued on Friday, 1:30–3:00. – Andrew Cioffi, Assistant Director of Disability Services, Suffolk University

This multi-modal and interactive strand is designed to present three individual sessions that will provide an overview, tactical approach, and state-of-the-art of various assistive and adaptive technologies. Each session is designed to provide a broad enough overview to meet the expectations of the new disability professional, but will also provide enough of a cutting edge look at technology to introduce an array of new tricks to some of the more seasoned assistive tech professionals. Over the course of the strand, consistent attention will be given to directly addressing the needs of students with disabilities.

Objectives

  • Present a primer on assistive technology and the creation of an effective assistive technology lab
  • Present an in depth look at how to acquire, use, and create alternative format course materials
  • Explore the creative usage of mobile technology including ways to move towards a paperless disability services office and to otherwise ‘get connected’.

Content

Day One: Assistive Technology Overview & Alternative Format Course Materials

  • Overview of assistive technology basics
  • Types and categories of assistive and adaptive technology
  • Examples of technology and usage by disability/functional limitation
  • Applications for learning and how to train students, faculty, and staff
  • Defining (and redefining) what is accessible
  • Defining (and redefining) what is reasonable
  • Assessing campus needs and planning/updating/rethinking your AT Lab
  • Overview of alternative format basics
  • Learning styles and examples by disability/functional limitation
  • Files types and uses
  • Necessary hardware and software
  • Programs for providing access
  • Acquiring files from publishers
  • Creating and converting files in house
  • Authoring files (best practices and samples): specific focus on creating materials for blind and low vision students
  • Making math accessible!
  • Defining (and redefining ) what is accessible
  • Defining (and redefining) what is reasonable
  • Coordinating, tracking, and cutting cost

Day 2: The Fun Stuff

  • Overview and basics
  • Mobile devices and usage
  • Proven learning applications
  • Teaching and demonstration purposes
  • Office management (a step towards paperless)
  • ‘Whiz bang’
  • Interactive and multimedia summary of all three sessions

Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Have fun learning about technology
  • Receive a catalog that outlines both technology types and how-to’s for authoring accessible content
  • Learn the basic concepts and objectives of assistive technology usage
  • Understand how to assess campus need, and create, rethink and update AT labs
  • Gain knowledge of the creation of alternative format texts and course materials
  • Explore new ways and directly impact their offices ability to create alternative format materials in house
  • Determine guidelines for accessibility and what is reasonable with alternative format and assistive or adaptive technology requests
  • Learn how to take their office to the cutting edge of consumer mobile technologies

Career Development and Employment Transition for College Students with Disabilities with a Psychiatric Disorder (All Levels) — Alan Muir, Executive Director, COSD, The University of Tennessee & Sarah Helm, COSD, The University of Tennessee

This session will emphasize the integral roles Disability Services and Career Services play in the success of a student and will discuss methods of extending it well beyond graduation. In preparation for life after college, the importance of the disability disclosure process and understanding workplace accommodations for students with disabilities will be discussed, as well as the vital need for students to have experiential education opportunities. A part of the discussion will include Career GatewayTM, the only nationwide job posting and student resume database specifically designed for college students with disabilities. Additionally, several highly successful national and local programs focused on students with disabilities including the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) will be highlighted.

The most important resource for Disability Services and students, in the area of career search preparation, is Career Services. We will discuss how collaborating with Career Services in the form of joint programs for students, cross-training professional development for both staffs and promotion of Career Services events such as career fairs, workshops and special guest lectures are proactive measures to ensure that students with disabilities are fully integrated into the career search process. Greater participation in the career search process means students are developing skills such as self-advocacy, research, resume creation, interviewing and presentation of oneself to an employer.

Although some literature chronicles the career development and employment experiences of college students with other types of disabilities, students with psychiatric disabilities have been practically invisible in research focused on career development and employment. During the second half of the presentation, data derived from a recent study will be discussed. The purpose of the study was to describe the career development and employment concerns of employment-seeking students with psychiatric disabilities. The sample consisted of seven undergraduate students from three Research I institutions. All participants were in their senior year of study and planned to transition into employment post-graduation. In addition, each participant had a documented psychiatric disability for which each received services through the campus disability services department. Data were collected through semi-structured individual interviews. The constant comparative method was used to analyze the data, which allowed patterns and themes to be discovered in reference to the research questions.

The findings indicate that students with psychiatric disabilities have multiple concerns about employment, anxiety and confusion regarding the process of disability disclosure, and little understanding of their rights and responsibilities under the ADA. Four of the seven participants provided suggestions about how career services and disability services departments could improve services for students with psychiatric disabilities in their career development and employment preparation. The recommendations focused mainly on needing more information about the disclosure process and the law. Therefore, it is critical that representatives from career services and disability services be knowledgeable regarding the career development and employment concerns of employment-seeking students with psychiatric disabilities to offset the lessened knowledge of such students.

This session will primarily be lecture, but questions and discussion are welcomed. The session is a PowerPoint presentation, with handouts made available in alternate formats.

 

Post Session (Saturday, 9:00–12:00 p.m.)

The Neuroscience of Teaching and Learning — Alicia Brandon, M. Ed., Director of Pre-College Programs and Associate Professor, Landmark College

This workshop is designed to provide participants with a deeper understanding of the neuroscience involved in the learning and teaching process. By engaging in hands-on activities to understand neurons, the brain, learning, perception, attention, emotion, memory and motivation, participants will reflect on how understanding the neuroscience of learning promotes effective teaching methods. With as many as 100 billion neurons in each brain capable of forming trillions of connections with one another, see how many new neural connections you can form just by participating in this workshop.