2018 Training Institute

PTI Program [2018]

PTI Program – PDF

30th Annual Postsecondary Disability Training Institute (PTI)

Sponsored by the Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut

Tuesday, June 12th, Wednesday, June 13th – Friday, June 15th, 2018

The Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland

Last updated 2/23/2018

How do You Meet the Unique Needs of College Students with Disabilities?

Come learn skills you’ll use every day! The objective of the Training Institute is to assist concerned professionals to meet the unique needs of college students with disabilities. Participants can select sessions about a wide range of cutting edge topics in variety of formats, including 3-day strands, single sessions, and pre-institute sessions. All formats provide participants with in-depth information and adequate time for questions and follow-up activities.

Participants also have opportunities to share information and network with each other at various activities throughout the week.

Should You Attend?

Yes! If you are one of the following, you should attend this Institute:

  • LD/Disability Specialist
  • 504/ADA Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Faculty/Instructor/Tutor
  • Educational or Career Counselor
  • Academic Skills Center Personnel


Please note that the posted sessions and/or times may change depending on circumstances beyond our control

Pre-Institute Sessions (Tuesday, 1-4 pm; separate registration fee required)

Pre-Institute Session I:

Collaborative Solutions for Complex Problems: A Novel Conceptual Framework That Prevents Disability Complaints on Campus (All levels) ~ Neal Lipsitz, College of the Holy Cross, Michael Berger, Simmons College, Eileen Berger, Harvard Graduate School of Education & Michael Berger, Simmons College. This Workshop provides tools promoting efficient and effective service delivery preventing disability complaints. Support for students, consisting of faculty, disability services, senior administration, and parents/guardians, provides a best practice approach to service delivery when considering achievement, self-advocacy and socialization, institutional policy, and campus cultural attitudes

Pre-Institute Session II:

Disability Law 101: A Basic Legal Primer on Understanding a Campus’ Legal Obligation to Students with Disabilities (Beginner) ~ Jeanne Kincaid & Allen Kropp, Drummond Woodsum. This seminar will address who qualifies for disability protection and making that determination; assessing and implementing reasonable accommodations; understanding the tension between academic decision-making and legal entitlements to accommodation; types of testing accommodations; accommodations in non-academic settings such as dining, housing and internships; and web access.

Pre-Institute Session III:

Neurodiversity and the Impact on Campus Culture (All levels) ~ Jane Thierfeld Brown, Yale University, Lorre Wolf, Boston University, & Lauri DiGalbo, Central Connecticut State University. Neurodiversity can be recognized in many forms on college campuses. ADD/ADHD, Autism, Psychiatric Disabilities and many other brain related impairments can affect students in multiple complicated ways. A focus on simple cognitive strategies designed for DS practitioners will help attendees learn to foster development of self- regulatory skills to support students’ success.

Pre-Institute Session IV:

Above the Baseline — Building Better Practices for Exceptional Accommodations (All levels) ~ Andrew Cioffi, Suffolk University & Kirsten Behling, Tufts University. During this session, which is geared towards all levels, we will explore the development of policy and implementation protocol for non-standard and challenging accommodations. Topics will include accommodations for attendance and participation, emotional support animals, allergy-based accommodations, social interpreters, and personal care attendants.

Pre-Institute Session V:

Promoting Inclusive Teaching: Outreach and Collaboration with College Faculty and Centers on Teaching and Learning (All levels) ~ Allison Lombardi, University of Connecticut, Kirsten Behling, Tufts University & Emily Tarconish, University of Connecticut. The goal of this session is to help disability services professionals forge and foster collaborative relationships with faculty and other key staff on campus, including staff situated in Centers on Teaching and Learning, and focusing on adopting inclusive teaching practices based on Universal Design for Instruction.

Keynote Presentation and Reception: Tuesday, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

“A Path to Pride and Success”

LeDerick Horne, Speaker, Author, Poet, and Disability Advocate

Labeled as neurologically impaired in third grade, LeDerick Horne defies any and all labels. He’s a dynamic spoken-word poet. A tireless advocate for all people with disabilities. An inspiring motivational speaker. A bridge-builder between learners and leaders across the U.S. and around the word. An African-American husband and father who serves as a role model for all races, genders, and generations.

The grandson of one of New Jersey’s most prominent civil rights leaders, LeDerick uses his gift for spoken-word poetry as the gateway to larger discussions on equal opportunity, pride, self-determination and hope for people with disabilities.

His workshops, keynote speeches, and performances reach thousands of students, teachers, legislators, policy makers, business leaders, and service providers each year. He regularly addresses an array of academic, government, social, and business groups, including appearances at the White House, the United Nations, Harvard University, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, and the Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Alabama State Departments of Education. His work addresses the challenges of all disabilities, uniting the efforts of diverse groups in order to achieve substantive, systemic change.

From 2003 to 2012, LeDerick served as the Founding Board Chair of Eye to Eye (eyetoeyenational.org), the only national nonprofit mentoring program for students labeled with LD / ADHD, and continues to serve on the board today. He is also a Steering Committee Member of the IRIS Center for Training Enhancements at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College and Senior Consultant for The Center for School Climate and Learning. (from http://www.lederick.com/biography.html)

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. Also note the level of the Strand appears in parentheses after the title. Please select your attendance accordingly.

Strand I, Sessions A-D (Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday; 8:30 – 10:15 am)

A. Driverless Cars and the ADA: Where Are We Without Federal Oversight in the Era of Trump? (Intermediate) ~ Jeanne Kincaid, Drummond Woodsum Attorneys at Law. This session is designed to help disability service providers and ADA/504 coordinators keep abreast of legal developments involving students with disabilities.  Attorney Jeanne Kincaid will update participants on any new or withdrawn federal statutory and regulatory provisions/guidance and highlight court and agency rulings and agreements issued within the past year that might impact your campus

B. Are The Kids Alright? Challenges to Students’ Emotional Well-Being (All levels) ~ David Parker, Children’s Resource Group. The rise in students with psychiatric disorders is nested within a larger trend of increased emotional fragility amongst undergraduates with and without disabilities.  This strand will explore societal causes for these developments, describe campus practices designed to promote students’ resilience and grit, and link these efforts to becoming more self-determined.

C. LD and ADHD evaluations: Demystifying Terminology, Tests, and Scores and Applying Them to Accommodation Decisions (All levels) ~ Will Lindstrom & Gerri Wolfe, University of Georgia. This didactic and interactive strand will provide training on the interpretation and relative value of the various types of learning disability and ADHD documentation commonly submitted by students. Specific topics will include psychometric score interpretation, understanding frequently used assessment measures, and using data to inform accommodation decisions under the ADA.

D. Math Success Proven Strategies: Applying Study Skills, Growth Mind Set, Accommodations and Course Substitutions (All levels) ~ Paul Nolting, Hillsborough Community College. Participants will learn to apply math study skills, tutor strategies, growth mind set, effects of processing deficits, interpreted test scores, appropriate accommodations and course substitutions for students with LD, TBI, ADHD, PTSD and other disabilities. Additional focus is on documentation for TBI, PTSD, real case studies and math success plans.

Strand II, Sessions E-H (Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday; 10:30 am-12:15 pm

E. Autism, Neurodiversity and the College Campus (All levels) ~ Jane Thierfeld Brown, Yale University & Lorre Wolf, Boston University. College campuses continue to increase their knowledge of and their numbers of students with autism. Many students will have few if any issues on campus. Accommodations may be unique for this population and Disability Services professionals need to be informed and thoughtful. This session will introduce latest information, research and model practices and programs.

F. Students with Psychiatric Disabilities in Post Secondary Education: Insights and Accommodations (All levels) ~ Laura DiGalbo, Central Connecticut State University, Goodwin College. This strand will address the current concerns of post-secondary educators and administrators as students with psychiatric disabilities access our campuses. We will explore the relationships among symptoms, functionality and strategies /accommodations. Special attention will be paid to the impact of psychiatric disabilities on cognition.

G. Technology-Enhanced Accommodations and Beyond (All Levels) ~ Andrew Cioffi & Michael Connor, Suffolk University. You don’t have to be a “tech guru” to offer state of the art tech-enhanced accommodations, you just need to be prepared. Join us as we explore next generation accommodations and the leveraging of technology for universal access. Topics will include mobile integration, lecture capture, media-assisted attendance and participation and more.

H. Studying Doesn’t Have to be Boring: Sensory Engagement, Advertising Tricks, and Atypical Neurology (Intermediate) ~ Jacqueline Ahl, The Culinary Institute of America. Looking for ways to integrate strategy instruction and academic coaching? This session covers the development of efficient, effective, engaging study strategies, applicable across academic disciplines. Learn how to combine the tricks and techniques of commercial advertising with highly tailored sensory engagement. The result? Enhanced semantic memory and higher order thinking.

Single Sessions (see below for specific days and times)

You will be asked to register for the single sessions. This will help us plan room placements and give presenters information about anticipated turnout and information about any accommodation needs. You can change your session choices at the Institute – just contact the staff at the registration desk.

Wednesday, Single Session I (1:30-2:30 pm)

  • Compliance Issues on the Horizon: Part 1 (All levels), Salome Heyward, Salome Heyward and Associates. This session will explore legal compliance developments related to faculty obligations, technical standards and clinical placements, test accommodations, housing, and access to technology.
  • Next Generation Service: A Collaboration Between Disability Services and Academic Advising (All levels) ~ Adam Lalor & Manju Banerjee, Landmark College. The ability to collaborate with other campus offices is essential to the work of disability services (DS). One underutilized DS partner is the academic advisor.  In this session, attendees will learn about a new academic advising model that facilitates the provision of beyond access services and fosters collaboration between DS and academic advising.
  • Planning the Recipe for Success: High School to College Transition Conference(Beginner) ~ Carrie Snyder, University at Albany. The University at Albany partners with other local colleges and provider agencies to host a transition conference for high school students with disabilities, teaching them the differences between high school and college accommodations, and how to advocate for themselves. This presentation discusses what is involved in planning a transition conference.
  • Going Digital: Successes and Lessons Learned (Intermediate) ~ Samantha Adair & Amanda Hales, University of Georgia. For those considering making the move to a digital student database and online accommodation request system, this session is for you! We will explore how our disability services office went almost entirely paperless, the benefits, the obstacles, and our suggestions for how to implement these changes in your department.
  • Project Career: Using Cognitive Support Technology and Career Planning to Help Postsecondary Students with (TBI) (All levels) ~ Emily Tarconish, University of Connecticut, Karen Jacobs & Amanda Nardone, Boston University. This session will describe Project Career, a NIDILRR-funded grant program that serves undergraduate students with TBI through a combination of cognitive support technology (CST) and academic and career planning. Elements of Project Career will be discussed, including preliminary outcomes for program participants and how to utilize similar supports at your institution.
  • Universal Pathways to Employment Best Practices for Work-Based Learning and Employer Engagement (All levels) ~ Melissa VanDyke, Pellissippi State Community College. Increasingly, students with disabilities are enrolling at community colleges with little to no work experience or career counseling to aid them in making the all-important decision of their program of study and ultimately, career choice. This presentation will explore effective work-based learning and employer engagement strategies.

Wednesday, Single Session II (2:45-3:45 pm)

  • Compliance Issues on the Horizon: Part 2(All levels), Salome Heyward, Salome Heyward and Associates. This session will explore legal compliance developments related to faculty obligations, technical standards and clinical placements, test accommodations, housing, and access to technology.
  • Evolving Role of Student Accessibility Services (All levels) ~ Fran Manocchio & Kelly McGill-Seega, Worcester State University. This session explores how Student Accessibility Services evolved from an accommodations office to a full-service model incorporating student services and supports as well as institutional-wide policies and procedures through a collaboration model. We work throughout campus to insure reasonable educational accommodations are met, and physical and programmatic barriers are reduced or eliminated.
  • How Amherst Digitalized the Academic Accommodation Process (All levels) ~ Jodi Foley, Amherst College. Want to know how to stop producing accommodation letters and give more agency/control to students around academic accommodations? Come learn how Amherst College did just that!
  • Concept First Math Remediation: An Alternative to Worksheets, Course Substitutions, and Waivers (All levels) ~ Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki, Landmark College Institute for Research and Training. Supports for students with disabilities often focus on skill and drill, or avoiding math requirements. These are appropriate at times but rarely lead to developing deep mathematical knowledge. This precludes many students with disabilities from STEM careers. This session introduces the Concept First approach, remediation that fosters deep mathematical understanding.
  • Veritas: Can You Handle the Truth? (All levels) ~ Juliana Velasco, University of South Florida & Eileen Berger, Harvard University. The truth about “coming out” as a student with a disability. Snippets of four students with disabilities calculated transitions and ‘coming out’ publicly with their ‘disabled’ identities. By drawing on previous experiences with disclosure we will bring forth biases and stigma for a discussion on students navigating higher education spaces with invisible disabilities.
  • Yes we can! Accommodations to support access and success of students with intellectual disability in higher education (All levels) ~ Clare Papay & Meg Grigal, Think College, UMass, Boston. Students with intellectual disability are accessing higher education, but disability service professionals may be uncertain how to support these students. This session describes accommodations that disability service professionals can use to support students with ID to access college classes and strategies to build capacity on campus to support student success

Wednesday, Single Session III (4:00-5:00 pm)

  • Creating a More Inclusive Campus Community (Beginner) ~ Josh Rucker & Audrey Silva, University of Connecticut. UConn has seen an increase in the number of individuals who are part of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in the past three years. To support this community, UConn has adapted services and expanded collaborative efforts across the University. This presentation will outline changes UConn has made, examples of inclusivity and challenges faced in enhancing services across an institution.
  • 2-4-8: The case for proactive advising (Beginner) ~ Caitlin Rothwell, Amanda McCleary,  & Merry Baronas, The Catholic University of America. Why proactive advising? All disability support offices want to reach students before a moment of crisis. There is a proactive advising model, called 2-4- 8, that builds working relationships with students starting at day one. Through this model students meet individually with disability support staff members at weeks 2, 4, & 8 of the semester. Goals for these meetings include accommodation utilization, disclosure, class participation and progress. Time management and organization skills are taught and refined throughout the program. Initial results show that this intrusive advising model lowers number of students at academic risk and increases persistence to second semester. Learn about how 2-4- 8 works in the university setting and the benefits of implementation for both students and disability support staff.
  • The parent transition: addressing the shift in roles as students with disabilities start their college journey. (All levels) ~ Laura Rosen & Jessica Szivos, Worcester Polytechnic Institute. A shift from the millennial generation to iGen and has created a changing dynamic between students, parents, and disability service providers. Presenters will share an early support model that incorporates resources geared toward parents to support their students’ transition to college and foster self-advocacy.
  • All the Things I Wish I Knew When I Started as a New Disability Services Professional. (Beginner) ~ Kelly McGill Seega, Worcester State University. It is hard to know what you don’t know. During this session I will share some real-life experiences and teachable moments I had during my first year as a new Disability Services Professional. The goal is for new professionals to learn from colleagues’ experiences, to network and to make connections with other new professionals in the field.
  • In the Weeds: After the Accommodation Meeting (All levels) ~ Kendra Wolgast, The Pennsylvania State University. The documentation has been approved, accommodations have been provided…now what? This session will provide participants basics on the day-to-day trials and triumphs working in a disability services office. Throughout the strand, we will explore case studies related to working in the weeds through student transitions, faculty communications, and campus partnerships.
  • Documentation Review at a High-Stakes Testing Agency: How ETS makes Accommodations Decisions (Advanced) ~ Loring Brinckerhoff, Nora Pollard, & Morgan Murray, Educational Testing Services. Have you ever wondered how a high-stakes testing agency reviews disability documentation? Representatives from ETS are here to help you understand their review process and to discuss how their panel of experts use 10 guiding questions to review cases. Discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the documentation and how a decision was ultimately made by ETS will be shared.

Thursday, Single Session I (1:30-2:30 pm)

  • Coming to View Disability-Support Services as an Initiative in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (Beginner) ~ Patricia Tesar & Jeffrey Shaumeyer, Gallaudet University. Once misplaced in academic affairs and student affairs divisions, DSS offices are increasingly finding a natural home in institutional units concerned with equity, diversity, and inclusion. Students with disabilities, a large but frequently overlooked minority group, benefit from acknowledging their similarities with other minority groups’ challenges on campus.
  • Hot Trends in Assistive Tech: Its impact on EVERYONE! (All levels) ~ Nicole Feeney, The NEAT Center at Oak Hill. Join Nicole for an exciting, fast-paced presentation that exposes many of the cutting-edge tools and devices in assistive technology (AT).  You’ll see the latest in trends across the AT continuum including super cool gadgets, apps, hardware and software.  Your enthusiasm for technology will naturally be inspired as you plan to provide services to students and individuals with disabilities.
  • A How-To Guide for Investigating ADA and 504 Grievances (Beginner) ~ Allen Kropp, Drummond Woodsum. Participants in this presentation will learn how to conduct internal ADA/504 investigations, a little known but important responsibility for many disability offices. This session will identify the range of disability discrimination grievances that institutions may face, and will focus on the key steps and helpful tips for investigating and resolving any grievance that comes your way.
  • Lessons Learned So Far: Enhancing Employment Opportunities for College Students with Disabilities (All levels) ~ Ann Satkowiak, Pellissippi State Community College. Explore strategies to enhance employment opportunities for college students with disabilities. Participants will learn about academic, career and institutional supports they can use to help their students graduate with employment skills through practices identified in the Universal Pathways to Employment Project, funded by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy.
  • Building Bridges to Postsecondary Education: A Transition Program for High School Students with Disabilities (All levels) ~ Dean Tzivanis & Diamond Thaxton, Onondaga Community College. Onondaga Pathways to Careers at Onondaga Community College has developed a high school-to-college bridge program, which aims to ease the transition for high school students with disabilities interested in pursuing a guided pathway at the college. This session will share what we’re learning and how we’ve impacted the local community.
  • Practice like a Champion: Prepping for the Academic Game (All levels) ~ Mariah Whitbread-Hardman, Gina Bouchard, & Lauren Owen, Northeastern University. The Learning Strategies Seminar is a collaboration between three student support offices. These are students identified by their coaches as students who would benefit from additional support. Our session will discuss the origins of this program, how it has evolved, and plans for the future.

Thursday, Single Session II (2:45-3:45 pm)

  • Keys to Success within a Disability Office (Beginner) ~ Tamara Mancini & James Whitfield, Texas Tech University. This presentation will showcase steps used to create a system that provides students with disabilities access to innovative programs and resources across campus. We will discuss ways to nurture campus-wide partnerships that foster student success, as well as detail specialized programs that benefit students in different and meaningful ways.
  • Top Tech Tools for Struggling Students: A Fast and Fierce Analysis (All levels) ~ Nicole Feeney, The NEAT Center at Oak Hill. In this session, we will discuss and demonstrate a wide range of technology tools that can support students who struggle with reading and/or writing. We will explore a continuum of tools and resources that can be used as part of a student’s digital toolkit – giving them better and easier access to the curriculum. Participants will discover assistive and educational technology tools for classroom use including iOS accessibility features, software, web resources as well as mobile and Chrome apps designed to facilitate student success.
  • Booze, Brains and Bad Behavior: Risk Taking in Hidden Disabilities (All levels) ~ Lorre Wolf, Boston University. Students who drink or use drugs risk poor college outcome due to direct and indirect effects of intoxication. The greatest risk may be to students with hidden disabilities. We will review developing brain and cognitive disability as a catalyst for risk taking behavior and discuss effective strategies including community education.
  • How to Talk to Our Colleagues about Universal Design for Learning (All levels) ~ Thomas Tobin, University of Madison, Wisconsin & Kirsten Behling, Tufts University. This interactive session from the authors of Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone gives disability-service providers meaningful incentives tools to help encourage campus colleagues to adopt UDL. Focus on faculty-teaching pain points. Give students more practice and study time. Most radically, re-frame UDL away from a disability mindset and toward emerging technologies, including mobile devices.
  • Supporting College Students with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), a Growing Population (All levels) ~ Emily Tarconish, University of Connecticut. Postsecondary students with TBI are a growing population, encompassing individuals who endured injuries as children/adolescents, those who are injured during college, such as athletes, and adults who sustain injuries and attend higher education later in life, including veterans. This session will describe the issues these students experience and strategies for serving them.
  • Going Beyond Accommodations: Utilizing Partnerships, Visibility, and Programming to Support Students (All levels) ~ Kimberly Doan , Tufts University. A common goal across disability providers is to positively impact campus culture for students with disabilities. So how do we extend support beyond the classroom? Presenters will explore the assessment/implementation process that Tufts SAS applied to impact campus culture for students with disabilities. Participants will gather strategies for impact through programming, partnerships, and visibility.

Thursday, Single Session III (4:00-5:00 pm)

  • Constructing a Collaborative Integration of DSS Across Campus Constituencies (Beginner) ~ Jacqueline Smith, Carlow University & Sarah White, La Roche College. Affecting attitudinal changes across campus constituencies can lead to campus-wide understanding of student needs, the appropriate ways to accommodate them, and a sense of Institutional responsibility. The presentation is intended to help Novice DSS providers create collaborative relationships across campus constituencies, establish a workable action plan and to develop SMART Department Goals.
  • Infusing Disability into the Social Justice Conversation (All levels) ~ Kirsten Behling, Tufts University & Lisa Bibeau, Salem State University. In today’s higher education climate, more attention is being paid to the importance of social justice. Where in this work does disability fit? This session is an opportunity for disability service providers to share strategies for advancing disability rights as a social justice component on their campuses.
  • The Importance of Academic Coaching in Removing Barriers for Students with Disabilities (All levels) ~ Jennifer Cozart, Pellissippi State Community College. This presentation shares our experience with the importance of academic coaching and how it helps cultivate life and academic skills that will one day translate into their success in future employment.
  • The Influence of a University Peer-Mentoring Program on Student Disability Identity (Intermediate) ~ Vanessa Cohen, Montgomery County Community College. A study was conducted to explore the impacts of a University peer-mentoring program designed to support students with disabilities, with a focus on disability identity development. The presentation will include findings from individual interviews and survey-based research methods administered at a large, public, 4-year institution in the Northeast.
  • Improving Writing for ALL Students through Writing Center Training, Collaboration & Assistive Technology (Beginner) ~ Seb Prohn, Trey Hall, & Troy Carter, Virginia Commonwealth University. Written expression is widely valued and is necessary for success in the classroom and the workplace. Some disabilities contribute to challenges with written communication. This presentation describes how campus writing center collaborations and disability training can contribute to a widespread understanding of writing strategies that benefit ALL learners.
  • The Care and Feeding of a Disability Coordinator: Supervision in the Real World (Advanced) ~ Mary Liz McNamara, New York University & Kathy Loder-Murphy, Rutgers University. Disability coordinators in higher education settings are often simply stressed out: juggling large caseloads, frequently making difficult decisions, and always balancing competing interests in a changing and challenging landscape of regulations, expectations and budgets.  Learn how to help the coordinators in your office thrive with the creative and engaging supervision methods.