Program 2017

PTI Program [2017]

29th Annual Postsecondary Disability

Training Institute (PTI)

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

Tuesday, May 30th, Wednesday, May 31th – Friday, June 2nd, 2017

The Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts

Last updated 1/31/2017

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, poster presentations 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)

Pre-Institute Session I:

Developing and Implementing Service and Assistance Animal Policies and Procedures (All levels) ~ Susan Ackerman, Rochester Institute of Technology. Information through lecture and guided discussion will be provided in order to develop and implement policies and procedures for a comprehensive plan for everything animals. Emphasis on policy elements and the perspectives of campus community partners to consider and include in a new or revised policy will be presented.

Pre-Institute Session II:

Disability Law 101: A Basic Legal Primer on Understanding a Campus’ Legal Obligation to Students with Disabilities (Beginner) ~ Jeanne Kincaid, Drummond Woodsum. New to your position? Do you have a background in another profession but now are trying to figure out how the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act operate on college campuses? Or are you a new compliance officer charged with handling student ADA grievances? This is the session for you.

Jeanne Kincaid, an attorney who specializes in representing schools, colleges and universities on disability-related matters, will lead attendees through a basic framework of analysis so that you are more comfortable when you return to your campus and attempt to implement these laws. The seminar will focus on students with disabilities attending postsecondary institutions and will discuss 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 reasonable accommodation; types of testing accommodations; accommodations in non-academic settings such as dining, housing and internships; confidentiality; and handling ADA/Rehabilitation Act grievances. Law can be complicated but better understanding how these laws operate will give you more confidence in meeting your institution’s obligations to students, staff and faculty.

Pre-Institute Session III:

Blood from a Stone or Stopping a Dam: The Art of the Intake (All levels) ~ Lorraine Wolf & Stacey Harris, Boston University. The ADAAA guide us to be student centric in our information gathering.  This often leaves us relying on information from students who may not know at all what they need.  Learn to cast a wide net, work on affective listing, get the information you need from students who didn’t know they had the answers all along.

Pre-Institute Session IV:

Promoting Inclusive Teaching Among College Faculty: A Framework for Disability Service Providers (All levels) ~ Allison Lombardi, University of Connecticut. The goal of this strand is to help disability services professionals forge and foster collaborative relationships with faculty, focusing on adopting inclusive teaching practices based on Universal Design for Instruction. Participants will learn about and practice these selected strategies: (a) syllabus design, (b) course mapping, (c) self-assessment, (d) instructional scenarios.

Poster Session and Opening Reception (Tuesday evening, 7:30-9:00 pm)

  • The Power of the Student Narrative Through the Speakers Bureau ~ Molli Goggin, Erin Benson & Karen Kalivoda, University of Georgia.
  • Resilience, Stigma and Adaption to the Disability with College Students with Functional Diversity ~ Ruth Mercado-Cruz & Heity Fonscea-Cruz, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey.
  • The Animals Are Coming: Accommodating Students with Emotional Support Animals ~ Svea Howard & Hahna Patterson, University of New England.
  • Effectiveness and Implementation of Peer Mentor Programs for Students with Disabilities in Higher Education ~ Jessica Monahan, Emily Tarconish & Allison Lombardi University of Connecticut &  Tabitha Mancini, MA & Bonni Alpert, Ed.D, Western New England University.
  • Students with Disabilities and Student- College Matching ~ Katherine Aquino, New Jersey City University & Ryan Hudes, Seton Hall University.
  • Concentration and Memory: How Disability Offices Can Serve Students with Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries ~ Alyssa Paquin, University of Connecticut.
  • What They Need to Know: Important Disability-Related Competencies for Student Affairs Generalists ~ Adam Lalor, University of Connecticut.

The Following Sponsored Interactive Session Will Also Be Held:

Access on the Fly ~ Dan Herilhy, AT Consultant and Kurzweil Education Inc. Join us for a hands-on workshop with tips you can bring back to your 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. 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)

  1. Post-Election Stress Disorder: (PESD): Reading the Boston Tea Party Leaves as to the Future of Civil Rights Protections (Intermediate) ~ Jeanne Kincaid, Drummond Woodsum Attorneys at Law. Typically, this annual strand updates participants on proposed or enacted legislation and rules/regulations. With the election of Donald J. Trump and his stated aversion to regulations, this session will educate participants about actual regulations that have gone into effect in the past year and which ones may never see the light of day. Nonetheless, litigation continues and Jeanne Kincaid will highlight significant court and agency rulings in a variety of areas to keep disability providers and ADA/504 coordinators abreast of legal trends. In particular, Attorney Kincaid will discuss Title II and III regulations that went into effect on October 11, 2016 implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 and how these regulations may affect a campus’ obligations. We will also discuss the status of proposed Title II rules addressing web accessibility. By the time of the conference, we might have insight into the new administration’s treatment of Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs) which the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have relied upon during the Obama administration to extend civil rights protections beyond literal readings of the regulations themselves. This strand will cover a range of legal interest areas, including electronic and information technology (ETA) access (websites and online education) and developments therein including access to MOOCs (discussing the DOJ’s Letter of Findings issued against UC Berkeley), instructional access particularly for students using assistive technology (discussing the sweeping Miami University of Ohio consent decree), medical withdrawals and the disability implications associated with them and various judicial decisions interpreting technical standards in applied learning environments.
  2. Title IX, Conduct and Students on the Autism Spectrum (All levels) ~ Jane Thierfeld Brown, Yale University & Lorre Wolf, Boston University. Student behavior, conduct issues and Title IX get increasingly complicated when students with disabilities are involved. Students on the autism spectrum are especially complex as their lack of social understanding can necessitate accommodations while keeping the integrity of conduct codes. This session will address classroom behavior, residence hall and roommate interactions and campus awareness in the area of behavior, conduct and autism.
  3. Proven Strategies to Enhance Math Success: 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, tutoring strategies, effects of processing deficits, interpreted test scores, appropriate accommodations and course substitutions for students with LD, TBI, ADHD, PTSD and wounded warriors. Additional focus is on documentation for TBI, PTSD, real case studies, math success plans and growth mind set.
  4. Accessibility Testing as a Standard of Practice (All levels) ~ Andrew Cioffi & Michael Connor, Suffolk University. During this strand, we will review 508 and WCAG 2.0 web access standards and take a comprehensive look at best practices for accessibility testing. In addition, we will look at implementing access testing principles into campus practices ranging from course design to procurement of electronic information technology (EITs) and identification of workflows and resources for conducting campus audits.

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

  1. Studying Doesn’t Have to be Boring: Sensory Engagement, Advertising Tricks, and Atypical Neurology (All levels) ~ 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.
  2. Accommodating Students with Psychiatric Disabilities in the Post-Secondary Environment (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.
  3. Documentation 101: Understanding and Interpreting LD and ADHD Evaluations (Beginner) ~ Will Lindstrom & Gerri Wolfe, University of Georgia. Designed for beginners, this didactic and interactive strand will provide training on the interpretation 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.
  4. Needs and Risks of Students with ADHD and a Comorbid Disorder (Intermediate) ~ Stephanie Sarkis, Sarkis Institute. There are over 11 million people with ADHD in the United States, and 50% of them have at least one other disorder. Learn how to help your student with ADHD and depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, and/or autism spectrum disorder. Discover risks, specific needs, and effective interventions.

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.
  • What to Do About Test Anxiety? Assessment, Documentation, and Management (All levels) ~ Benjamin Lovett, SUNY Cortland & Jason Nelson, University of Georgia. Students with disability diagnoses often mention having significant test anxiety (TA). This presentation will review the nature and causes of TA, and how it is best assessed, documented, and managed. In addition to covering interventions, the presentation will also consider whether accommodations are ever appropriate.
  • Academic Coaching: Moving Students From the Sidelines to the Frontline (Beginner) ~ Kathleen Duggan & Ildiko Szekely, Boston College. In the context of Universal Design for Learning, this session will provide a model of academic coaching available to all students at the Connors Family Learning Center at Boston College. If you have students who require something more sophisticated than a content or writing tutor, come learn how we help students develop their own study skill strategies and systems of self-regulation to become engaged and successful learners.
  • Assessing and Addressing Complex Barriers to Learning among LD College Students in Transition (Intermediate) ~ Sophie Lampard Dennis & Dorothy A. Osterholt, Landmark College. This presentation provides an overview of the common barriers to academic success, specifically for students with LD. We will connect these barriers to four domains of learning. These can become the framework for explicitly designed instruction; by addressing each, as imbedded within course content, teachers can create equity among students.
  • A Comparison of Student Use of Closed Captions and Interactive Transcripts in Online Courses (All levels) ~ Lyman Dukes & Casey Frechette, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. The use of interactive transcripts in online courses will be compared to closed-captioned video. With interactive transcripts words highlight as they are spoken, and viewers can search, navigate, and print text. Study results will be shared including the value added for students with disabilities, and the technical aspects of their application in online courses.

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.
  • Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Panic: Scaffolding Executive Function Demands of Writing (All levels) ~ Linda Hecker, Landmark College Institute for Research and Training. This session explores the specific impact of executive function difficulties on producing high level academic writing. It models effective instructional strategies for students who struggle with producing writing to deadline, focusing on innovative approaches that capitalize on student strengths and technology tools that support and scaffold areas of challenge.
  • The Student Affairs Accessible Social Media Toolkit (All levels) ~ Samra Ward & Catherine Ashe, University of Georgia. Afraid of social media? Accessibility is just as daunting to those not in disability services. Join us as we present a take-home toolkit that addresses how to make disability and, in turn, general student affairs’ social media platforms engaging, accessible, and FERPA-friendly. #BringYourLaptop #OrASmartphone because you’ll be posting, too!
  • Creating a Partnership with the Development Office to Increase Resources for Students with Disabilities (All levels) ~ Cheryl Ashcroft & Victoria Aitchinson, Lehigh University. This presentation will explore how the Office of Disability Support Services can create a collaborative relationship with the Development Office at your institution in order to increase funding to support students with disabilities.
  • Learning to Assess the Needs and Successes of Deaf Students with Multiple Disabilities (Intermediate) ~ Patricia Tesar & Jeffrey Shaumeyer, Gallaudet University. Gallaudet University is a bilingual institution that teaches in American Sign Language and written English; Deaf students are accommodated by default. Studying our DSS students for the past decade, retention rates and 6-year graduation rates for seven cohorts demonstrate the value of equal access for students with disabilities.

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

  • Assessing Student Learning Outcomes and Enhancing Student Self- Advocacy During the Interactive Process (All levels) ~ Neil Lipsitz & Kelli FeQuiere, College of the Holy Cross. An innovative, evidence-based student learning outcomes assessment is presented for use in disability services. The method focuses on self-advocacy and its relationship with students’ responsibilities, self-knowledge, and their knowledge of disability services’s role. The method is applied within the context of the interactive process occurring with all students receiving academic accommodations.
  • Guide to Navigating T hrough the ETS Accommodation Request Process: Helpful Tips and Recommendations (Beginner) ~ Morgan Murray, Nora Pollard, Charnetta Teel, ETS. While ETS continuously strives to streamline its procedures for test takers applying for accommodations, some additional guidance may be needed from their evaluators and/or DS providers at their respective institutions. The goal of this session is to provide participants with recommendations from ETS staff as to how test takers with disabilities can gather and submit supportive documentation which can help in receiving a timely decision. ETS staff will outline some common errors known to delay the application processing time. Additional ways in which evaluators and DS providers can further support their students wishing to take an ETS test with accommodations will be included.
  • Practical Guidance for Disability Resource Professionals Responding to Mental Health Concerns on Campus (All levels) ~ Amy Rutherford & Emily Quinn, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Exploring disability resource professionals’ support for students impacted by mental health disabilities, participants will consider the professional and personal factors involved in responding to student concerns. Topics include common accommodation requests, clarifying roles of collaborative partners, advocacy successes and challenges, and self-care for the disability services professional.
  • Facilitating Digital Inclusivity: Best Practices for Implementing and Supporting New Adaptive Technology – Sponsored Showcase Session (All levels) ~ Michele Bromley, Portland State University & William Wiles-Skeels, Kurzweil Education, Inc. Representatives from Portland State University and Kurzweil Education will introduce sustainable strategies and tools for implementing new adaptive technology on a college campus. Presenters will use successes and struggles from PSU’s own implementation of Kurzweil 3000 as a case study in how to develop transferable, sustainable tools and best practices for implementation and ongoing support.
  • Virtual Tutoring for College Students with Learning Disabilities: The Time is Now ! (All levels) ~ William Presutti, Fairleigh Dickinson University. This workshop focuses on the effectiveness of on-line, face to face virtual tutoring for the college student with learning disabilities. Information will enable participants to understand the necessary components of a course specific tutoring session and how this positively impacts the college student’s confidence, motivation, and independence.

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

  • I’m Ready if OCR Comes Knocking. . . And Even if they Don’t! (All levels) ~ Allen Kropp, Jeanne Kincaid, Drummond Woodsum. This presentation will tackle all things OCR, policy pronouncements, notable postsecondary cases, and sample resolutions. Highlights include an explanation of OCR’s investigative approach and protocols; practical suggestions for effectively resolving an OCR complaint or compliance review; and useful tips for lessening the prospect of a complaint in the first place!
  • Documentary Film: Disability as Portrayed by Art Students (All levels) ~ Kirsten Behling, Lindsay Costa, Ben Hosking & Ray Bernoff, Tufts University. Join student film makers Ray Bernoff and Ben Hosking as they share their documentary short film: Disability as portrayed through Art Students. This short film was the result of a Disability as Diversity Art show that Tufts University students put on to normalize the disability stigma through art.
  • Free Resources for Online Note-taking and E-Text Delivery (Beginner) ~ Amy Wight, Liz Carpenter & Anne Staab, University of Rochester. Learn how to set up streamlined online notes delivery, e-text delivery, and exam tracking to improve accessibility, enhance student confidentiality, and maximize department funds with these free, cloud-based resources successfully implemented at the University of Rochester.
  • 21st Century Study Skills: Activating the Inactive Learner (Intermediate) ~ Manju Banerjee, Landmark College & Loring Brinckerhoff, ETS. Study skills have come a long way since handwritten flashcards and two column notes. Drawing from current research on the neuroscience of learning, this session will present study skills as a dynamic development process, including specific strategies for college-level course assignments, and new ways to engage hard-to-reach students.
  • Meeting the Challenges of Accommodated Exam Services (All levels) ~ Faridah Abdullah & Marshall Sunnes, New York University. This session discusses strategies for handling increased accommodated exam demand, including tips for organization, efficiency, alternate formats, and technology selection.

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

  • Re-Imagining and Re-Designing a Disability Supports Office: A VCU Case Study (All levels) ~ Ian Kunkes, Virginia Commonwealth University. During the 2016/2017 academic year, The Office of Disability Support Services at Virginia Commonwealth University underwent a re-structuring re-branding effort in response to an increasing number of faculty, staff and student concerns. This presentation will provide a broad overview of the many efforts involved in initiating this multi-year endeavor.
  • Students with Autism in Art Programs (Intermediate) ~ Jane Thierfeld Brown, Yale University, Jennifer Runco & Lindsay Masters, Daemen College. Expanding opportunities for college students on the autism spectrum, Daemen College is building a program to support students in art and animation majors. Life skills coaching, mentoring and intensive services have been developed to support students in their transition to and through their college experience. While services will be available to any Daemen student with ASD who could benefit, there is particular focus on supporting students in the Visual and Performing Arts.
  • Listening, Learning, Leading : ETS Makes Changes to Documentation Guidelines (All levels) ~ Loring Brinckerhoff, Nora Pollard & Morgan Murrary, Educational Testing Service (ETS). The winds of change have hit the high-stakes testing industry. With the impact of the Department of Justice technical assistance document ringing in our ears, ETS has made significant changes to our documentation guidelines and how we review documentation for test takers with learning disabilities and/or ADHD. Learn how we met the challenge and what changes were made.
  • DIY Captioning Tools for Faculty (Intermediate) ~ Joseph Polizzotto, High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU). Which DIY tools exist for creating captions? In this session attendees will learn about a range of tools (free to paid) that can help faculty fulfill the responsibilities to caption their videos. We will demonstrate some of these tools and provide handouts.
  • Booze, Brain and Bad Behavior: Hidden Disabilities and Risk Taking (All levels) ~ Lorriane 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.

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

  • It’s Raining Cats & Dogs (and Ferrets)! How to Create Your Umbrella of Support (Intermediate) ~ Carlie Andrews & Justin Kelley, Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Do you feel like you are getting soaked by requests for support animals? Come hear from both Residence Life and Disability Services about how they have partnered to create a holistic process to support students who are utilizing support animals on campus. You will hear best practices and lessons learned.
  • Examining the Effects of Exercise on Cognition and Well-Being in College Students with Learning Differences (All levels) ~ Richard L. Bryck, Landmark College. The implications of exercise training as a means of promoting student well-being, engagement, and cognition will be discussed. Findings from an eight-week exercise program in college students with learning differences (LD) will be presented, including changes in reported stress and self-esteem, as well as behavioral measures of executive function.
  • Going Digital: Successes and Lessons Learned (All levels) ~ 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.
  • When the Tables Turn (All levels) ~ Kristie Proctor, Ann Panetta & Terri Rodriguez, Quinsigamond Community College. As professionals in the field, the presenters will describe what it was like to parent daughters with disabilities transitioning to college knowing what we know (and we thought we knew it all!) This session is part story-telling, part confessional, and laced with humor as those who thought they knew-it-all were flummoxed by their offspring’s choices.

Friday, Single Session I (12:30-1:30 pm) – Note time change from Wednesday and Thursday

  • The Evolving Role of Accessibility Services as Intermediary and Cross Collaboration Model, (Beginner) ~ Fran Manocchio & Kelli McGill Seega, Worcester State University. This session will explore how Accessibility/Disability Services has evolved from an educational accommodations advocacy office to serving as intermediaries for students using a cross campus collaboration model. We work throughout campus to insure students’ reasonable accommodations are met and that students understand their role in the interactive processes.
  • Swiss Army Chart: A Multifunction Database for your DS Toolkit (All Levels) ~ Katie Weber, Northeastern University. Few DS providers are trained to interpret documentation before entering the workplace, where there is no time to look up every test. We developed a Test Battery Chart encompassing tests we have seen in students’ documentation. This session will showcase our chart and teach others how to design their own.
  • From As-U-R to All You Can Be (All levels) ~ Elin Hoffman, Jamie Inlow & Suad Sakalli-Gumus, Appalachian State University. During a collaboration class, students engaged in strategic tutoring relationships with students with EFCs as a service learning project. Assigned goals included teaching academic strategies, along with serving as a peer mentor. These shared relationships resulted in benefit for both groups. Strategies for developing successful tutor/mentors program will be presented.
  • Implementing the New Norm: Managing Increased Requests for Exceptional Accommodations (All levels) ~ Andrew Cioffi, Suffolk University & Kirsten Behling, Tufts University. With increasing requests from students with more complicated conditions, our ability to respond must evolve rapidly. This strand will provide a practical approach to developing policies and implementation plans for exceptional accommodations including, but not limited to, attendance modifications, emotional support animals, medical leave, transportation, and Patient Care Assistants.
  • Do Attention Training Apps Improve Academic Skills for Students with ADHD and/or ASD? (All levels) ~ Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki, Cyrus Shaoul & Alicia Keating, Landmark College. This session will give participants an overview of the field of cognitive training interventions. A research study done at Landmark College explored the way that cognitive training apps improve academic skills. Learn about these tools and whether or not they are appropriate for college students with ADHD and/or ASD.