15th Annual Conference

15th Annual Multiple Perspectives Conference on Access, Inclusion, and Disability

"Celebrate Our Past and Write Our Future History"
April 13 & 14, 2015


April 13, 2015
8:30am-10:00am - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Topics in Community Integration for People with Disabilities

Kevin J. Truitt, Attorney at Law, Disability Rights Ohio

Community Integration means people with disabilities have opportunities to live, work and spend their time in their communities in the same way as people without disabilities. It means people with disabilities are able to live the types of lives they want to live and to receive the services and support they need so that their physical or mental limitations are not an obstacle in reaching their individual goals. Often, however, people with disabilities are not given a choice about where they live, where they work, and where and how they spend their time during the day. Instead, many are forced to live in institutions or work and spend their time in other types of settings which are segregated from their communities.

Community Integration also means that people with disabilities have the same ability to use programs and services as people who do not have disabilities, including in the context of health care services, voting, housing, and access to businesses open to the public. Sometimes people with disabilities have trouble using these services or programs because buildings may not be accessible, they may not be provided an interpreter or they may be told they are not welcome in a public place because they have a service animal.

This presentation will teach people about what community integration means and what the law says about community integration, including the Fair Housing Amendments Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and the United States Supreme Court decision in L.C. v. Olmstead. Attendees will learn about common barriers to community integration, including barriers to housing, transportation, employment, and program and service availability. Learning about how Disability Rights Ohio is working to reduce those barriers for people with disabilities will help attendees learn what they can do to overcome those barriers to community integration.

Session B:  Two 45-minute presentations
1. Going to College: Integrated Employment and Academic Opportunities for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Eliseo Jimenez, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Program Manager, and Mallory Workman, Program Coordinator, both from Transition Options in Postsecondary Settings (TOPS) Program for Students with Intellectual Disabilities, Nisonger Center, The Ohio State University

The emergence of postsecondary (PSE) programs for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities is increasing due to federal funding, legislation and most importantly, advocacy efforts of families, service providers and persons with disabilities themselves. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education funded 27 model demonstration grants to create or expand inclusive comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with ID, as authorized by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008.

Currently, over 250 programs exist across the U.S., including at least six programs in Ohio. The Ohio State University’s Nisonger Center contains a college program for students with intellectual disabilities called TOPS (Transition Options in Postsecondary Settings). The focus of TOPS is to empower students to become self-determined adults by providing them college experiences including participation in college classes, internships, employment, and campus social life that are customized to each student's interests and needs. Students in TOPS receive instructional support through “educational coaches,” employment support through “job coaches,” and daily living/recreational support. Students receive career counselling and job development supports that are necessary for successful inclusion in the campus community. Through a vast network of supports including families, OSU students, faculty, and professionals, the TOPS program has developed into an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to experience college, participate in academics, build independent living skills, and gain experience and employment.

2. A Problematic Hurdle: Soft Skills to Seek and Keep a Job

Andrew Buck & Victor Johnson, Program Coordinators, Transition Services, Nisonger Center, The Ohio State University; Andrea Peabody, President, MOMENTUM: STEM Majors with Diversabilities, The Ohio State University; Stephanie Volbrect, Counselor, Office of Student Life Disability Services, The Ohio State University

This presentation will give the audience practical strategies and tools for transition to employment and career development.  Students with disabilities need to begin learning and cultivating these skills far in advance of graduation.  Ohio’s STEM Ability Alliance (OSAA), an NSF project with goals to increase the quantity and quality of STEM graduates and employees with disabilities, has found best practices and developed activities to prepare students for their transition.  Eighty-four percent of OSU OSAA graduates have successfully found employment or entered graduate school (2012-13 OSAA Annual Report to NSF).  The presenters will share transition activities that have been used with a wide-range of disabilities and ages (18 to 55) and how they are delivered.

Session C: Barrier Free Healthcare: A Recent Point of Emphasis 25 Years in the Making

Andrés J. Gallegos, Esq., Shareholder, Robbins, Salomon and Patt, Ltd., Chicago, Illinois

Significant healthcare disparities exist between persons with no disabilities and those with disabilities. Studies reveal that individuals with disabilities experienced more cardiac disease, diabetes, stroke, arthritis and asthma, as well as higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Persons with physical disabilities are also far less likely than their nondisabled counterparts to receive preventive screenings. The pervasive existence of access barriers [architectural, programmatic, communication and other barriers, to include the lack of (disability-specific) cultural competence] among healthcare providers in all healthcare settings greatly contributes to the significant healthcare disparities between the disabled and the able. Those access barriers adversely affect persons with disabilities’ ability to live, learn and earn.

Within the last 4 years there has been a point of emphasis by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and disability rights advocates to enforce federal civil rights legislation for persons with disabilities to improve their access to accessible healthcare. Through an examination of recent enforcement actions by the DOJ, HHS, and structured negotiations and class action litigation by disability rights advocates, this informal lecture informs healthcare professionals of their legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to provide accessible healthcare facilities and services to persons with disabilities. This informal lecture will also examine lessons that can be learned from those actions (best practices) about providing accessible healthcare services to persons with disabilities, with the objectives of helping healthcare providers, healthcare administrators, and employers offering on-site healthcare services,  whether or not experienced in, or knowledgeable of, accessibility issues:

  • understand the importance of providing accessible healthcare facilities and services;

  • understand or enhance their understanding of their federally mandated legal obligations to  provide accessible healthcare facilities and services; and

  • become familiar with best practices and available resources to assist them to meet certain of their legal obligations.

Session D: Two 45-minute presentations
1. The ADA at 25: How Does It Measure up to The UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities?

Arlene S. Kanter, Bond, Schoeneck & King Distinguished Professor of Law, Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence, Director, Disability Law and Policy Program, and Co-Director, SU Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies, Syracuse University, College of Law

This presentation will compare and contrast the meaning and vision of equality for people with disabilities under the ADA and the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

2. Access Abroad: International Study for Students & Scholars with Disabilities

L. Scott Lissner, The Ohio State University; ADA Coordinator and 504 Compliance Office, Associate, John Glenn School of Public Affairs, Lecturer, Knowlton School of Architecture, Moritz College of Law & Disability Studies; Board, Center for Disability Empowerment; Appointed, State HAVA Committee & Columbus Advisory Council on Disability Issues; Past President, AHEAD

A brief overview of how the current U.S. laws apply to both international students in America and American students abroad will introduce a discussion of best practices and strategies for meeting both the letter and the spirit of the law.

10:15am-11:45am - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Understanding Reasonable Accommodations under the ADAAA and Emerging Issues in the Law

Benjamin E. Wick, Esq., the Wick Law Office;  Holly V. Franson, Esq.

The implementation of the ADAAA in 2009 greatly expanded the protections for individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Since the ADAAA, there is a greater focus on reasonable accommodations than ever before and employers are under increased pressure to respond to reasonable accommodation requests in a manner that complies with the law. As a result, the importance of employees and employers understanding their rights and obligations under the ADAAA cannot be understated. Unfortunately, because of a confusing body of case law and the nature of reviewing each employee’s request on an individual basis, many employers feel ill prepared to handle an applicant’s or employee’s reasonable accommodation request. Additionally, many employees do not understand their rights or know how to identify non-obvious, effective reasonable accommodation options.

This session provides an overview of the employer’s obligations under the ADAAA, with a particular focus on the issues that are most often a source of litigation: identifying and accommodating the essential functions of an employee’s position; And whether the employer can establish that accommodating an employee would pose an undue hardship.  This session will also discuss three emerging issues in the area of reasonable accommodation law: (1) obesity as a disability; (2) comfort animals as a reasonable accommodation; and (3) accommodating transgender employees. This session will feature real-life scenarios derived from case law or which the presenters have encountered in their private legal practices.  Participants are encouraged to interact throughout the session, including by asking questions and posing hypotheticals.

Session B: The ABC's of YLF (Youth Leadership Forum)

Brianne Riffle, Lead Job Coach / Developer, Project SEARCH, Easter Seals TriState; Donna Foster, Ability Advocate, Ohio Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities; Elizabeth Sammons, Program Administrator, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities; Panel of YLF Alumni

The "Youth Leadership Forum for students with disabilities (YLF)" is a week long program designed to empower juniors and seniors and give them the tools necessary for a successful transition to life after high school.  We will review the history, guiding principles and outcomes and how these tenants build future advocates and leaders in the community.  Alumni of the Ohio YLF will present on their experience and how the program positively impacted their lives.

Session C: Update from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights

Karla Ussery, Senior Attorney & Denise C. Vaughn, Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights

Session D: Toward Universal Suffrage: Voting and People with Intellectual or Cognitive Disabilities

Michael Kirkman, J.D, Executive Director, Ohio Disability Rights Law and Policy Center (dba Disability Rights Ohio)

This presentation will familiarize the audience with barriers to voting by people with disabilities in Ohio and other states, discuss the power of language and particularly clinical labels to foster stereotypes, subordination of, and discrimination against people with disabilities, and educate the audience on alternative models of voter qualification that can support and foster full participation by people with disabilities in the electoral process.


12:00pm-1:15pm - Lunch and Networking - Blackwell Hotel Ballrooms


1:30pm-3:00pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Health Status and Disparities among People with Disabilities in Ohio

Susan Havercamp, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director, Health Promotion & Healthcare Parity Program, Director, Ohio Disability and Health Program, The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, UCEDD; Yiping Yang, M.P.H., Program Coordinator, Ohio Disability and Health Program, The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, UCEDD; Rosalind Gjessing, B.A., Clinical Research Assistant, Ohio Disability and Health Program, The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, UCEDD

The Ohio Disability and Health Program (ODHP) is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded program with goals of improving access to health care, health promotion, and emergency preparedness among Ohioans with disabilities. People with disabilities (PWD) make up a significant portion, approximately 18%, of the U.S. population and are vulnerable to disparities in health and healthcare access. Identifying disability in health surveillance is necessary to help states better understand and to address the health needs and access to care barriers that impact the disability community. To guide program priorities and identify the major health concerns among Ohioans with disabilities, ODHP conducted a public health needs assessment on the health status of people with disabilities in Ohio. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the needs assessment process and findings.

Compared to people without disability, adults with disability have health disparities in chronic disease prevalence, health risk behaviors such as smoking, and barriers experienced in accessing healthcare. Focus group participants with disability opined that promoting the health of people with disability is not addressed by medical or public health providers.  Among youth with disabilities in Ohio, disparities in rates of bullying, substance abuse, self-harm, and other health risk behaviors have been identified. A discussion of the intersection of race and disability and the combined effect that these factors have on health status, access to health care, and social determinants of health will also be discussed.

Session B: Inter-Ability Marriage: How Love is Lame

Thomas P. Webb, Director, Disability Services, Wright State University; Rebecca Barringer Webb

The presenters will weave interactive discussion and small scenes from a scripted play to demonstrate the many perspectives and assumptions surrounding disability in marriage. These past 50 years have seen eye-opening appraisals of the social constructs of marriage, but have yet to address the struggles of people with disabilities.  Our presentation will introduce inter-ability struggles as akin to the LGBTQ, inter-racial and inter-faith challenges media coverage has exposed to society in the last half-century.

Session C: Update from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Cheryl Mabry-Thomas, Director, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Cleveland Field Office

The presenter will provide updates about the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Priorities, and an overview of the laws they enforce.

Session D: Eric Garner in Historical Perspective: Interrogating “Ableist Criminality”

Andrew Sydlik, PhD Student, The Ohio State University

The presenter will provide an examination of “ableist criminality”: the way the discourse of inherent “wrongness” undergirds ableism and creates a double-bind that regards disabled people as threatening, yet seemingly incapable of autonomy. Responses to the (legally justified) homicide of Eric Garner in July 2014 by a police officer explicitly illustrates this and the connection between ableism and racism—criminal behaviour is seen as an inherent deficiency that is inexplicably regarded as the fault of the criminal. NY Representative Peter King argues that the physical force used against Garner was legitimated by his large size and his refusal to cooperate with police, while also blaming Garner’s death on his health problems—not the violent action of police: “If he had not had asthma and a heart condition and was so obese, almost definitely he would not have died.”

In thinking of the legacy of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we might not only consider how to better protect and accommodate people with disabilities, but also how the core mentalities of society continue to oppress through the linkage of ableism with criminality.  I will juxtapose contemporary and historical discourses that associate disability with inherent “wrongness” to put ableist criminality in historical context, reflect on the ways we locate normality and abnormality, and ask how conceptions of disability can resist notions of ableist criminality while attending to the material realities of impairment and the benefits of minority identity.

3:00pm-4:30pm - Ken Campbell Memorial Lecture: "The Stories We Tell: The Americans with Disabilities Act after 25 Years"

Presented by Lennard J. Davis. Free and Open to the Public

Based on his forthcoming book, Enabling Acts, Davis' topic honors both the 25th Anniversary of the ADA and Campbell’s life’s work as an advocate including over twenty years guiding the City of Columbus’ disability policies and practice. 

Davis tells the neglected story behind the Americans with Disabilities Act, a model for civil rights laws around the world that is too often absent from the curriculum and too far from popular consciousness at home. Enabling Acts is not a dry legislative history.  Davis tells the rich human story; illustrating the successes and shortcomings of the ADA in areas ranging from employment, education, and transportation to shifting social attitudes.  This powerfully told story promises to set the stage for the next generation of disability rights leaders. 

Davis summed up the importance of these stories this way.  "I have come to see that disability studies is imperative. It is crucial that students in elementary and secondary school, as well as students in the university, grow up in close contact with people with all kinds of disabilities. It is crucial that disability studies be included in the curricula of schools so that when Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement are studied, when films on Stonewall are screened, Chicano authors are read — that disability history and culture be included as well from the accomplishments of Vietnam Vets and Ron Kovic to the Berkeley movement led by disability activist Ed Roberts to the Deaf President Now movement at Gallaudet University. The drafting of the ADA should be studied the way that the drafting of the Declaration of Independence is studied. Students should be able to read the work of Nancy Mairs or Andre Dubus, to know about the disabilities of artists and writers like James Joyce, Harriet Martineau, and William DeKooning, as well as the more obvious Beethoven or Ray Charles."

4:30pm–6:00pm - Student Perspectives Ethel Louise Armstrong Student Poster Presentations and Reception - Free and Open to the Public

Network with professionals, the community, and scholars who share an interest in disability.  A generous gift from the Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation funds cash awards for graduate & undergraduate research, arts, community service and class projects focused on disability.

Tuesday , April 14, 2015
9:00am-10:30am - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Disability & Accessibility as a Matter of Course in University Life

Amy Quillin, Director, Student Accessibility Services, Kent State University; Allison West-Kaskey, Director, Office of Services for Students with Disabilities, John Carroll University

Intended primarily for educators, this interactive  presentation will explain how 2 universities, one private and one public, are working to create a culture of inclusion of disability and accessibility as a necessary component of university life – as a matter of course – including those from the highest levels (President, Provost, Vice Presidents, etc.). The directors of the disability/accessibility offices will share the unique ways they’ve fostered progress in moving the discussion and enactment of policies/procedures regarding disability forward within their respective universities.  From a university-wide ADA committee, to faculty newsletters, to interactive websites, to campus climate studies, to individual meetings with key personnel in offices such as procurement, the Provost, academic deans and directors, university marketing, information technology, to partnerships with select academic and university departments, to an active disability/accessibility-related student group,  etc. all have been instrumental in making disability and accessibility-related concerns a critical part of university discussions, getting “buy-in” from key administrators, and essentially, making disability/accessibility a matter of course within the university. Although much work is obviously yet to be done, the presenters are anxious to share what has worked, so far, for their respective universities. The presenters will also solicit input from audience participants as to how they have made progress in this area within their own universities/settings.

Session B: Communicating and Instructing Faculty on Accessibility Considerations for Web or LMS Content

Amy Bouhall, M.A., M.S., Instructional Designer, Center for Instructional Technology & eLearning, Ohio Dominican University; Laura Cherry Akgerman, M.A., C.R.C., Academic Advisor/Disability Services Coordinator, Ohio Dominican University

As more courses are taught either entirely online or partially online, it is more important that the content and access to the materials can be accessible by all users. Depending on the learning management system, making content accessible can be difficult. Even if student’s limitations are not documented for the instructor, any accessibility measures made to a course will benefit all students. 

The presenters will share the development and impact of an online course for faculty with two purposes. First, it serves as a place for faculty to go to learn more about different disabilities, the legal ramifications, details on how students request support services, and what accommodations are possible in the LMS System. The second purpose is to provide an instructional unit on how to make Web content accessible. This 6-part unit describes the Web accessibility issues and reviews the different groups and organizations that have provided standards and guidelines for Web accessibility. Microsoft Office Accessibility Checker is also discussed. The last two units cover accessible media requirements and assistive technology.

Session C: Collaborating to Create Audio Access for Digital Image Collections

Kathleen C. Lonbom, Associate Professor / Art, Theatre & Dance Librarian, Milner Library, Illinois State University

This presentation will discuss research investigating the development of audio descriptions to accompany an academic library’s digital image collection.  The project involves faculty and students in the creation and delivery of audio descriptions.  The collaborative project initiated by the art librarian was in answer to a legislative act requiring accessibility for vision impaired users. The discussion will specifically examine developing descriptions for images from Illinois State University’s International Collection of Child Art a resource which presents a fascinating challenge to use language to broaden access to the content and construct a compelling representation with the spoken word for individuals who are low vision or blind. The gift of this continued research has been the overwhelming and positive response from campus constituents. Faculty and students have been eager to participate, learn, and engage in the process of developing audio descriptions. The project has presented meaningful experiential learning as students develop an awareness of how a low vision or blind person experiences an artwork or digital image.  The presentation will discuss audio describing an art collection and uncover preliminary observations and answers to the following questions:

  • What is an audio description and how it fits into an image collection?

  • How does audio describing an image collection enhance access for all users?

  • What resources are required to describe a collection? 

  • Does the creation of audio description have a place in the collaborative and pedagogical environment of an academic library and university?

Session D: At the Intersections of Disability and Feminist Theories: Toward the Transformative Inclusion of Diverse Students with Disabilities in STEM Fields

Lauren Rose Strand, M.A., PhD student & Academic Advisor, Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies; The Ohio State University

This presentation reflects upon a proposed longitudinal research project that examines the experiences of diverse students with disabilities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and explores why these students may or may not be drawn to such fields when entering a four-year university, specifically The Ohio State University. Feminist theory and Disability Studies both contribute to the project’s methodology. Feminist theory argues that the identities of students with disabilities must be thought of in conversation with their various other identities (including but not limited to their gender, race, veteran status, and socioeconomic background); simultaneously, disability studies foregrounds the students’ individual experiences and views their disabilities through the “social model” where their disabilities are viewed as assets to the learning environment and trajectory of the STEM fields. These two bodies of knowledge further the traditional notion of “self-advocacy” in order to develop a new model that the project is based upon—the social model of self-advocacy. An overview of the project is provided, in order for the audience to discuss, as a group, the ways in which feminist theory, Disability Studies, and personal experience can further complicate and compliment the proposed research project.

10:45am-12:15pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Perceptions and Attitudes toward People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing among College Students

ChongMin Lee, Assistant Professor, Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Lamar University; Zanthia Smith, Associate Professor, Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Lamar University

Over the past few decades, the number of Universities offering ASL and Deaf Studies courses has increased dramatically.  Despite the importance of the growth of these programs, there have been few studies regarding perspectives on deafness and attitudes toward deaf people by hearing college students This presentation will review a study that examines the attitudes of hearing college students toward deaf individuals, and the impact of taking deaf culture courses on those attitudes.  The researchers will share their methodology, including two questionnaires regarding attitudes towards deaf people and perspective on deafness, their findings and the implications for ASL and Deaf studies curricula.

Session B: Accessibility Strategy for a Large University

Ken Petri, Program Director, Web Accessibility Center, ADA Coordinator’s Office and Student Life Disability Services, The Ohio State University; Peter Bossley, Accessibility Analyst, Office of the CIO, The Ohio State University

Large Universities face many challenges when attempting to tackle the accessibility of their electronic information technology services. As disability advocacy groups and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights ramp up their efforts in this space, it is incumbent on campus leaders that they formulate an approach to accessibility. In 2011 Ohio State hosted an Accessibility Summit on behalf of the Board of Regents where the General Counsel for the University System of Ohio, charged colleges to erect “vigilant compliance programs … to review and monitor, on an ongoing basis, all websites established by schools and the various educational aids used at each school,” and also “to monitor online or web-based learning content [and delivery technologies] … to ensure full accessibility.”  This presentation will share how The Ohio State University is meeting the challenge of becoming accessible, including the tools, policies and process it has developed.

Session C: CANCELED. 

Unfortunately Prof. Levinstein has canceled her presentation in response to a significant volume of vitriolic and threatening e-mail.  She has registered a complaint with the appropriate authorities. Her presentation addressed an important, albeit emotional issue from controversial perspective.  It saddens me that cyber bullying has impinged on the free exchange of ideas and civil discourse. 

Original Description: At the Expense of Joy: Human Rights Violations in Applied Behavioral Analysis. Kathleen P. Levinstein, PhD, LCSW, LMSW, Assistant Professor, Social Work, University of Michigan/Flint

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is a multibillion dollar industry that claims to cure Autism. The author, a PhD level Social Worker and Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan/Flint with Autism, questions the effectiveness, safety and ultimately the ethics of this practice, while discussing the core differences between ABA and Social Work values and perspectives. The clinical issues regarding parental shame and refusal to accept and embrace the child with Autism are addressed as well as the dynamic of ABA utilized as a defense mechanism against parental narcissistic injury.

Lastly, there is a call to action for Social Workers, health professionals and advocates to oppose this practice as a group, on the grounds that the Human and Civil rights of people with Autism are being violated by the practice per the Geneva Convention, with the author raising the question as to whether ABA should be redefined as Medical Torture.

Session D: Student Veterans with Psychological and Physical Wounds: Enhancing Access and Inclusion

Molly Tschopp, PhD, CRC, Associate Professor, Director, Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate Program, Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services, Ball State University

This presentation is focused on understanding experiences of the diverse population of student veterans with disabilities transitioning from military to civilian life and the role that professionals can play in supporting their academic and career goals. It has been estimated that over 2 million OEF/OIF veterans will enroll in postsecondary education. Given the number of veterans returning with physical and psychological wounds, consideration of the needs of student veterans with such health conditions and disabilities and campus climate and resources is paramount. The transition from military to academic life may be complicated by physical, psychosocial, cultural, and environmental challenges and the venture of navigating rehabilitation services and supports. Reintegration issues facing wounded warriors, access and inclusion in academic environments, and the resources available to aid student veterans in the promotion of their goals, will be discussed.


12:30pm-1:45pm Lunch and Networking - Blackwell Hotel Ballrooms


2:00pm–3:30pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: ADA Questions and Answers: The Center for Disability Empowerment (CDE) Answers Your Questions

Derek Mortland, ADA and Community Outreach Coordinator, The Center for Disability Empowerment; Scott Lissner, ADA Coordinator, The Ohio State University; Peter Berg, Coordinator of Technical Assistance, Great Lakes ADA Center, University of Illinois/Chicago

A panel of staff and board members from the Center for Disability Empowerment will briefly identify successes and challenges as we look ahead to the 25th anniversary of the ADA. The panel will then offer their combined experience to answer your questions about rights and responsibilities, access. and accommodations.

Session B: P.E.A.C.E: Communication Access through Universal Design Principles

Cindy Poore-Pariseau, Coordinator, Office of Disability Services, Bristol Community College; Julie Jodoin-Krauzyk, Learning Specialist and D/deaf Services Coordinator, Office of Disability Services, Bristol Community College

Drawn from the concept of Universal Design, P.E.A.C.E, serves as a reminder of five communication access strategies: Pace; Environment; Accessibility; Construct; and Expansion. Using this concept, faculty members can create a more accessible learning environment for students with disabilities, while enhancing the clarity of their message and learning potential for all students.

Session C: On Teaching the R-Word: A Dialogue about Inclusive Language and Inclusive Spaces

Jessie Male, MA/PhD candidate in English Literature, Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Disability Studies, The Ohio State University

Based on her experience encouraging New York City high school students to reflect on how language is used to reinforce ableism, the presenter will model what is possible when young people are engaged in conversation about ableist environments (social environments, medical environments, educational environments, etc.) Her main goals for the lecture are:

  • to present a template for a discussion that can be implemented in various schools

  • to address how the use of familiar artifacts can be helpful to engage a potentially resistant audience

  • to discuss strategies for audience participation and creating a safe space for dialogue amongst a diverse student body

  • to emphasize the implications of the “r-word”

Session D: Paving the Path to College Success: Experiences of Students with Physical Disabilities

April Coughlin, Ph.D. Student, Syracuse University

For many, college is an exciting time for exploration of independence and identity development. However, for some students, transition into higher education can prove to be a bumpy road. This presentation is geared towards educators, staff, students, advocates and parents. It will explore the various issues and obstacles that students with physical disabilities often encounter both in transitions from high school to college and throughout their college years.

Topics that will be discussed include:

  • On-campus housing

  • Course accommodations

  • Physical accessibility and navigating through campus

  • Instructor and staff support

  • Socialization with peers and

  • Developing self-advocacy skills

Through student narratives and examples of innovative practices being implemented in colleges around the country, this presentation aims to increase our understanding of disability and offer various ways to support students with physical disabilities in achieving academic and social success in higher education.

3:45pm-5:00pm - The Ethel Louise Armstrong Memorial Lecture: “The Hearing World around Me”

Presented by Trix Bruce, ASL Entertainment Extraordinaire & Deaf Entrepreneur

Free and Open to the Public

Trix Bruce's stories are those of culture clash and connection, contact and confusion, and the many ways which language and identity can twist our perceptions of each other. Her energetic style, witty delivery, poetic grace, and honesty welcome you to her world as a deaf person among the hearing.  Through a series of stories Trix shares her embarrassing moments, challenges, learning experiences, and a growing sense of pride.  
Video excerpt of The Hearing World around Me 
About Trix Bruce:

Trix has been involved in the performing arts since 1980 when she won the role of Helen Keller in her freshman year of high-school. She participated in the summer program hosted by the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) and performed at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). As a deaf poet and actress, her performances draw heavily on her life experiences.  Trix’s one-woman show has been a long-standing success. Audiences are captivated by Trix’s sign artistry, sheer elegance and irresistible, smile-sparking humor. Trix’s performances and presentations always showcase her skills as an outstanding communicator.  Trix’s main area of study has been in ASL Linguistics with a focus on ASL Performance. She is an approved sponsor for the Registry Interpreter for the Deaf (RID) Certificate Maintenance Program. Whether writing, creating, improvising or starring in her many productions, Trix’s passion for the dramatic arts always shines through.  Please visit Trix Bruce on line  at http://www.trixbruce.com/; or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TrixBruce