6th Annual Conference

Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion & Disability -- April 17 & 18, 2006

Pfahl Executive Education & Conference Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

The organizing theme for the sixth annual conference will be "Personal Perspectives & Social Impact: The Stories We Tell." The goal is to encourage presenters and participants to reflect on how personal experiences create and transform social, cultural, and legal realities. A look into what the psychologist Theodore Sarbin referred to as "the storied nature of human conduct."

Before reading the program below, please meet the sponsors.

ADA-OHIO is a statewide non-profit organization that provides information, technical assistance, and training about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to individuals, businesses, state and local government agencies or municipalities. Anyone who has a question about the ADA is encouraged to call their office at 1-800-ADA-OHIO or 614-844-5410 or visit the website at: http://www.ada-ohio.org/informat.htm

The Ohio State University is collaborating with national partners and select urban, suburban, and rural colleges and universities to develop, pilot and disseminate Faculty and Administrator Modules in Higher Education (FAME) that are designed to improve the quality of education for students with disabilities. National organizations such as AHEAD, HEATH, CAST and NCSPS have agreed to partner with Ohio State to develop universally-designed training modules that reflect state-of-the-art technologies and content for faculty and administrators in order to improve student education. Visit the website at:http://ada.osu.edu/resources/fastfacts/index.htm

The Ohio ADA Coordinator's Network was created to provide networking, information and resource sharing opportunities for individuals serving as ADA Coordinators, 504 Compliance Officers or in similar roles in government (municipal, county, state or federal) or business settings across the state of Ohio. The Network's initial goals are to hold a meeting once a year; to sponsor a discussion list; and generate an index of commonly useful resources. 

The Ohio ADA Coordinator's Network was initiated by the collaborative efforts of ADA-OHIO, The ADA Coordinator's Office at The Ohio State University, and the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission in the hope that others will join our effort to share information to expand opportunities in Ohio. 

This group is intended to serve as the discussion list and will be open to members to post questions in the expectation that the synergy of virtual brainstorming and discussion will improve our efforts. Additionally, once every six to eight weeks an expert will be invited to present a case study or emerging issue to the list and lead a discussion on that topic.

Membership: Limited to professionals responsible for compliance with the ADA, Section 504 and other laws focused on disability in Government and Business settings within the state of Ohio. Link to join Ohio ADA Coordinator's Network -- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ohioadanetwork/

Monday, April 17, 2006
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Where to Tell Your Story

Facilitated by L. Scott Lissner, ADA Coordinator, The Ohio State University

Panel: C. Larry Watson, Associate Regional Attorney, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Cleveland Field Office; Michael Kirkman, JD, Legal Director, Ohio Legal Rights; L. Irene Bowen, Deputy Chief, Disability Rights Section, U.S. Department of Justice; Tamara Perry, Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights; Ronnell Tomlinson, Ohio Civil Rights Commission; Karla Ussery and Kelly McHargh, Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights

If you have a story to tell, who do you tell it to? DOJ, OCR, OCRC, OLRS, EEOC, State Court, Federal Court….? To kick off this year’s theme “Personal Perspectives and Social Impact: The Stories We Tell,” we have assembled a group of experts representing key technical assistance and enforcement agencies. Each agency will introduce its jurisdiction and the range of issues it addresses, describe its services and processes, and conclude with a brief discussion of priorities and initiatives for the upcoming year. After the panelists have introduced their organizations they will field questions and answers from the audience.

11:15am-12:30pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Ruth Colker, Professor and Heck Faust Memorial Chair in Constitutional Law, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University; Vanessa Coterel, Attorney-at-Law, The Legal Aid Society of Columbus

A typical IEP meeting includes 4-8 professionals from the school system meeting with one parent, maybe two, and can be intimidating. Based on this experience, Prof. Colker applied for and received a grant and developed a special education practicum; an interdisciplinary course that brings together law students and Allied Health students. The students, working with the Columbus Legal Aid Society, apply what they learn in class to support students and parents going through the IEP process. This session will describe the experiences of the faculty and students participating in this experience and discuss models for sharing the curriculum with advocacy groups and other colleges.

Session B: Let's Build a House! Accessible & Affordable Homes Using the ABILITY House Model

Gillian Friedman, MD, Executive Director, ABILITY Awareness; Chet Cooper, Founder, ABILITY Awareness and the non-profit ABILITY Magazine; James Chaffin, Program Manager, Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps-OH

In this presentation, Mr. Cooper will discuss his personal experiences and how, with the help of Habitat for Humanity, he turned ABILITY House from an idea into a dynamic program recognized by President George W. Bush with the Presidential Service Award, the nation’s highest award for volunteer service. Presenters will explain the College Students Initiative and how students who have disabilities are encouraged to participate and lead local projects. ABILITY House facilitates constructing accessible Habitat homes for families with disabilities, while outreaching to people with disabilities in the community to build the homes. It allows students with disabilities preparing to enter the job market to show employers not only academic success, but also leadership experience and community involvement.

Attendees will learn how ABILITY House demonstrates the feasibility of incorporating people with disabilities as volunteers and making the necessary accommodations for their full participation. Presenters will discuss the measures that ABILITY recommends to Habitat affiliates to make their programs accessible. Mr. Chaffin will answer questions about Habitat for Humanity and give an overview of Habitat volunteer opportunities.

Session C. Remote Infrared Audible Signage: A Quest for Orientation Access

Jeff Moyer, Vice President, Talking Signs, Inc. 

The presenter will discuss his personal quest to see orientation access included as a provision on par with physical access for people who use wheelchairs for mobility. For the last twelve years, he has taken every opportunity to advocate, educate, motivate, and teach about how RIAS (Remote Infrared Audible Signage) can offer new freedom, independence, and barrier removal for individuals with visual, cognitive, and learning disabilities. In 1981, he visited the Smith-Kettlewell Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center in San Francisco, California. He was there conducting research of his own on the state of voice output reading technology for those with visual disabilities. A prototype technology—Remote Infrared Audible Signage (RIAS)--was demonstrated for him: Small electronic boxes mounted above office doors broadcast repeating human voice messages over infrared light. A small handheld receiver when pointed at the signs identified room locations through the announcement of the message carried through the infrared transmission and decoded by the receiver. The technology was impressive, could obviously be useful, but seemed like an impossible idea to implement as a broad public access provision. Today, RIAS MAP (Remote Infrared Audible Signage Model Accessibility Project) is included as Title III Section 3046 of the Federal Transportation Act of 2005. A city will be selected for this regional implementation of RIAS and a four-year study will ensue to research the impact of this orientation technology on employment, education, quality of life and community integration for individuals with visual, cognitive and learning disabilities. The power of advocacy truly is in the hands of individuals and, when advocacy is engaged, orientation access can result.

Session D: Documenting Workplace Accommodations

C. Larry Watson, Associate Regional Attorney, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Cleveland Field Office

When an employee requests an accommodation:

  • How much documentation does the employer need?
  • When is a “fitness for duty” exam appropriate?
  • Where should disability documentation be kept?
  • Who should have access to disability-related information?

This session will review the process of documenting a disability, determining reasonable accommodations and managing disability-related information in the workplace.

12:45pm-2:00pm - Lunch & Information Exchange with the 3rd Annual ADA Award presentation by ADA-OHIO to Dave Cameron

The Ohio State University would like to congratulate Dave Cameron, the recipient of the third annual ADA Award presented by ADA-OHIO and sponsored by the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. The award is presented to individuals and/or organizations who have made significant contributions in support of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA Award will be presented at this luncheon. 

2:15pm-3:45pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Drama Discovery: Curtain up on a Solution for Students with Emotional and/or Behavioral Exceptionalities

Shellie Hipsky, Assistant Professor, Robert Morris University

This workshop expresses the powerful stories of impact on self-efficacy regarding reading and their own exceptionalities on a class of students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of dramatic arts in combination with bibliotherapy, which is the use of literary sources to help people solve complex problems and find understanding about a topic (Sullivan & Strang, 2003). This presentation will engage the audience in a research-based workshop that will teach the audience member how to engage their classes in theater games in combination with bibliotherapy to create a positive effect on students’ self-efficacy regarding their own exceptionality.

Session B: What Is the Process in Order to Build a Universal Design Custom Home?

Rosemarie Rossetti, PhD, President, Rosemarie Speaks (Link to website for Rosemarie Rossetti www.RosemarieSpeaks.com); Patrick Manley, RA, AIAA, President, Manley Architecture Group (Link to handout for Rossetti/Manley presentation -- http://www.UDLL.com.

The presenters will discuss a case study of a national model universal design home that is being built in Central Ohio. The program will focus on the process of selecting the lot, builder, architect, and designers. The various approaches that were explored in space planning will be presented. A step-by-step approach will be illustrated in order to show how the rooms were positioned to take advantage of the site and to offer maximum utility. Selected universal design features will be highlighted including the kitchen and bath design.

Session C: Lest We Forget: An Oral History Documentary on Ohio's State Institutions

Jeff Moyer, Oral Historian and Producer, Music from the Heart

The presenter will discuss his research on the oral histories of individuals who have been institutionalized in several State institutions within Ohio from the 1960’s to the present. He also interviewed siblings, parents, workers, and advocates whose pioneering efforts had established the community alternatives that have become the norm throughout Ohio and beyond. Although his own life experience had taken him into the locked wards where he witnessed firsthand the result of beatings, rape, and medical experimentation and neglect, the stories that were recorded in his interviews left him shocked and numb. Over a period of nearly three years, he reduced the interviews to a two hour and fifteen minute audio documentary on two CDs entitled “Lest We Forget.” These CDs are now in use in universities, training programs, and advocacy efforts throughout the United States and beyond. The stories told remain as gripping and compelling as any first person tale could be. This history, long untold, is now available and will be preserved as a tribute and recorded memory of the suffering endured over the century of the existence of the brutal and shameful legacy of State institutions.

Session D: From Walking Dogs to Righting Wrongs: A Class Project Leads to Broader Advocacy and a Career in Disability Rights Law

L. Irene Bowen, Deputy Chief, Disability Rights Section, U.S. Department of Justice

In 1974, three law students, as part of a “legal activism” class project, successfully petitioned the FCC to require visual information on television when aural emergency warnings were aired. The students chose this project partly because of one student's experience walking a dog for a deaf couple. Afterwards, when they had learned some sign language and had an understanding of the legal problems deaf people faced, they wanted to do more. They applied for and received a federal grant to establish the National Center for Law and the Deaf, which provided legal representation and advocacy for 20 years. One of the students, now Deputy Chief of the Disability Rights Section at the Justice Department overseeing ADA enforcement, will share her recollections of how youthful exuberance, serendipity, and perseverance led to the long-term success of the center and lessons learned. She will also sketch an overview of the changed landscape in disability law during the past three decades, offer ideas about how to use tools such as litigation, rulemaking, and training to effect change, and suggest effective ways of interacting with legislators, policy makers, and the press.

4:00pm-5:30pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Panel: Four Takes on Disability: Czech Republic, Canada, and South Korea

"But My Mental Disorder Made Me Do It." 
Nathan Chan, PhD Student, Disability Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
There are many legal cases which involve individuals with mental disabilities committing heinous crimes. The presenter will examine how the mental element involved during the act of committing a crime is taken into consideration in dealing with criminal liability in Canada. Fundamental information to criminal responsibility and the “not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder” NCRMD defense (which takes into consideration the accused’s mental disability at the time of the criminal act by coming to as fair of a disposition as possible) will be presented. Afterwards, several recent Supreme Court cases will be critically analyzed to reveal some very compelling themes.

"The History of Disability Policy in South Korea: From Warfare to Civil Rights in the Perspective of the Poli-Administrative Model"
Jihye Jeon, PhD Student, Disability Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
Disability issues have been marginalized in the field of social policy. While the progress from social exclusion to social inclusion is being debated in academic fields or places of civil movement, in South Korea disability issues have been regarded as personal problems to be overcome by individuals. However, in recent years, disability issues have been rising up the political, social and cultural agenda. 
In this presentation, the history of disability policy in South Korea is explored and analyzed from the perspective of the poli-administrative model. Three stages analyzed are: the Warfare period (1950s–1970s), Welfare period (1980-1996), and Workfare period (after 1997). Also, this study mentions that although the paradigm shift from welfare to right happens, there is still tension and conflicts between the welfare approach and civil right approach. However, in the real society, the people with disabilities are being marginalized in the same way as they have been excluded throughout Korea’s history. 

"Revolution in the Czech Disability Law and Policy"
Jitka Sinecka, PhD Student, Disability Studies, Syracuse University
Although big institutions for people with disabilities labeled with mental retardation still exist in the Czech Republic, a new revolutionary law has been under consideration in the Czech Parliamentary Assembly in 2005. This law, which is an amendment to the 1960 Social Services Act, introduces a new voucher that will enable persons with disabilities to shop for any type of services according to their own choice. It will also allow them to transit from institutions that are heavily subsidized by the state to more independent, community-type settings. The amount of the payment delivered to persons with disabilities on a monthly basis is still being discussed; however, the recent development in the political arenas promises a figure that could symbolize a revolution in people’s lives. 
This presentation will examine the history, the present state, and the future development in the institutional care for people with disabilities in the Czech Republic. The presenter will discuss the impact of the emerging voucher on the lives of people with disabilities and look at what changes the voucher can bring to the general society. 

Session B: Can I Come over to Your House?

Margaret H. Teaford, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Allied Medical Professions, The Ohio State University; Kathleen Puening, Student, Health Sciences Program, The Ohio State University
A recent study shows that most older homes are not accessible. Come learn what can be done using universal design to make them more user-friendly.

Session C: Foot Rage and the Blind Flaneur

Mark Willis, Research Coordinator, Office of Research Affairs, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University. (Link to website for Mark Willis -- http://www.wright.edu/~mark.willis/

This presentation uses narrative techniques drawn from creative nonfiction and oral performance to tell a double-barrel personal story about one of the most fundamental activities in human experience: walking. I expect most of the audience, like most of the U.S. population, to be drivers who use cars for locomotion whenever they can. I will speak to them as a blind pedestrian with a voice that is both confessional and satirical. My goal is to nudge drivers to question some social patterns that they hitherto may have taken for granted.
In my story about walking, foot rage is balanced by the flaneur’s joy. There are two sides (at least) to every story. Each is as valid as the other. Both are necessary. The same can be said for understanding disability as a social process. Viewed from one direction, it looks like limitation and alienation, a problem to be solved. Seen another way, it promises its own solutions, even more possibilities for knowing the world.

Session D: Two 45-Minute Presentations

Rehabilitation of Intellectually-Challenged Persons with Joyful Sports Training

Avtar Singh, Regional Trainer, Special Olympics, Bharat & Heach Coach in Society or Technical Assistance & Remedial Teaching, India

This presentation shall discuss unique and joyful methods to spur the hidden capabilities of Intellectually-Challenged persons through stepwise physical loads. Details of these steps shall be indicated in the presentation. The impact of such training and the authentic benefits will also be elaborated. Based on proven facts and techniques, discussion shall be made on how such methods tend to improve the physical and self-standing capabilities in challenged individuals. The social, economical, and personal benefits of such methods will be discussed and case studies of some successfully trained individuals shall be provided. The future scope of such methods shall be discussed on a National and International basis focusing especially on developing countries where such persons are isolated or completely shunned from society. 

University of Toledo: As Seen from a Wheelchair

Deb Angel, B.Ed. , Independent Filmmaker and Undergrad Student with Degree, University of Toledo
This was a project for a Disability Studies course, Research and Methodologies at the University of Toledo. I chose to use a heuristic approach to the research. As a student who uses a wheelchair, I am the featured player and you will see some of the obstacles and some things that just do not have logic applied in their planning. Also, I will discuss changes and improvements that have been made as a result of this film bringing to light some attitudinal and structural barriers that some people are unaware they even have.

5:30pm-7:00pm - Student Perspectives – A Poster Reception and a special guest exhibitor, Candee Basford, artist

Undergraduate and graduate students will present their posters and research on the broad interdisciplinary aspects of disability. Awards and recognition will be given at the undergraduate and graduate level in four categories:

  • Class Projects & Papers
  • Independent student research (independent study, thesis, grant sponsored or dissertation)
  • Community Service, Outreach, and Applied Problem Solving
  • Art & Performance

Candee Basford, exhibitor and artist, will exhibit "We Dance Together," a visual story expressed in 10 mixed media images that chronicle her 26 years of education with her daughter, Katie, who has Down Syndrome. Basford's perspective on inclusion, access, and society has been shaped and reshaped by their experiences in Katie's progress through the public school system and then as a college student at Southern State Community College. For the rest of the story, Basford will also present her work and experiences in a presentation scheduled for Tuesday, April 18, 2006, 2:00pm-3:30pm, Session D, entitled "We Dance Together: A Painted Essay about My Education with Katie."

Tuesday, April 18
9:00am-10:30am - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Justice in Higher Education

Jane Jarrow, President, Disability Access Information and Support (DAIS); L. Irene Bowen, Deputy Chief, Disability Rights Section, U.S. Department of Justice

Traditionally, disability services personnel working in higher education have looked to the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights to provide guidance as to how best to implement the federal mandates for equal access in higher education. But under the ADA, the Department of Justice also has oversight of private colleges and universities, and responsibility for litigation with respect to both public and private entities. DOJ also has some responsibilities for reviewing the actions and activities of entities that have direct impact on the students we serve. From study abroad issues to architectural access, from state licensing to high stakes testing, this session will explore areas of interest and overlap in the Department of Justice involvement with student with disabilities at the postsecondary level.

Session B: Between Two Worlds: The Experience of Hidden Disability

Aimee M. Burke, MSW, LCSW, School of Social Work, Arizona State University
Disabilities not “immediately noticed by an observer except under unusual circumstances or by disclosure from the disabled person or other outside source” (Matthews, p. 405, 2000) defy the outward social construction of disability. Understanding the process persons with hidden disabilities go through in their personal identification (or lack thereof) as being “disabled” has important implications for the persons with hidden disabilities, their families, the disability community, health care providers, and social service workers. 

While a diagnosis itself is an objective measure of bodily or mental pathology, disability is the human experience of the diagnosis, created by how the disability is perceived, lived with, and responded to within and through evolving relationships between the person and the social environment. Thus, the understanding of disability cannot be separated from the individual’s lived experience. The presenter will discuss the rich and detailed description of the socially, psychologically, and culturally formed meaning-making process of persons with hidden disabilities. These stories, drawn from the presenter’s personal experiences as well as those of others with hidden physical disabilities, can most colorfully and thoroughly be captured through the personal portrayal of life through their eyes, in their voices, and from their perspectives.

Session C: Hidden Disabilities in the Workplace

Jessica Skolnikoff, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Roger Williams University
Learning disabilities are a hidden handicap; the “average” person does not know that someone is learning disabled unless the person volunteers the information or he/she is asked to do a task that exposes the disability. People with learning disabilities often do not tell others about their disability and try to hide that information from others. To an outsider, these individuals do not appear to be out of the ordinary—whatever that means. 

The main focus of this presentation will be on the process of revealing. The presenter’s research objective was to collect life stories from adult individuals with mild to moderate learning disabilities who have at least a high-school education and live independently. She developed the term "revealing" to encompass the variation in the disclosure process for individuals with learning disabilities. This process has important ramifications for how individuals with learning disabilities construct their identity in different social contexts, thus affecting the way they make sense of their lives.

Session D: Professionals Teaching Self-Advocacy: Memories Are Stories We Have Told Ourselves about What Happened in the Past

Anita Schwandt, MD, Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University and Department of OB/GYN, MetroHealth Hospital; Christine Warner, ACSW, LISW, MetroHealth Systems
The presenter will discuss how the way we view our disabilities and our past experiences with our disability affects our current and future psychological and medical behavior and outcomes. She will review how our past experiences and personal analysis of them has affected us. She will discuss how telling our stories helps others to tell their stories and to heal past memories and change present behaviors. Having a good story can help a person improve their self-advocacy: removing the anger and the fear, making the interaction active and less passive. Telling our innermost secrets has a cleansing effect followed by relief and the realization that maybe it was not all that bad. 

10:45am-12:15pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Two 45-Minute Presentations

My Own Two in One: Reflecting on a Blindness Memoir and Its Impact on the Way I Do Advocacy

Lisa Yost, Office of Accessibility, The University of Toledo
The presenter is a longtime advocate of people with disabilities and will discuss some of the lessons she has learned from Rod Michalko’s The Two in One: Walking with Smokie, Walking with Blindness. Michalko asks you to put aside your preconceived notions that blindness is a “loss,” and to believe that it could be an alternative and equally valid way of experiencing the world. She will discuss the ways in which this memoir can change the way she conducts advocacy work with blind and low vision students. She will show how we can “take for granted” certain assumptions. For instance, although we both may share an agreement that educational accommodations are required, many students may come to my office still in a grief model – still regarding blindness as a loss, and this is precisely the sort of approach to blindness that Michalko is challenging. As an advocate, the presenter can model behavior that treats blindness as a form of diversity, an equally valuable way of experiencing the world, and can direct students in the direction of these sorts of blindness resources, which may lead to new fields of interest, or perhaps challenge low self-esteem. Memoirs such as The Two in One provide a fruitful ground for discussion so that students can challenge internalized oppression, and become empowered self-advocates.

Promoting Self-Advocacy and Oppression: Two Sides of the Same Coin When Telling Another’s Story: Critical Reflections on A Man without Words by Susan Schaller

Terri Stibaner, Coordinator of Service for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, Office of Accessibility, The University of Toledo
The presenter will discuss the book A Man without Words along with a brief overview of the history and accepted ethical standards within the profession of interpreting. She will explore the ramifications of telling another’s story not only as it impacts the individuals involved, but also the repercussions to a culture existing as a linguistic minority within the dominant culture. The connection between language and access to power seems self-evident, but the implications of telling another’s story are much more obscure. To perform an effective service, an interpreter must be able to bridge the gap between differing languages and cultures without altering the meaning or intent of the message. To remain effective, an interpreter must be able to mediate an imbalance in the access to power. She will discuss not only the concerns she has for the acceptance of interpreters telling stories which are not their own, but the ways in which it might be possible for interpreters to work collaboratively with members of the Deaf community to ensure that people who are without access to language and the power it affords are enabled to share their own stories. 

This presentation does not assume that the audience has experience with people who are Deaf, deafness or working with an interpreter. It is the presenter’s intent that participants would begin to question the dynamics of language, power, and oppression; not only as it pertains to people who are deaf, but also to anyone who may have limited opportunity to tell their own story. It will hopefully arouse a consciousness of the implications in the audience’s own lives of telling another’s story.

Session B: Losing Sight Enhances Vision

Eileen C. Long, MBA, Executive Director and Irwin Hott, Editor, Newsreel; Ed Eames; Toni Eames; Gail Baldwin; Jan Blatz
Performers: Donald Haimes; Elmer Fischer; Mike O’Harra
In Newsreel, a magazine on tape for people who are blind, blind people hear from other blind people: stories of encouragement, tips for daily living, suggestions for coping with blindness. People ask questions such as “How good are services for the blind in your city?” “What kinds of jobs are available for the blind?” “How can I light my gas range safely?” “Do you have any tips for putting on nail polish?” From the trivial to the crucial, blind people hear from other blind people articles of particular interest to them. 

This presentation will be multifaceted, with pictures of their early days, artists who are blind will perform and the Editor, Irwin Hott, will tell in detail how Newsreel is produced and field any questions. This presentation will be geared to a general audience who perhaps do not yet have a perspective about blindness or accessibility in the hopes that they will take on a new and better understanding of how people who are blind function in a sighted world. They will realize the value of media that is accessible to the blind, that travels around the world with stories, questions and answers, encouragement, and support.

Session C: Two 45-Minute Presentations

An Exploration into the Responsiveness of Private Home Health Care Organizations

Joshua Johnson, Graduate Student, Stephen F. Austin State University

The presenter will examine several questions: Is there a lack of responsiveness among home health care providers working for various private organizations contracted by the state of Texas? What factors contribute to slow responses to customer needs? What can be done to increase responsiveness? Span of control, labor shortage, budgetary constraints, legislative constraints, and structures for filing formal complaints are explored as factors influencing organizational responsiveness to customer needs. Recommendations to increase responsiveness are offered, but the recommendations made are not necessarily state-specific and can be applied in many different environments. 

Community Life

Brenda Curtiss, Executive Director, Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council

Session D: Two 45 Minute-Presentations

Not Forgotten: Reflections on Jeff Moyer’s Powerful Lest We Forget CD about Abuse in Ohio Institutions as a Lesson for Future Advocacy

Michael Mechlowitz, Disability Studies Program, University of Toledo
The presenter will discuss Jeff Moyer’s powerful CD Lest We Forget: Spoken Histories, which chronicles abuse in Ohio State Institutions for people with developmental disabilities, leading up to the de-institutionalization era. He will discuss the impact of hearing these stories on his own growth as a disability rights activist and how meeting Jeff Moyer reinforced the message of a need to be vigilant in defending the rights of vulnerable people. The stories in the CD touch people very deeply. The CD contains stories of abuse (people telling about how they were beaten, sexually abused, raped, medically neglected, starved, locked in cages, hosed down, and dehumanized in countless ways) and it is a rallying cry for all disability rights activists to ensure that such injustices never happen again. It is a horrific record of the past, but also a crime of humanity which we must ensure never happens again. It happened here, in Ohio, in our lifetime; we must bear witness to this. We must say never again! 

Autism: Is It an Epidemic or a Culture?

Stacy Clifford, Graduate Student, Ohio University

This presentation will attempt to bridge the gap between the two faces of autism: one presented as an “epidemic,” with the opposing view of autism as a culture that is not inherently tragic. The presenter will explore which method, if either, will improve the present lives and futures of autistics. To answer such a question, she will rely on her own experience with a younger autistic sibling in Southeastern Ohio and the insight that it has provided her. By relying on personal experience, she can show how her brother was consistently excluded from a full public education, the hardships that he has faced attempting to receive basic medical treatment and the isolation that he, as well all members of her family, have experienced from larger society. Today, at the age of twenty, her brother’s freedom is threatened by a deficient number of options concerning adequate long-term care. Instead, long-term care is assumed to be the sole responsibility of parents of dependent adult children; otherwise, severely autistic adults may become institutionalized in settings that are less than optimal. 

12:30pm-1:45pm - Information Exchange & Lunch
2:00pm-3:30pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: The Greatest Story Ever Told: Memoir, Testimonio, and Witnessing

Marian Lupo, JD; Michael Sasso, PhD Student; Wendy Chrisman, PhD Student, The Ohio State University
This is a panel discussion by Disability Studies activists and scholars addressing the possibilities and limitations of using memoir, testimony, and witnessing to effect social change.

Session B: The Next Chapter Book Club Tells Our Story

Vicki Graff, Program Manager; Jillian Ober, MA, CRC, Program Coordinator; Paula Rabidoux, PhD, Coordinator of Speech-Language Pathology; Nisonger Center, The Ohio State University; Rhonda Elick; Janice Woods; Roy Woods
This is a panel discussion to tell the story of one of the Next Chapter Book Clubs, a unique program of The Ohio State University Nisonger Center that integrates literacy, lifelong learning, community inclusion, and social connections for adults with intellectual disabilities. 

The program began in 2002 with 2 clubs in Columbus. We now operate more than 25 clubs throughout Ohio, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and in Boise, Idaho. More locations are pending. The Next Chapter Book Club has four primary objectives:

  • To improve literacy skills and social connections for people with intellectual disabilities.
  • To increase the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in community settings.
  • To improve lifelong learning opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities.
  • To develop and disseminate a model program for literacy learning, social connectedness, and community inclusion.

Clubs meet weekly for one hour in public spaces such as bookstores and coffee shops, where members can purchase drinks, build social skills, make friends, read books aloud together, and learn to read. Trained volunteers from the community facilitate each club. NCBC members have a wide range of reading abilities, from those who read well to those who do not read at all. In surveys of 97 members from December 2004 through July 2005, 84% stated their reading improved as a result of participation in the book club; 65% said they found new friends in the book club, and 81% said they like or really like being in the café.

Session C: For Cryin' Out Loud!! Can't You Hear ME?

William M. Bauer, PhD, CRC, Director, Master's in Education, Marietta College
The presenter will highlight his life while growing up with a severe hearing disability before and after EHA, IDEA and ADA. He will provide solutions for modern day educators, business people, and the community in working with people with disabilities. His humorous stories will have you laughing off of your seat as well as provide a perspective of the historical and cultural impact of disabilities in general.

Session D: We Dance Together: A Painted Essay about My Education with Katie

Candee Basford, Exhibitor and Artist
In 1998, Basford's daughter graduated from high school and enrolled as a college student at Southern State Community College  The road to college was not straight or smooth. Many people had doubts about whether someone with Down syndrome could attend college, just as some had doubted that she could succeed in public school. 

"The experience of Katie graduating reminded me of what it was like, looking down the long path of public education when she was starting school. Now it's happening again, facing this unknown." 

Basford's perspective on inclusion, access and society (the story she tells) has been shaped and reshaped by her education with Katie in the context of social interaction. It is this perspective that provides the ground for moving forward. 

“We Dance Together” is a visual story, expressed in 10 mixed media images that chronicle her 26 years of education with Katie. From these images evolved a book, We Dance Together: A Painted Essay About My Education with Katie, which further explains the lessons learned. Basford received a grant from the Ohio Arts Council to assist in the publication of a printed booklet from her painted essay. Basford will show and discuss the lessons learned in collaboration with her daughter and the process used to engage in a visual study. 

3:45pm-5:15pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Disability, Autobiography, and the Art of Memory

Stephen Kuusisto, Associate Professor, Department of English, The Ohio State University
What is true memory and what role does the disabled body and the craft of literary writing play in bringing memory into perspective? Poet and memoirist Stephen Kuusisto will talk about literary nonfiction and its craft with a focus on contemporary issues in disability studies.

Session B: Bye, Bye Beeptones; Hello AudioPlus®! The Sunset of Analog Tape at RFB&D

Annemarie Cooke, Sr. External Relations Officer, Recordings for the Blind & Dyslexic Learning through Listening
The exciting world of accessible textbooks in digitally recorded form looms large and bright as Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic prepares to phase out production of analog tape cassettes. Participants in this workshop will learn the details and the benefits of the extraordinary milestone as well as plans for collection, development, and addition of new playback equipment and ramifications for DSS offices. 

Audio textbooks from RFB&D have become important tools for accommodation for students who have dyslexia. Four years ago, RFB&D began production of textbooks recorded in the DAISY format. By recording digitally, using the DAISY standard, books are created that feature incredible ease of use for people who have print-related disabilities. RFB&D’s “brand” of DAISY books, called “AudioPlus®”, provides ease in navigation by page, chapter, and section as well as “go to page” function and ability to insert as many bookmarks as desired.

AudioPlus® has remained concurrent with distribution of so-called “Classic Cassettes” – digital sound files delivered on four-track audiotape cassettes. As this format has become all but obsolete in the current user arena, RFB&D is planning to transfer production of audio files in the DAISY format on CD. Classic Cassettes will become a thing of the past within the next 18 months; thus “bye bye” to the “beeptone” navigation system that has been the norm for more than 30 years.

Session C: Accessible Web Pages: Principles, Practice, and the Bottom Line

Ken Petri, Director, Web Accessibility Center, The Ohio State University
Accessibility has moved into mainstream web design practice--and for good reasons. One of the keys in making web pages accessible is using the code intelligently to imbue web pages with structure and meaning. When we do this, we find that pages are not only more usable for people with disabilities but also become more usable generally and are more effectively indexed by search engines. In this session, we will note the shift from accessibility guidelines comprised of checkpoints toward guidelines that hinge on the application of broad usability principles. We will demonstrate some of the technologies used by people with disabilities to access web pages and show how code improvements and streamlined, flexible design practices make for better access by these technologies while contributing to more elegant and usable interfaces overall.

Session D: Empowering Faculty to Empower Students: Six Years of Lessons on Enhancing Instructional Access and Outcomes

Margo Izzo, Program Manager, Special Education & Transition Services, Alexa Murray, Project Coordinator, The Nisonger Center for Disabilities; Joe Wheaton, Associate Professor, Counselor Education, Rehabilitation Services & School Psychology; Kathryn Plank, Associate Director, Faculty & TA Development; L. Scott Lissner, ADA Coordinator, The Ohio State University
Over the past six years, Ohio State University in collaboration with local, regional, and national partners has conducted a climate assessment process on disability awareness, accommodation practices, and Universal Design for Learning strategies. In response to findings from the research, OSU and collaborators have developed multimedia materials to improve faculty and administrators’ ability to provide a quality education to all students, especially students with disabilities. Learn how these materials, including a customizable curriculum on accommodations and effective teaching, can enhance the content and delivery of instruction as well as improve the larger campus environment towards persons with disabilities.