8th Annual Conference

Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion, & Disability: Looking Back & Thinking Ahead, April 22 & 23, 2008

Sponsors for the 2008 Conference include:

  • Disability Studies Quarterly
  • Ohio ADA Coordinators’ Network
  • VSA Ohio
  • The Ohio State University
    • Office of Academic Affairs
    • ADA Coordinator’s Office
    • ASL Program
    • The Digital Union
    • Office of Disability Services
    • Disability Studies Program
    • Web Accessibility Center
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
8:45am–10:15am - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Employment Issues

Michelle Crew, Program Analyst, Cleveland Ohio Regional Office, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Session B: Can Students with Disabilities Actually Use Course Management Systems? Research on One System

Joe Wheaton, Associate Professor, Special Education, Physical Activity and Educational Services, College of Education, The Ohio State University; Ken Petri, Director, Web Accessibility, The Ohio State University

The accessibility of a popular course management system was examined by eight people with disabilities using audio, video, and key stoke recording. Research results, methods, and recommendations are presented.

Session C: Executive Function & College Attrition

Ben Mitchell, Assistant Professor & Director of Admissions, Landmark College

According to the Department of Education, only 54% of the students who go to College finish their degree within six years. For students with diagnosed learning difficulties it falls as low as 40%. This lecture looks at the issue of executive functioning as it relates to attrition in higher education. This presentation will highlight the work of Thomas Brown and Russell Barkley who question the notion of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in favor of an emphasis on difficulties with executive function. This presentation will define executive function and highlight specific challenges faced by students as they make the transition to higher education. The presentation will feature a 2007 joint survey by Landmark College and the Association of Higher Education and Disability tracking the experience of disabled students in higher education. Session participants should leave with a greater understanding of the significant barriers in higher education for students with executive functioning difficulties. Participants will get a clearer idea of the landscape of higher education support services, what is available, and the challenges that face students in their move from high school to college.

Session D: Becoming Unbound: Representing “Madness” in Visual Culture

Jennifer Eisenhauer, Assistant Professor, Art Education, College of Art & Design, The Ohio State University

This presentation explores representations of “madness” in contemporary popular culture, medical imagery, and art. In particular, this presentation will examine an important shift from the literal experience of being restrained within institutional contexts to a contemporary discourse of deinstitutionalization in which people labeled with mental health conditions experience social and cultural restraints that emerge through visual culture representations. This presentation will also include examples of artists’ self-representation and a discussion of the challenges they experience in disrupting the forms of restraint that emerge from dominant representations in visual culture.

10:30am–12:00pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Increasing Access and Achievement with Learning Communities

Kimberly Grieve, Director, TRiO Programs and Disability Services, Lourdes College; Deborah Schwarts, Director, Assessment and Retention, Lourdes College

In the fall of 2006, Lourdes College launched a learning community for low-income, first generation, or disabled under-prepared students. Led by the Director of TRiO Student Support Services and Disability Services, the learning community provided a resource-rich environment that promoted student learning and achievement for students who might not otherwise have had access to the college experience.

The learning community structure we will discuss included four linked classes and faculty collaboration. Taking classes together provided a natural peer network and academic support opportunities for the students. In addition, special activities and accommodations were planned to make sure the students received the assistance they needed to be successful in their classes. For example, the 18 (9/18 students were disabled) learning community students participated in a service learning project and reflection, read a common text, and attended special workshops and activities designed to enhance study and communication skills. Together with faculty members, they took part in the Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience (C.O.P.E.) program at the local Boy Scout camp designed to create trust, heighten self esteem, and foster effective problem-solving and decision-making skills.

During the presentation, we will report on assessments of student confidence and writing and reading abilities, focus group interviews, and faculty reports. All data collected indicated that the learning community successfully achieved its primary goal of enhancing social and academic integration among program participants. The average first semester GPA for the learning community students was 3.04, as compared to 2.60 for non-learning community students admitted in the same admissions category and placed into the same level of English. As a result of the director’s and other faculty members’ planning and efforts and the students’ commitment to their own academic goals and to each other, project participants had a much higher between semester retention rate than other students enrolled in similar classes as well as the freshman class in general. The first-to-second semester retention rate for learning community students was also higher than that for the group of comparable students: 88.9% as compared to 74.2%. Writing and reading skills also increased, as demonstrated by statistically significant (p<.05) increases in mean scores on the sentence skills and reading placement tests. In addition, learning community students reported a significant increase in their level of confidence in getting help from faculty and staff at the college and feeling comfortable communicating with faculty.

The presentation will highlight our conclusions about the benefits of participation in a learning community for students with disabilities. Student voices will be included to suggest how being part of a community helped them “be more confident,” “meet new friends and form study groups,” and, in general, have a wonderful first semester. The presentation will end with suggestions on adapting the learning community structure to increase access and achievement opportunities for students with disabilities. Expected outcomes for the presentation include: Identifying elements of learning communities that can enhance access and achievement for college students with disabilities; Making connections between learning community participation and students’ perceptions of their learning experiences; And applying research on the benefits of learning community participation to different learning environments.

Session B: A Screen Reading View of Vista

Nolan Crabb, Director of Assistive Technology, The Ohio State University

In 1990, the long-awaited Americans with Disabilities Act became law and Microsoft released Windows 3.0. The two events did not coincide in terms of the days of their release, and they were not related. But both had a profound impact on people with disabilities. The one event signified hope for progress on the employment, transportation, and public accommodation fronts, to name only a few. Screen reader users greeted the other event with much trepidation. Those who sought a degree of technological parity with nondisabled colleagues in the work force feared that increasingly graphical interfaces would result in fewer jobs for screen reader users and, to a lesser degree, those who required screen magnification.

Now, nearly 18 years after the passage of the ADA, Microsoft is just over a year into the life cycle of Vista, its latest operating system. Ironically enough, the angst and fear that accompanied the release of Windows 3.x in 1990 accompanies the ongoing spread of Microsoft Vista. But much has changed, and the fear and anxiety of 1990 is less warranted today.

This presentation seeks to allay some of the concerns that may exist regarding the use of Microsoft Vista by screen reader and screen magnification users. It begins with a brief description of some of the cosmetic and accessibility differences that exist between Vista and Windows XP. Next, it focuses on some of the security issues that can affect the operation of a screen reader if that screen reader isn’t properly installed. While doing a full-fledged installation of a screen reader is beyond the scope of the presentation, it will look at brief tips and tricks for installation that ensure smoother operation by the screen reader.

Next, we focus on the Vista start menu, which is both radically different from Windows XP and infinitely more accessible, once the user becomes accustomed to those differences. Audience members will learn how to use the search box in the Vista start menu to enhance accessibility and quickly navigate to and open programs.

The presentation also looks at quick keyboard-oriented ways of navigating the ribbon menus in Microsoft Office 2007. Although Office 2007 isn’t specifically tied to Microsoft Vista, the odds are excellent that individual computers that include Vista will likely include Microsoft Word 2007 if ordered as part of the purchase. The great groundswell among screen reader users is to purchase third-party add-ons that force Microsoft Word 2007 to behave like older versions. This presentation will take the approach that going backward is, in the long run, a bad idea. Students and professionals alike can successfully navigate and use both Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Vista while experiencing productivity gains.

Finally, the presentation will look at Microsoft Vista gadgets, tiny applications which are predominantly free and enhance a screen reader user’s ability to make the most of Internet resources. These gadgets run in a special sidebar unique to Vista and can provide such instant information as dictionary definitions, thesaurus entries, and on a more recreational level, instant sports scores or localized weather forecasts. The presentation will provide resources for downloading these free gadgets and some keyboard-oriented tips on how to use them.

This presentation will be structured such that beginners will be able to follow it and gain from it. It will, of course, be of value to intermediate users as well.

Session C: Opening Doors:  Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Janet Gora, Executive Director, Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati; Steve Sunderland, Professor of Peace and Educational Studies and Director, Peace Village, College of Education, Criminal Justice & Human Services, University of Cincinnati; Joe Link, Clinical Faculty, Department of Secondary and Special Education, Xavier University; Missy Jones, Associate Professor, College of Education and Human Services, Northern Kentucky University; Jennifer Radt, Director of Disability Services, University of Cincinnati/Clermont College; Mac Mattheis, Undergraduate Student, College of Education & Human Services, Northern Kentucky University; Jorden White, Undergraduate Student, College of Education & Human Services, Northern Kentucky University; Katie McKinley, Undergraduate Student, College of Education & Human Services, Northern Kentucky University

College campuses often reflect the communities of which they are a part, becoming increasingly more diverse and even more global as our contemporary world becomes smaller and more accessible across races, cultures and economic status. Yet, on most college campuses, just as in our society, there remains a population of individuals systematically denied access to the power and privileges afforded to others, including opportunities for higher education. Individuals who experience cognitive delays, who need support to learn, live, grow, and to be productive members of our communities, are often left out of the conversation around equality and accessibility for learning at the post-secondary level. Yet, research supports the need for greater access to college-level learning to improve the adult living outcomes of individuals with disabilities.

This conference presentation will focus on a collaborative effort across agencies and resources to change this reality of exclusion for young adults with disabilities in the Cincinnati / northern Kentucky region. Through the support of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati and the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, area colleges and universities are exploring ways to meaningfully include students with cognitive disabilities in campus life. The initial questions posed by this group, as well as the process in which group members engaged to begin and continue the conversation around inclusive practices will be shared, offering insight to others interested in this topic.

In addition, descriptions will be provided about the various programs being created to enhance the lives of individuals with cognitive disabilities on area campuses, including the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Clermont College, and Northern Kentucky University.

Session D: Digital Shakespeare: Twelfth Night in American Sign Language

Peter Novak, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of San Francisco

How do you translate the greatest English poet into the visual/manual language of ASL? And why do it to begin with? This presentation features both theoretical and practical issues of translating Shakespeare into American Sign Language.

12:45p.m-2:00pm - Lunch & Information Exchange with the 4th Annual ADA Award presented posthumously to Ken Campbell by ADA-OHIO
2:00pm–3:30pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: The ADA:  Then, Now, and into the Future

John Wodatch, Chief, Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

The presenter will discuss the development and passage of the ADA from an insider's perspective. He will also provide an update on where the ADA is now and where it might be headed in the future.

Session B: Web Accessibility 2.0

Beth Binkovitz, Marketing Manager of Kosada, Inc.

Of all the people who can benefit from the expanding features of the Internet, disabled people are among those with the most to gain. With proper planning and knowledge, web accessibility for disabled users shouldn't hamper usability for non-disabled users, doesn't need to preclude aesthetically pleasing design, and won't make a website significantly more difficult or expensive to create or maintain. Web accessibility is especially crucial for those with reading or vision impairments.

The presenter will dispel the myths that accessible websites are necessarily ugly and costly and will also explain the basics of current web development trends (the (in)famous “Web 2.0” phenomenon) and how popular innovations can be configured to be optimally accessible. She will also:

  • Explain the strengths and weaknesses of some common accessibility tools such as screen readers;
  • Analyze some popular content management and blogging systems for accessibility features to help viewers make informed decisions when they set up their own websites;
  • Give a brief overview of common website-building mistakes that hamper accessibility, with recommendations for better practices;
  • Discuss separate but not equal: a note on the exclusionary nature of the “click here for the accessible version of this app” phenomenon;
  • Inform attendees how to test a site/app/interface for accessibility --- tools and consultants.

This session will be useful to website programmers and designers, people who use the Internet to distribute information, website owners (not necessarily programmers or designers -- anyone with a business or organization that has a website), and anyone who works with the Internet at all. Anyone who has ever used the Internet is familiar enough to understand this presentation. While some parts of the content may be more useful to those with technical background, those without any technical background should be able to follow the presentation fairly easily.

3:45pm–5:15pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Current Trends in College Compliance

L. Scott Lissner, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator, The Ohio State University

Session B: Quality Indicators in Assistive Technology for Adults

Janet Peters, Project Coordinator, DBTAC Great Lakes ADA Center, University of Illinois Chicago

In the fall of 2007, Great Lakes ADA Center began a project of developing Quality Indicators in Assistive Technology (QIAT) for Adults. This session will be a lecture/discussion on the process, progress, and a call for participation in implementation of QIAT for adults.

It is not an exaggeration to claim assistive technology has greatly improved the lives of individuals with disabilities. Access to schools, services, programs, activities, jobs, and other opportunities for some individuals with disabilities would be difficult if not impossible without the use of assistive technology.

The 1997 amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) recognized the importance of assistive technology for students with disabilities by requiring, for the first time, that assistive technology devices and services be considered in the development of every child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). 

A nationwide grassroots consortium that includes hundreds of individuals developed the Quality Indicators in Assistive Technology to help school districts as they strive to develop and provide quality assistive technology services aligned to federal, state, and local mandates. 

QIAT is a set of tools to guide in the improvement of assistive technology services in K-12 environments in order to improve results for students with disabilities. Specifically, QIAT is designed to assure quality of services, increase consistency of services, and to support implementation Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and other legal mandates. QIAT includes quality indicators, intent statements, and common errors for eight areas important to the development and delivery of assistive technology services. 

The QIAT has provided research-based descriptors of quality assistive technology services in school settings, but there are no such descriptors for others, such as infants, preschoolers, post school adults and elders. The Great Lakes ADA Center, in collaboration with the Southwest ADA Center, is adapting the QIAT to be useful across the life spectrum, including vocational rehabilitation and other employment services for adults.

The DBTAC: Great Lakes ADA Center is one of ten national Centers established in 1991 after the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As of 2001, the Center created an Accessible Technology Initiative to provide assistance, education, training, referrals, and materials to business, government, and schools. As a result of these efforts the Center’s expertise is sought by public and private entities including some of the federal agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ).

Session C: An Historical Comparison of Students with Disabilities Including Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Disciplines in Higher Education Past, Present, and Future

Leigh Bookwalter, Research Associate, Special Education and Transition Services, The Nisonger Center for Disabilities, The Ohio State University; Wayne Cocchi, Director Disability Services, Columbus State Community College; Margo Izzo, PhD, Program Manager, Special Education and Transition Services, The Nisonger Center for Disabilities, The Ohio State University; L. Scott Lissner, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator, The Ohio State University; Michele Wheatly, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, Professor of Biological Sciences, Wright State University

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have facilitated a significant demographic trend: more students with disabilities are attending college than ever before. Even though progress has been made by postsecondary institutions to include SWD in the academic, social and political facets of higher education, these students remain a misunderstood and overlooked minority. Over the past year a group of faculty and staff from The Ohio State University, Columbus State Community College, and Wright State University have been collaborating together through a grant from the Ohio Learning Network (OLN) to look at designing a regional alliance for persons with disabilities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. While industry jobs traditionally requiring only a high school diploma decrease, the need for and dependency on STEM careers is growing. If students with disabilities are not provided access to education or training in STEM areas they will simply be largely excluded from quality employment following their high school years. Furthermore, we will all then lose from the absence of their important perspectives, skills, experiences, knowledge, and abilities in our colleges and workforce. This presentation will look at past, present, and future initiatives to increase the number of students with disabilities in higher education specifically in STEM areas.

Session D: From Civil Rights to Human Rights: A Documentary Perspective

Marian Lupo, JD, PhD, Disability Studies, The Ohio State University; Wendy Chrisman, Doctoral Student, Disability Studies, The Ohio State University; Michael Sasso, Doctoral Student, Disability Studies, The Ohio State University, Writing Center Director, The Ohio State University at Mansfield

This hybrid presentation, part panel and part discussion, will use documentaries as a window on past and present representations of disability.  Through these windows, we hope to engage the audience in thinking about the future of disability rights and representations. The presenters will examine samples of past and current documentaries to examine differences in the treatment of the person, the filming techniques, and the ethical questions raised, with a focus on mental health documentaries, Ohio voting rights documentaries, and YouTube documentaries. The audience will then be engaged in a discussion on how representations of disability in the future can help us move from a rights-based, civil rights model to a more inclusive and empowering human rights model.

4:30pm–7:00pm - Reception and Student Poster Presentation
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
8:45am–10:15am - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Two 45-Minute Presentations
1) Learning from History

Sue L. Curtis, Quality Assurance/Family Support Manager, Montgomery Developmental Center; Carolyn Akakpo, Qualified Mental Retardation Professional, Montgomery Developmental Center

Patrick Henry said, “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; the lamp of experience. I know no way to judge the future but by the past.” We can judge our predecessors for the ways in which people living in public institutions were, and were not, included in the community over our 150 year existence. In looking back at the social mores, medical practices, and financial infrastructure that created and supported the public institution since it’s inception in Ohio, we can see the changes in the treatment of the people who lived in those institutions.

Using a pictorial review, the various ways in which people with disabilities were included, and excluded, from participation in the global community from the 1850’s through the present will be discussed. The philosophies and theories in practice over the years will be reviewed to highlight what was intended, and how those intentions were realized in outcomes. The presentation will also illustrate how those philosophies, and outcomes, changed over the decades.

The current philosophy and practice in state-operated centers in Ohio is one in which full participation in the community is expected, as is equality of opportunity in all areas of life. The presenters will discuss the status of current “institutions” in regards to both the philosophy of inclusion and how that translates into outcomes, again using pictures to illustrate. While some pictures are graphically disturbing, it is crucial to include them to insure an understanding of how and why philosophy and reality diverged. It is expected that participants will obtain a better understanding of the historical philosophical roots of residential institutions, how these changed over the years, and the present structure and belief system that is in place.

2) Inclusion: Good for Individuals with Disabilities, Good for Businesses

Carmen Shelton, MSW, LSW

The content of this discussion will focus on issues regarding the inclusion of individuals with disabilities within the workplace. Most individuals with disabilities desire to be included in and contribute to their communities. One way to accomplish this goal, is to educate employers and businesses about the benefits of employing individuals with disabilities. Since the passage of the ADA in 1990, there are still seventy percent of individuals with disabilities that are unemployed, and most of those individuals desire to work. This discussion will educate businesses and employers on the benefits of inclusion of individuals with disabilities and steps that can be taken toward inclusion in the workplace. 

Best practices of a business that has a history of hiring people with disabilities and establishing a diverse workforce will be highlighted. Accor North America has been recognized for employing individuals with disabilities and has partnered with businesses and other agencies to ensure individuals with disabilities have the potential to reach optimal performance outcomes. As a result of hiring people with disabilities, businesses and employers contribute to the inclusion of people with disabilities, giving them the opportunity for economic self-sufficiency and independence that so many people with disabilities desire.

Session B: The ATPC - A State-Of-The-Art Braille and Electronic Textbook Production Center for Students with Print-Related Disabilities

Mike Bastine, Director, Alternate Text Production Center (ATPC), A California Community College Chancellor’s Program

The ATPC Director will present the Center’s capabilities to fulfill alternative text requests to support students with print related disabilities. The audience will learn how to save their learning institution time and money in providing alternative text support to their students. The presentation will provide insight to Alternate Text Production Center’s (ATPC) operational infrastructure, products and services. It will highlight how this Center’s program is at the forefront of alternative text production to provide national file formats.

This unique program, provided to all of the CA Community Colleges, will focus on ATPC’s ability to “level the playing field” with accessible learning materials for student’s with Visual Impairment and/or Learning Disabilities. It also supports meaningful Braille transcriber training to selected prison populations as a viable vocational career. Literally millions of alternative text pages, hundreds of publishers, and an international product support team have made this production center both distinctive and essential for students with print disabilities.

ATPC is the first publicly funded, system-wide resource dedicated to serving the alternate media needs of the largest post-secondary educational system in the world – The California Community Colleges (CCC). The CCC Chancellor’s Office has also permitted the Center to provide Braille products to Non-CCC institutions on a “Fee for Service” basis. In this way, the Center can produce a valuable catalog and serve as a production resource for all alternate media offices within education.

Since their inception in 2002, the ATPC has processed over 25,000 requests and millions of E-text and Braille pages for students with learning disabilities. The Center has evolved into a highly productive service comprised of a workforce of international transcribers certified by the Library of Congress. It also incorporates the talents of volunteers from across the country, viable state prison partnerships, and a variety of state-of-the-art technologies. This is all managed, day to day, by a dedicated team of highly skilled professionals that have been with the Center since its inception.

Session C: Two 45-Minute Presentations
1) Learning Disabilities: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow - Finding One’s Way in a Post-secondary World

Katrina Buchanan, MA, Learning Consultant, Muskingum College; Carol Ann Smith, BS, Learning Consultant, Muskingum College

Currently, more and more students with learning disabilities are choosing to further their educational experience at the post-secondary level. This next step in the students’ and parents’ lives does not need to be one of trepidation. The right information can help ensure a smooth transition to a post-secondary option.

Many times historical perspectives need to be reviewed to understand, assess and project the future of any significant occurrence. Learning disabilities are not any different. Using past points of reference to look back may be required before thinking ahead.

The focus of this presentation will be an historical approach to learning disabilities, how students/parents can assess services at the post-secondary level, what are the ADA legally mandated services, and how comprehensive support service programs at the post-secondary level can assist the student’s collegiate success. The importance of inclusive of the student in the middle school and high school years within the regular curriculum, while not always reflective in a grade success, is a must for those seeking post-secondary education. Additionally, a discussion of selected learning disabilities and the strategies that need to be ingrained in the student to create one who is empowered in the educational system at the post-secondary level will be addressed. Lastly, the presentation will look ahead at the field of post-secondary education. Where is it now, where is it going, and what does the future hold from an educator’s perspective in light of the Supreme Court decision of October 10, 2007.

The objectives of this session are:

  • To emphasize the importance of inclusion for students in middle school and high school for a student’s success at the post-secondary level;
  • To understand and advocate for access to the services available at the post-secondary level;
  • To demonstrate the benefits/strategies of a comprehensive support program for students with specific learning disabilities seeking a post-secondary option.
2) Current Application of Independent Living & Deinstitutionalization Ideals: Interactions between People with Disabilities and Their Support Providers

Christine Kelly, PhD Candidate in Canadian Studies, Carleton University

Looking back on the development of the Disability Movement in North America, both Independent Living Philosophy and deinstitutionalization have played integral roles in shaping the politics of the movement. This presentation will review the current application of these core values as demonstrated through support provision relationships in two specific organizations. 

Support provision is a personal and important element of daily life for many people with disabilities. Across academic disciplines, there are a number of different theoretical approaches to support provision which debate how assistants and consumers should relate. The presentation will begin with a brief review of the key approaches to support provision including Independent Living, holistic nursing, feminist ethic of care, and the L’Arche model. 

The second part of the presentation will focus on research findings from a small study which took place in winter 2007. The study examines the ways in which Independent Living Philosophy and general principles of deinstitutionalization shape interactions between people with disabilities and support providers at two organizations: a L’Arche community for people with intellectual disabilities and a Independent Living Resource Centre. The research was conducted in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, a city which is often cited as the birthplace of the Canadian Disability Movement. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and a focus group. The participants were also asked to respond to scenarios to give a more fully rounded depiction of their understanding and application of Independent Living philosophy and deinstitutionalization, as embodied in L’Arche philosophy. Participants included administrators at each location, people with disabilities using the services, and support providers.

The project is framed with the social model of disability and the work of Titchkosky (2003). The findings demonstrate that both organizations have strongly articulated philosophies that the participants are familiar with. The L’Arche model in Winnipeg creates an environment that determines certain ways of interacting. In general, L’Arche as an organization has branched off from deinstitutionalization significantly enough to represent a unique approach to support provision which was largely unchallenged by the Winnipeg participants. The Independent Living participants on the other hand, amend the philosophy on a more individual basis to reflect the daily reality of support provision.

The presentation will conclude with speculations on what the evolution of these values could mean for the larger Disability Movement today and in the future.

Session D: Eugenics, Euthanasia & People with Disabilities: The Past, The Present, The Future?

Thomas Link, Advisor, Student Support Services (SSS), Students Advocating Potential Ability (SAPA), University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

This presentation has been developed over several years and I continue to attempt to keep it up-to-date with current events. I have compiled the information from a wide variety of resources, primarily from web sites. The purpose of the presentation is to demonstrate how current attitudes about people with disabilities have been formed through centuries of discrimination. My presentation starts with Aristotle declaring that those “born deaf become senseless and incapable of reason.” He goes on to say that “no deformed child shall live” and advocated for a law allowing “exposure” of infants which meant leaving them outside, vulnerable to weather and predators. The presentation will show how many very well respected and educated men (and they were all Caucasian males) throughout history, right up to the present, advocated for segregation, sterilization, and killing of individuals with disabilities.

Current attitudes are based on a long standing foundation so will not be changed quickly or easily. The presenter’s opinion is that due to a variety of facts, especially the ever increasing high cost of medical care, some ethicists, such as Peter Singer, will continue to advocate for infanticide of people with severe disabilities. People like Jerry Lewis will continue to beat the drum of pity in order to raise money. Movies like Million Dollar Baby will continue to teach us that we are doing a person with a severe disability a favor by killing them and putting them out of their misery. Parents will continue to force their children to undergo incredibly invasive surgeries so they can’t physically develop into adults. This presentation addresses the most fundamental right. Mike Ervin described this issue in an article about Harriet McBryde Johnson in New Mobility Magazine as “the seminal disability issue--the right to exist.”

My presentation concludes with examples of heroes who are fighting these trends. People like Ed Roberts, Justin Dart, Harriet McBryde Johnson, Diane Coleman, Judy Heumann, and others are discussed. I also mention that several unsung heroes participate in demonstrations fighting these negative attitudes.

The desired outcome of this presentation is to put things in perspective by demonstrating the long history of negative attitudes towards people with disabilities, to discuss current events and to speculate about the future. It is hoped that audience members leave the session thinking about how this long history impacts their own attitude towards people with disabilities and what each person can do to change those attitudes. Henry Holden, award winning advocate for people with disabilities in the media, says “attitudes are the real disability.” Based on the long history presented, the message is that it will take a lot of hard work to change those attitudes and not much else will change until attitudes are changed.

10:30am–12:00pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: The State of the Law: Comparing and Contrasting State and Federal Laws with Respect to the ADA

Brandi Klein, External Affairs Liaison, Office of Public Affairs & Civic Engagement, Ohio Civil Rights Commission; Matt Miko, Chief Legal Counsel, Ohio Civil Rights Commission

Session B: Accessible Math Technology: A Status Update

Steve Noble, Director of Accessibility Policy, Design Science, Inc.

Discussion will center on technology issues surrounding accessible math, the status of current research, and policy and legislative issues.

Session C: Two 45 Minute-Presentations

1) Time Flies: Don’t Let Life Hold You Back

Tommy Chavana

The presenter has been a C-4, C-5 quadriplegic since a car accident at age 16. He will discuss his accident and describe the challenges that have arisen due to it. The biggest fear he has overcome is of accomplishing what he thought was impossible. After graduating college with a degree in business, he became a motivational speaker as a means to educate non-believers that someone can do whatever he/she puts his/her mind to with the help from others.

One of the presenter’s dreams before the accident was to go skydiving. With the use of assistive technology, he was able to search web pages to identify a skydiving location that would accept the challenge of a quadriplegic skydiving. On July 8, 2007, he went tandem skydiving and has described it as one of the most amazing experiences in his life. The presenter will discuss his experiences and the ability to accomplish dreams even after what may seem to be a tragic, life-changing event.

2) Digging Growth

Lyn Geiser, Master Gardner; Judy Arnett, Master Gardner

The presenters will demonstrate how people who are disabled and either gave up gardening or have never gardened can enjoy this past time. Participants will learn how adapting a raised bed or container allows them the opportunity to resume or start an activity that would demonstrate their competence and provide personal joy and creation, as well contribute to their environment. The ability to garden provides people with disabilities the opportunity to get together with others with the same interests, reenter society, develop skills, and begin or foster their adaptation to the present.

Just as the individual components of gardening (soil, amendments, nutrients, a container, plants, and seeds) do not reach their full potential until they are combined and nurtured, people with disabilities cannot reach their potential and continue to prosper and "grow" until they have the opportunities to fully develop their valuable abilities.

Session D: The Sylvia Geoghegan Presidential Employ Ability Right Now (EARN) Program

Stephanie Patterson, Assistant to the ADA Coordinator, Disability Support Services, Stony Brook University

The Sylvia Geoghegan Presidential Employ Ability Right Now (EARN) Program has increased the employment of people with disabilities at Stony Brook University (SBU) on Long Island in New York. By providing financial incentives and support services to hiring administrators, the EARN program matches campus job opportunities with qualified candidates with disabilities. EARN was developed through close collaboration between SBU and the New York State Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID). SBU and VESID share the funding of the new employees' first three months salary: VESID provides up to 160hours (approx. one month) and the University President provides up to 320 hours (approx. two months) of salary support. A win-win initiative, EARN offers managers the chance to work with qualified people from an underutilized talent pool.

This presentation will chronicle the history of the program, explain in detail the steps necessary for initiation and maintenance, review the team approach and identify specific roles of involved departments/professionals. Actual cases will be used to illustrate models of success. In addition, still existing barriers will be discussed.

2:00pm–3:30pm - Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Job Coaching Individuals Diagnosed with Autism: Strategies for Employment Skill Development in a Community-Based Environment

Jaina Blackford, BA, Coordinating Teacher, Secondary Education Program II, The Lerner School for Autism, The Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism; Rebecca Embacher, Coordinating Teacher, Secondary Education Classroom, Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism

This presentation will outline the processes involved with establishing and assessing a vocational training program for individuals with autism spectrum disorder within center-based school programs. 

The Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism has developed a Multi-Tiered Secondary Education program to find appropriate, gainful employment for its vocationally aged students in the Community Employment sector. Within the CCCA tier system, approximately 22 students between the ages of 14 – 22 years of age receive daily instruction from 2 coordinating teachers and 10 job coaches. The tier system program includes:

  • Teaching and developing vocational skills to prepare individuals for job interviews, job skill safety, socialization within the workplace, and job related responsibilities through the use of role play and video modeling, appropriate hygiene instruction, domestics skill development, activities of daily living training, as well as appropriate use of break time and leisure skills development;
  • Contracted Employment Center with a job coach to student ratio of four to one within the school setting;
  • Job training experience with a job coach within a protected environment consisting of Environmental Services, Materials Management, Food and Beverage Services, Hospitality and Administration Departments;
  • Enclave supported employment orientation training within the community setting;
  • Community Based Career Exploration with a job coach to student ratio of three to one with students who rotate through a variety of departments, working along side co-workers and supervisor(s) within a single worksite environment;
  • Competitive Employment, which allows the students the opportunity to earn competitive wages in a community-based environment with only minimal support of a job coach.
Session B: Free Assistive Technology Software: Yes, Free!

Joe Wheaton, Associate Professor, Special Education, Physical Activity and Educational Services, College of Education, The Ohio State University; Margo Izzo, Program Manager, Special Education & Transition Services, Nisonger Center for Disabilities, The Ohio State University; Ken Petri, Director, Web Accessibility Center, The Ohio State University

Open source assistive technology applications provide a practical alternative to more expensive commercial products. These free applications will be demonstrated along with accessibility add-ons for the Firefox browser. The Ohio State University is putting these applications on U3 flash drives to create assistive technology usable on any PC.

Session C: Public Guardianship in Ohio: Limits of Surrogate Decision Making in Major Life Areas

Mike Kirkman, JD, Executive Director, Ohio Legal Rights Service

The presentation will focus on three key areas: First, the growth of a de facto public guardianship system in Ohio; second, the lack of any meaningful regulation of those services; and the major areas, including community integration, and medical decision-making, where surrogate decision-making can interfere with otherwise well-established rights.

Session D: Perceptions of Disability: Two 45-Minute Presentations

1) Stigma, Disability, and Technology Access in Schools
Jason Ellis, Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, Schar College of Education, Ashland University; Carla Abreu-Ellis, Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, Schar College of Education, Ashland University

This presentation will provide an overview of the presenters’ qualitative research whose focus was on teachers’ perceptions of stigma related to disability and how this served to limit access to educational resources and opportunities in using technology in schools. The findings of this study will be discussed through narrative examples of the impact of socially constructed stigma on achievement and access. Lines of sight will be drawn to inbuilt opportunities within curriculum, instruction, and leadership that allow schools to provide positive support to the emotional well-being of young people with special educational needs.

The presentation will provide information on the stigma surrounding special education that serves to limit access to educational opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Hiebert, Wong, & Hunter (1983) observed that teachers had negative perceptions of, and low academic expectations for, adolescents with learning disabilities and that parents of adolescents with learning disabilities had lower academic expectations for their children than did parents of normally achieving adolescents for theirs. This effect may stem from a larger stigma associated with disability in general. Baker and Donnelly (2001) noted, “such perceptions result in barriers that divide the ‘worlds’ of children with and without disability” (p. 72). Stigma also has a large effect on self-perception and academic performance. Children with less negative perceptions of their learning disabilities have been found to have higher achievement scores, perceive themselves more positively in terms of intellectual and behavioral competence, and feel more socially accepted (Rothman & Cosden, 1995).

Craig, Craig, Withers, Hatton & Limb (2002) wrote that “it is clear that stigma has a major impact on people with disabilities and that service-providers [such as teachers] . . . can play a role in maintaining stigma either by collusion or denial” (p. 63). Carpenter and Morgan (2003) have suggested that “There are inbuilt opportunities within curriculum that allow schools to give positive support to the emotional well-being of young people with special educational needs” (p. 203) and further that “these particularly rest in [the areas of] personal, social and health education and citizenship” (p. 203). Eisenman and Tascione (2002) discussed the role of instructors in mediating a discussion on disability issues and social stigma in finding that “the mediating influence of positive adult voices and concerns about social stigma were evident in students responses, which prompted us to question teachers’ and families’ responsibilities for engaging young people in dialogue about special education and disability” (p. 35). The stigma of individuals with disabilities being perceived as less intelligent (Scherer, 2004), without academic prowess, and incapable of having success in life (Hiebert, Wong, & Hunter, 1983) may lead non-special education service personnel and administration to restrict access to technology support materials and infrastructure.

2) Access to Higher Education: The Narratives of Six Students with Learning Disabilities

Carla Abreu-Ellis, Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, Schar College of Education, Ashland University; Jason Ellis, Assistant Professor,  Curriculum and Instruction, Schar College of Education, Ashland University

There are indications that the challenge of meeting the educational needs of post-secondary students with disabilities is increasing. It is expected that the number of students with disabilities attending post-secondary institutions will continue to grow in the next decade. The growth of students with disabilities in general, and learning disabilities in particular, is a positive movement in extending social justice in higher education. Still, it must be recognized that accommodating students with disabilities requires a more sophisticated perspective toward how such students can best learn and what implications such practices have for providing necessary services. The purpose of this study was to identify the challenges and successes students with learning disabilities face in higher education.

This research used qualitative methods grounded within a constructivist paradigm to analyze the phenomenon of the experiences of students with learning disabilities in post-secondary education. In order to seek the essence of the experiences of students with learning disabilities in higher education, six university students were recruited to participate in this study. A face-to-face, individual in-depth interview was the main mode of data collection and individual interviews took approximately 50-90 minutes in duration.

Findings indicated that despite the essential fact that each of the participants in this study achieved a level of success in higher education, the academic journey for the students in this study was sometimes unpleasant, difficult, overwhelming, and challenging. While students were identified with a learning disability at different times during their academic careers, they all discussed their struggles to understand it and how they learned to accept their disabilities. They discussed issues of stigmatization by faculty, peers, and family members which acted as obstacles during their post-secondary experiences. The main elements that assisted in the academic success of students with learning disabilities in higher education who participated in this study were their personalities and their determination to succeed.

3:45pm–5:15pm - Concurrent Sessions

Session B: Employment & Disclosure…To Disclose or Not To Disclose? What You Need To Know as a Service Provider

Christopher Paveloi, MEd, Director, Career Services, Kent State University Stark Campus; Kathleen Kulick, MEd, Disability Counselor, Kent State University Stark Campus, and Regional Coordinator for Disability Services, Kent State University

The focus of this presentation brings together the disciplines of career services and disability services within the environment of higher education, and how they can address preparation for the interviewing process. The question that they pose...and intend to answer is…are students with disabilities putting their best foot forward when interviewing for a job? Individuals with disabilities, whether their disability is visible or hidden, need to think, research, and prepare for the questions that Human Resource Professionals will ask in the interviewing process.

Students with disabilities need to understand a few major tenets: (1) do not go to the interview unless you possess the essential requirements of the position; (2) understanding that if you have a visible disability, disclosure has already begun the minute you enter the interview; if you have a hidden disability you need to decide if/when you will disclose; and finally, deciding there is no reason to disclose.

We intend to give real life examples of each option and will explain the pros and cons of each. Issues of geography (urban or rural), the size of the company or business (is it small family business, or a larger more expansive, world-wide operation), the type of work you are interviewing for, and the questions that Human Resource personnel tend to ask applicants.

We will end the presentation with practical advice for career service providers at institutions of higher learning and the need for them to add a layer of information when assisting individuals with disabilities seeking employment.

Session D: An Excess of Access: Philosophical & Psychological Implications of Universal Design

Ryan Parrey, PhD Student in Disability Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago; Kelly Munger, PhD Student in Disability Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

Universal Design as a model of accessibility is a wonderfully ambitious idea. Nevertheless, it remains, and must remain, an ever approachable yet never reached possibility. Framing the motives of Universal Design through the philosophical notion of hospitality (Derrida 2000; Levinas, 1964; Raffoul, 1998), this presentation will consider the interplay between public space and subject positions. In this regard, we will discuss lived experiences of persons with disabilities as they navigate and negotiate these spaces, and their place in society. The presenters will argue that there is a danger that accessible spaces and places represent: Namely, that universal access runs the risk of being exclusionary at the very moment it works to include.

Accessible spaces and technologies, even the most mundane, provide access to opportunities. However, often in doing so they delimit inclusion in the overall community. For example, technologies that make public transit accessible also frequently serve to distinguish the disabled population as being different. Ramps, lifts, and "special" seating on busses all signal (often with actual sirens) that a person with a disability is coming on board and room needs to be made for her/him. Everyone else on the bus is free to sit where they please while the person in a wheelchair or scooter has no choice but to occupy the assigned space provided. This space, therefore, is a space of exclusion or at least difference.

What are the psychological implications of this exclusion/difference? Do disabled people who use or occupy these spaces feel their difference in damaging ways? To what extent do these attempts at increasing disabled people’s access to the mainstream actually exacerbate their experiences of difference, especially as they limit opportunities for connection with one another (i.e., through specialized schools, transportation systems, etc.)?

The presenters will discuss the lived realities of these (in)exclusionary spaces as well as their impact on people’s interactions and experiences. Some potential solutions to this problem will be offered, as well as a discussion of the topic. In this discussion we hope to engage with educators, advocates, students, and anyone interested in accessibility from any background or with any degree of familiarity.