Shortly after Robert “Robbie” Robinson became the University’s chief of public safety in October 1993, he had a “chance encounter” with James K. Duah-Agyeman, who was then the director of the Center for Academic Achievement in the Division of Student…
Training Sessions to Focus on Disability Access and Accommodations
Two training sessions on Syracuse University policies and procedures relating to disability access and accommodations have been scheduled for Nov. 1 at the Sheraton Hotel, Regency C, and Nov. 2 in Room 114 Bird Library. The sessions, which are open to the entire campus, will take place 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1, and 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2. Faculty, staff, and administrative leaders, particularly those who deal directly with requests for academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids made by students with disabilities, are urged to attend one of the two sessions, but all members of the campus community are welcome.
The sessions, titled “Disability Access: Roles, Responsibilities and Expectations,” will be led by Scott Lissner, an international expert on disability access and accommodations in higher education and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator for The Ohio State University. Lissner is chair of the Association on Higher Education and Disability’s Public Policy Committee and a past president of that organization. He also serves on the board of directors for the Center for Disability Empowerment and on the Advisory Committee for the National Center for College Students with Disabilities.
“Syracuse University is dedicated to ensuring that all qualified individuals with disabilities receive the academic adjustments and the aids they need, and to which they are entitled,” says Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly. “This training is critically important for deans, faculty and for all those who deal directly with such student requests so that we not only remain in compliance with the law but also that we consistently demonstrate and act on our commitment to academic access for all. This is a great opportunity to receive training from a leader in the field, and I urge all interested members of the campus community to take advantage of it, especially those who have some responsibility for these requests.”
The campus sessions will focus on how Syracuse University has organized to meet its institutional obligations under the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The sessions will open with the question “Who is covered?” and go on to address the University’s process for reviewing and responding to requests for academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids. The presentation will highlight the following:
- Access infrastructure versus accommodation
- Disclosure and requesting accommodations
- Determining reasonable accommodations and their boundaries
- Dispute resolution
The training sessions and Lissner’s visit to campus coincide with the University’s first Disability Forum: Building a Culture of Implicit Inclusion, co-sponsored by the Office of Disability Services, the Office of the Provost and the Beyond Compliance Coordinating Committee. The forum, which includes additional sessions throughout the day on Wednesday, November 2, was initiated to further a culture of access and inclusion on campus, highlight University-wide efforts aimed at systemic change, provide a forum for students with disabilities to share their experiences and develop ideas and practices to better serve students and facilitate positive change.
In addition to the two training sessions, the forum schedule for Nov. 2 includes:
- 9 a.m.-10:45 a.m.—Inventory of Campus-wide Initiatives
- 2-4 p.m.—Exploring Access Challenges from Students’ Perspectives
- 4:15-5:45 p.m.—Facilitated Conversation: A Model for Moving Forward
Sessions on Nov. 2 are in 114 Bird Library and are open to all.
For more information on the training sessions or on the forum, contact the Office of Disability Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on disability services at Syracuse University, go to the office website at disabilityservices.syr.edu.