Demonstration Projects to Ensure Students With Disabilities Receive a Quality Higher Education

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FY 2002 Project Abstracts

California State University - Northridge -- 3R's: Roles, Responsibilities and Rights for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Numerous federal projects have attempted to train postsecondary faculty and administrators to improve services for deaf and hard of hearing students in mainstream institutions. These projects often encounter significant obstacles: limited time for in-service training, budget constraints and resistance to modifying the pedagogical comfort zone. Busy educators do not have the luxury to invest time in learning how to work with deaf and hard of hearing students until they actually encounter the situation. Then, they may allocate significant time learning how to work with a deaf student who is only in the classroom for a semester or two. Many educators do not perceive this as a cost-efficient paradigm. Instead, we propose to train students to become trainers for faculty and administrators in postsecondary mainstream institutions.

The target population of 3R is faculty and administrators at five mainstream campuses with critical masses of students who are deaf and hard of hearing. 3R will train a core group of students at three major universities: CSUN, Galludet and the National Technical Institute of the Deaf. These students will help create a body of empowerment materials and co-present them with project staff to faculty and administrators at the five test sites, as well as co-train students at these sites. 3R will expand upon the work of a previous grant (STEP-Students Toward Empowerment Program) supplemented by current students input. The collected information will be used to develop a variety of training activities and materials for staff development.

"3Rs for Deaf Students: Roles, Responsibilities and Rights" has three guiding project goals: Goal One: is to create instructional materials and resources to empower students who are deaf and hard of hearing that will be used to train the faculty and administrators who serve them. Goal 2: is to increase knowledge and self-advocacy skills of students who are deaf and hard of hearing so they can become active partners in training postsecondary faculty and administrators. Goal 3: is to disseminate nationally well documented, replicable materials and products that will empower postsecondary education students and enable them to assist faculty and administrators in providing effective education and accommodation.

Among the project objectives, highlighted activities are to: (1) establish a 3R Web site with online interactive training resources, related events, links and an online chat room, (2) create 20 training modules (3) develop a CD-ROM, (4) develop and publish and disseminate 50 copies of a Best Practices Manual, (5) conduct two training sessions for 15 students from three partner sites, (6) conduct in-service training at each of the test sites using students from partner sites, to a total of 50 faculty/administrators and 35 students, (7) establish and monitor email requests for technical assistance, (8) conduct post-participation surveys and summative outcome analysis, (9) present at state and national conferences, and (10) disseminate 100 copies of training packages to postsecondary students.

3R will teach students their roles, rights and responsibilities, realistic ways of fostering sensitivity awareness in a bureaucratic environment, and creative uses of technology and resources so they can train educators. Anticipated outcomes to be achieved in the three-year project include: (1) to develop multimedia materials to be used by 300 students (2) to prepare 50 students to be effective trainers for postsecondary faculty and administrators (3) to increase capacities of 100 faculty and administrators through direct technical assistance and support, and (4) to disseminate 300 pieces of materials and resources.

Expected impact of 3R includes 350 students who are trained to assume a leadership role in educating over 5,000 mainstream faculty and administrators over the course of the grant, as well as their peers and eventually employers. This approach has a farther-reaching impact than traditional faculty and administration training methods.

Project Director: Merri C. Pearson
Telephone Number: 818-677-2611
E-mail Address:


Central Maine Technical College - Professional Development for Faculty and Administrators to Change the Culture of a Comprehensive Two-Year College

This project will demonstrate the efficacy of an intensive professional development strategy in changing the culture of serving students with disabilities, particularly in a small, non-urban community college. This strategy has not been tried in the target institutions. If it is successful, it will serve as a model for other similar institutions, particularly those in Maine and Northern New England, where the traditional technical colleges are only recently making the transition into comprehensive community colleges. In the second year of the project, representatives of these institutions will be invited to a conference to learn about the model, and they will be invited to replicate it at their institutions with technical assistance provided by project staff and participants. In the third year of the project, a major national conference will be held to disseminate the findings of the project and to provide training and technical assistance to other institutions that wish to replicate the model.

The project has two activities: Teaching Methods and Strategies and Professional Development and Training Sessions. The first activity will take place in the first and second year of the project. It will involve selecting a cadre of 15 faculty members and administrators each year and training them in the issues and problems facing students with disabilities, and strategies for addressing these problems with the students. The participants will form an institutional Resource Team on Students with Disabilities. They will be prepared to discuss specific disabling conditions as well as to work with fellow employees to create a culture that is inclusive and supportive of all students, including those with disabilities. Because of the close relationship between CMTC and employers of graduates of its career and technical programs, the project is expected to have a community-wide effect.

The second activity will involve professional development and training conferences at the College in the second and third years of the project. The project results will be disseminated at conferences and assistance will be provided in replicating the CMTC approach to cultural change with regard to students with disabilities. To support this activity, the project director and project participants will be available throughout years 2 and 3 of the project to assist institutions as they attempt to implement the CMTC strategy.

Project Director: Carol Delisle
Telephone Number: 207-755-5277
E-mail Address:


Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

The program will work with faculty, staff and students to identify current or potential problems and issues that hinder the success of students with disabilities and work with faculty and students to develop solutions. The participation of program partners will contribute to the development of solutions by bringing a diversity of perspectives and experiences to the program. The partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) adds a unique component to the program. The proposed program will work closely with the CPS high schools to provide familiarity with the College, its programs and the support it can provide. This interaction will range from having College faculty co-teach high school courses to summer bridge programs that bring students to the College for academic enrichment courses between 12th grade and the freshmen year.

The program will develop a core of staff and faculty who are familiar with the needs and concerns of students with disabilities and can serve as a bridge between the student, faculty and the Disability Services office, creating an inclusive atmosphere throughout the College. It also extends the program to the College's Cooperative Education program and employers by providing training for Coop Advisors. This training will enable them to match the needs and abilities of students with disabilities with appropriate coop opportunities and serve as the bridge to employers to ensure that the workplace has appropriate accommodations. It will have the added benefit of identifying and supporting local employers who are open to offering employment to persons with disabilities.

The goal of this program is to increase the number of persons with disabilities who succeed in post secondary education. The program will have four areas of focus:

  1. Sustained and comprehensive professional development for a core group of staff and faculty that will provide them with the skills and knowledge to foster high expectations, build self-confidence, and develop an understanding of strengths and weaknesses of all students.
  2. A series of seminars/workshops for all appropriate staff/faculty with an emphasis on building a better understanding of the modes of assistance-procedural, contextual and physical aspects of the CSTCC environment that can be provided or modified in order to make the setting more accessible to individuals with disabilities and support their education.
  3. Training for students with disabilities to ensure full awareness of their rights and responsibilities, strategies for ensuring that their needs are met and they have a full understanding of the supports that are available to them at the College.
  4. A transition program between high school and College and between college and employment or articulation into a four-year program.

This will result in the following:

* The number of students with disabilities attending Cincinnati State will increase by 10percent each year.
* The number of students with disabilities completing a degree program will increase by 5percent each year.
* The number of students with disabilities who transition into a four-year university or employment will increase by 5percent each year.
* 20 staff members from five academic divisions, Disability Services, IT Support, and Student Support Services will receive in-depth training each year, including a summer institute.
* 500 staff and faculty from Cincinnati State, other colleges and universities, Cincinnati Public Schools and partner social service agencies will attend workshops and other training events each year.

Project Director: David Cover
Telephone Number: 513-569-1500
E-mail Address:


Eastern New Mexico University: Eastern Academic and Curriculum Excellence - Eastern ACE

Eastern ACE offers a comprehensive approach to ensuring students with disabilities who choose to attend small, rural universities receive a quality higher education program through (1) developing and implementing teaching strategies for working with students with disabilities, and (2) professional development and training at other campuses.

Eastern ACE will produce systems change at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) main campus and two auxiliary campuses through a peer teaching model and development of training materials that will teach faculty and administrators to meet the needs of students with disabilities.

Eastern New Mexico University is a small, rural, comprehensive university with a main campus and two auxiliary campuses. The main campus, ENMU-Portales, population is approximately 3500; the ENMU-Roswell population is approximately 5,000, and the ENMU-Ruidoso population is approximately 750.

This grant application is fashioned after the University of Arkansas PACE project, which has been successful on the campus of a large, urban, flagship, research university offering terminal degrees. Eastern's Office of Services for Students with Disabilities asked and received permission to attempt to adapt this project to a small, rural, regional university setting. The Pace project was developed around solid theoretical research findings, and we hypothesize that the PACE method can be successful adapted to settings that include significantly smaller universities and community colleges.

The objectives of the proposed ENMU ACE project to more effectively teach students with disabilities are:

  1. Implement professional development and training based on results of a campus wide assessment at the three campuses.
  2. Implement professional development and training at the three campuses, based on results of the needs assessment.
  3. Identify and disseminate an array of products to enhance professional development and training.
  4. Develop and disseminate a "model demonstration project replication guide" to implement a Resource Council on Disability at other small, rural institutions.

Project Director: Bernita Davis
Telephone Number: 505-562-2280
E-mail Address:


Georgia Tech Research Corporation

One of the most pressing needs facing students with disabilities is accessibility to distance education program in institutes of higher education (IHEs). As Internet-based distance education becomes increasingly prevalent in higher education, many students with disabilities are experiencing more and more barriers. All too often, however, faculty members at IHEs are unaware of the potential barriers to access for people with disabilities in distance learning courses, and are not familiar with the methods and resources needed to improve access to distance learning programs for all students. As a result, students have limited choices in course selection and quality for overall learning.

The Southeast Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC) is housed at the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA) at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). The Southeast DBTAC requests funding for a demonstration program to provide technical assistance and professional development for faculty and administrators in IHEs in order to provide them with the skills and supports that they need to create accessible distance learning courses for students with disabilities. The program will also be used to disseminate research and distance learning needs of students with disabilities.

The Southeast DBTAC, under a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education Grant Number, works to improve access to education-based information technology for students with disabilities across an eight-state region. In support of that goal, the Southeast DBTAC is currently partnering with a private company, IDET Communications, to develop the first three modules of an online training course designed to increase awareness about disability and accessibility issues in distance learning. This grant will complete seven additional modules and market the seminar to national audience.

The Southeast DBTAC will collaborate with Georgia Tech's Center for Distance Learning, Global Learning Center Learning Center, and Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, to use this seminar to train and faculty on issues relating to access to post secondary education for students with disabilities.

This program will also work with the Georgia Tech Office for Students with Disabilities To raise awareness about the need for accessible distance education on the Georgia Tech Campus for both faculty and students and to evaluate the accessibility of the courses identified. Additionally, the Southeast DBTAC will also work with the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online and Online Teaching (MERLOT) to develop voluntary standards and procedures for evaluating the accessibility of on-line courses and to include that information in the MERLOT database of online courses.

Project Director: Robert Todd
Telephone Number: 404-385-0636
E-mail Address:


Kent State University - The Access to Quality Higher Education Project

The Access to Quality Higher Education Project proposes to address two priorities:

1. TEACHING METHODS AND STRATEGIES - The development of innovative, effective and efficient teaching methods and strategies to provide faculty and administrators with the skills and supports necessary to teach students with disabilities.

2. SYNTHESIZING RESEARCH INFORMATION -S synthesizing research and other information related to the provision of postsecondary education services to students with disabilities.

The two main initiatives that comprise the Access to Quality Higher Education Project will address these two priorities and, in turn, improve the postsecondary educational experiences of students with disabilities at Kent State University (KSU) and throughout the nation.

The first initiative undertaken in the project will be a Professional Development Institute (PDI) attended in each summer of the project by 20 different administrators and faculty members from KSU. We will take aggressive measures to assure that members of traditionally underrepresented groups (e.g., people with disabilities and people of color) comprise a high proportion of participants in this training. In the annual week-long PDIs, training will focus on five related areas: (a) the nature and needs of the most common disabilities of students in higher education; (b) transition and adjustment needs of college students with disabilities; and (c) classroom accommodations and assistive technology.

Project Director: Phillip Rumrill
Telephone Number: 330-672-0600
E-mail Address:


Ohio State University: FAME - Faculty and Administration in Higher Education

The goals of President Bush's New Freedom Initiative include expanding educational opportunities, increasing access to assistive and universally-designed technologies, and integrating Americans with disabilities into the workforce. While the number of postsecondary students reporting a disability has increased dramatically during the past decade, many of these students fail to complete a quality education (Stodden & Dorwick, 2001; Stodden, Jones and Chang, 2002). Despite the emphasis of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, many administrators and faculty report that they do not understand their rights and responsibilities when coordinating accommodations for students with disabilities (Izzo & Lamb, 2002). It has been difficult for faculty to embrace academic accommodations and the principles of Universal Design for Learning so students with disabilities have access to critical college coursework.

In response to those needs, 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. Specifically, this project will accomplish the following goals:

To extend project impact and effectiveness by bringing project staff and collaborators together and then cross-training staff to expand their expertise and conduct climate assessment on issues related to disability, technology, Universal Design, and the academic teaching and learning environment.

Synthesize emerging and exemplary strategies, technologies, services and supports that improve the performance and retention rates of students with disabilities.

Pilot-test FAME to assist administrators and faculty in implementing program improvement efforts that are responsive to faculty needs and delivered through their preferred venues, whether it be on-line, in-person campus faculty training programs, state and national conferences.

Document and evaluate FAME though measures of growth in knowledge and skills of faculty and administrators and improved retention of students among pilot sites.

Disseminate effective teaching methods, strategies and FAME materials that improve the quality of education for students with disabilities through distance learning networks, regional conferences, and national partners.

This project represents a rich partnership of national organizations and diverse colleges and universities to develop, pilot and disseminate products and strategies that improve the quality of education for students with disabilities.

Project Director: Margo Izzo
Telephone Number: 614-292-9218
E-mail Address:


Renton Technical College (RTC)

The Renton Technical College (RTC) Disability Services Development Plan will provide an essential contribution to a major institutional effort to better serve higher education students with learning disabilities, and subsequently students with disabilities. The project is focused on removing an unintended economic barrier for other low-income students with learning disabilities (who are often women, people of color, people from rural areas, first-generation college attendees, and people with disabilities) by providing no-cost eligibility assessments. This assessment will allow them to become "qualified" people with disabilities and enable them to request legal accommodations as they transition into the workplace and on to higher education or advanced training opportunities provided outside of higher education.

This grant focuses on two of the three authorized activities: teaching methods and strategies, and professional development and training sessions. This grant will allow RTC faculty, staff and administrators to receive training and technical assistance about how to serve students with learning disabilities effectively and efficiently, since the assessment project will undoubtedly increase the number of "qualified" students with LD. The proposed trainings will allow all staff to learn about learning disabilities and how to use instructional methods and strategies that are research-proven as effective with higher education students with learning disabilities, such as strategy instruction, explicit instruction, accommodated learning through assistive technology, and trainings to mitigate the impact of learning disabilities on organizational and affective skills.

The grant will also allow Renton Technical College to disseminate its best practices to other community and technical colleges in Washington State, once the evaluator is satisfied that the practices to be disseminated are based on current research. These colleges represent small and large colleges, urban, and rural colleges, and colleges with significant enrollments of people of color. RTC has links to other colleges in other states in the northwest region, which may also serve as dissemination sites, including colleges in Wyoming, Alaska, and Montana.

Project Director: Joy S. Barker
Telephone Number: 425-235-2464
E-mail Address:


Rochester Institute of Technology: Promoting Access and Inclusion for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in Postsecondary Education

Deaf and hard of hearing (deaf/hh) students are attending mainstream postsecondary educational programs in ever-increasing numbers. Progress has been made in providing support services and documenting strategies that increase access to instruction and learning. However, many deaf/hh students continue to face barriers to full inclusion. Why? The problem is not that specialists in education of deaf/hh students don’t know what works. Rather, the problem is that regular college faculty are not aware of or motivated to use these strategies, because (1) they don’t have many deaf students in their classes, (2) access information is not given to them in useful or engaging formats, and/or (3) they believe that educational access is the responsibility of support services personnel rather than the instructor.

These problems are not unique to deaf/hh students. Learning disabled and ESL students, women, and in fact any student for whom traditional instructional methods are not optimal may find him or herself disadvantaged in the college classroom. Building on extensive research and a pilot project conducted at the host university, the goal of this project is to increase access for deaf/hh postsecondary students by modifying teaching practices. This will be accomplished by delivering to faculty as well as to those who administer services for students with disabilities practical strategies in customized formats that produce observable and durable changes in pedagogy, curriculum, and use of support services. Additionally, the principles of Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) will be explicitly incorporated into all materials and activities, thereby improving access to instruction for other non-traditional learner and providing faculty with a stronger rationale for adopting new approaches. To achieve these goals, the project has identified the following objectives:

* Conduct a series of experiential workshops and individualized coaching activities for a select group of RIT faculty and deaf/hh students.
* Use the workshops and individualized activities to identify challenges as well as best teaching practices for deaf/hh students, linking practice to the principles of UDI.
* Package these materials and activities in a variety of portable formats designed to motivate and actively engage faculty at other postsecondary institutions.
* Field-test these products with faculty and administrators at selected postsecondary partner sites, and modify materials as necessary to enhance their effectiveness.
* Disseminate and deliver these products nationally through a customized approach.
* Establish an administrative model that will enable core project functions to be maintained beyond the funding period, both at RIT and at other postsecondary institutions.

Strengths of this proposal are: (1) incorporation of Universal Design principles and the potential to increase access for learners who are not deaf/hh, (2) focus on customized packaging and delivery of materials, (3) dual emphasis that includes changing behavior at the individual and classroom level as well as providing tools for administrators of services to students with disabilities, (4) the breadth as well as depth of experience, skill, research, and most recently the collaborative pilot project at the host university, and (5) involvement of all relevant constituencies in the development and implementation of the model, including deaf/hh students, support service providers, faculty and administrators.

Project Director: Susan B. Foster
Telephone Number: 585-475-6137
E-mail Address:


Springfield Technical Community College

The goals and objectives of this proposal support each of the three authorized activities described under section 762 of Title VI, Part D: (A) Teaching Methods and Strategies, (B) Synthesizing Research and Information, and (C) Professional Development Training. A comprehensive approach that is inclusive of each of the three activities is necessary to furthering our goal "to create a campus culture that values diversity and promotes inclusion".

Our work plan employs a two-pronged approach that: (1) applies the most current research on learning to the practice of classroom teaching, and (2) examines our attitudes, values, and beliefs as individuals and as a campus community. In year one, we will build upon a successful model of faculty training in Universal Design that was first implemented at STCC with funding from the National Science Foundation. Faculty from our math and science departments will serve as peer trainers for faculty from the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, business, and health occupations. Concurrent with UD training, a series of workshops will be offered including: the ADA and its implications for higher education, a "brown bag luncheon" series of facilitated discussions examining attitudes towards students with disabilities, and other topics as identified through surveys and focus groups of faculty, staff, and administrators. Attendance at an ADA workshop will become part of the standard orientation for all new employees.

The Disability Service Coordinators from seven western Massachusetts colleges will form a consortium and will serve as an advisory board to the project. Campus disability coordinators will be responsible for accessing the training needs of faculty, staff and administrators on their campuses. Employees from consortium campuses will be invited to participate in all training opportunities offered through the project. Year two activities will include the design and offering of a graduate level course in Universal Design to be taught to faculty from Springfield College's graduate program in Disability Studies. The course will be piloted at STCC and will be offered to faculty from the consortium colleges in year three. Year three activities will also include the development of web-based curricula that will enable us to offer the course through a variety of distance learning formats. Dissemination activities including publications, conference presentations, and a teleconference on students with disabilities will also be offered in year three.

An important aspect of the project governance structure is to house the project within the STCC Office of Disability Services. The campus ADA coordinator and Director of disability services will serve as director of the project. Coordination of project activities on the consortium campuses will take place through the disability coordinators and the disability services offices on those campuses.

The consortium of seven two-year and four-year colleges brings to bear their collective expertise in the design and delivery of programs for students with disabilities. The inclusion of urban and rural campuses brings an added dimension to both need assessment and training design. We believe that the combined experience of the seven campuses, each with their unique demographics, has allowed us to design a comprehensive and broadly replicable program that will be of benefit to institutions nationally.

Project Director: Mary A. Moriarty
Telephone Number: 413-755-4449
E-mail Address:


The College of New Jersey - Teaching College Faculty and Staff to use Adaptive Technology as a Reasonable Accommodation: A Faculty Ambassador Approach

The College of New Jersey, Center for Assistive Technology and Inclusive Educational Studies (CATIES), will implement a Model Demonstration Project entitled: Teaching College Faculty and Staff to use Adaptive Technology as a Reasonable Accommodation: A Faculty Ambassador Approach. This proposed three-year project focuses on expanding the skills of faculty, staff and students at four New Jersey institutions of higher education -- The College of New Jersey, Middlesex County College, New Jersey City University, and Ramapo College-to encompass the concepts of equity and reasonable accommodation as they pertain to more than 8500 college students with disabilities within state. The project will utilize a mentorship approach in which faculty and students will engage in a mutually beneficial relationship that focuses on assuring academic success through instructional accommodations with an emphasis on assistive technology.

This project will educate faculty and administrators within these participating institutions on the role of assistive technology as an age-appropriate reasonable accommodation at the post secondary level. The explicit goal of this demonstration project is to increase the achievement of college students with disabilities and provide them with a high-quality postsecondary education through professional development of faculty, and staff, as well as student education about the appropriate use of assistive technology. The following goals have been established for this project:

Goal 1: To develop a protocol for technical assistance and training that will focus on helping faculty and administrators at TCNJ and its partners institutions (TCNJ, Middlesex County faculty, New Jersey City University, and Ramapo College) to understand and incorporate into teaching three basic concepts or techniques that are central to the successful education of individual with disabilities equity, reasonable accommodation, and instructional/assistive technology.

Goal 2: To enhance the ability of the current New Jersey Higher Education Regional Training Centers to provide/make available professional development and training to faculty and administrators at New Jersey's colleges and universities that influence the support of students with disabilities.

Goal 3: To further the current research regarding the efficacy of the faculty ambassador approach to technical assistance and training for faculty and administration to meet the needs of students with disabilities in higher education.

Goal 4: To develop and maintain a comprehensive system of objective performance measures that clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data.

Project Directors: William Behre or Jerry Petroff
Telephone Number: 609-771-2804
E-mail Address: or


University of New Hampshire

This project entitled, Equity and Excellence in Higher Education, is designed to address the inter-related problems of poor educational outcomes for college students with disabilities and college faculty's lack of knowledge in the area of effective curriculum. The project will disseminate a proven method of college faculty development to colleges in New Hampshire and Massachusetts to positively impact the quality of higher education for students with disabilities.

The goal of this project is to ensure that students with disabilities receive a quality higher education through the implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of a model of comprehensive professional development for college faculty and support personnel. The project will provide training opportunities using this established model for professional development in both NH and Massachusetts to offer this training to college faculty and administrators. The project will establish an advisory board consisting of college students and graduates who experience disabilities, faculty from a variety of academic and technical areas, disability support coordinators and other support personnel, AHEAD representative, and key administrators, to assist in directing the three components of the comprehensive model of professional development:

(1) The provision of in-depth and applicable training in the area of effective curriculum design and instruction such as using principles of Universal Design for Learning (Onosko & Jorgensen, 1997; CAST, 2002). Training will be provided through multiple sources.

(2) Research-to-practice technical assistance through the support of "reflective practice groups" comprised of faculty and support personnel dedicated to practicing, refining, and evaluating curriculum design and instructional strategies.

(3) Student-specific technical assistance for students with extraordinary learning challenges.

All project materials will be available in accessible format. Project materials will also be disseminated nationally, using electronic and conventional methods, such as an accessible project Web site, professional organizations (AHEAD), clearinghouses, and the National Center for the study of Postsecondary Educational Supports at the University of Hawaii. Additionally, project staff will present at conferences in New England and nationally.

Project Director: Mary Schuh or Cate Weir
Telephone Number: 603-228-2084
E-mail Address:


University of Arizona: Learner-Centered Faculty and Administrator Development Program to Enhance and Ensure Learning for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities are frequently at a disadvantage because institutions of higher education lack of knowledge, insight, or a strategic plan for systemic and lasting change of cultures that are still dominated by discriminatory attitudes and traditional teaching methods. These students do not often experience learner-centeredness in colleges and universities, particularly at research universities, where faculty often focus more on content than on students and learning.

While many such institutions have exemplary compensatory student support service programs, the valuing of diversity cannot be achieved merely by having a service center for students with disabilities. Rather than carrying the full responsibility for supporting students, these services must actively engage faculty and administration in the process of transforming attitudes and practices to create "learner-centeredness" and thus ensure the academic satisfaction and success of students with disabilities.

The University of Arizona seeks to achieve cultural transformation through collaboration. The project will create a model for a true "learner-centered" environment, one that ensures the opportunity for learning for all at any Research I university. A prominent perception in such activities is that the job of teaching has been performed if the content has been effectively and efficiently covered. We are committed to changing the culture to one in which faculty do not feel successful unless evidence exists of student success, not only in terms of knowledge gained, but skills developed, attitudes or beliefs adopted, and goals achieved.

Our project will: (1) develop innovative, effective, and efficient teaching methods and strategies to provide faculty and administrators with the empathy, skills and support necessary to successfully teach students with disabilities; and (2) consult with and conduct professional development sessions for other institutions to enable them to better meet the post-secondary needs of students with disabilities.

Our project is innovative, integrative, and expansive, bringing together the academic and student support resources and expertise of the University Teaching Center (UTC) and Disability Resource Center (DRC). The directors of these centers, acting as a collaborative management team, will work with organizations of disabled students, university departments, and representatives of faculty and administrative units to ensure cohesive, effective design and delivery of all aspects of this project.

Using well-established avenues for delivery, UA's existing faculty and administrator development curricula will be converted into replicable, interactive modules using varied lessons and tools (e.g., workshops, videotape, CDs, web site, written documents). Modules will be designed on the following topics:

*To increase the awareness of the characteristics of students with disabilities and issues and laws which relate to their educational success. Sessions will be interactive-engaging faculty, TAs, and administrators in gaining awareness and insight about commonplace experiences of students with disabilities.

* To dispel myths related to these students. This will begin with assessment of the current understanding and beliefs of faculty, TAs, and administrators and then engage participants in dialogue on prevalent myths, in exploration of changing practices, and facilitation of insights related to students with disabilities.
* To address specific learner-centered instructional strategies that can improve teaching practices and enhance educational outcomes for students with learning and other disabilities.
* To teach techniques to assess the individual learning styles, needs, and preferences of students with disabilities, and students in general.
* To teach learning principles that foster enhanced learning outcomes (e.g., strategies to increase participation, methods for soliciting input and providing frequent feedback, and multiple methods for evaluating student performance).
* To learn to recognize and remove barriers that students with disabilities encounter every day.

Recognizing that many institutions do not have the advantage of the extensive disability service expertise available at the UA, we will develop a professional development format that can that can be easily replicated by other institutions, enabling them to use approaches, models, and activities that can be infused into existing faculty development efforts at the institutions. We will provide on-site consultations and professional development activities at 15 institutions targeted because of the likelihood that they can be instrumental in attracting institutions from their geographic areas to future conferences pertaining to quality education for students with disabilities.

Each aspect of this project will be evaluated using a variety of qualitative and quantitative instruments and sound measurement techniques. Our evaluation plan is designed to be responsive to the needs and changes that are likely to occur over the course of a three-year project of this nature. Lessons learned from innovation in faculty development and knowledge synthesized will be used to inform future teaching methodologies.

We believe we can succeed in achieving systemic change at the UA by integrating our existing faculty development and student support infrastructures and expertise. Further, we are convinced that what we learn through the design and implementation of processes and products will be of real value to other institutions that share our commitment to ensuring the academic success of students with disabilities and the retention of minority students with disabilities. The long-term impact, to be recognized after this initial project, will be the increased enrollment of students with disabilities and increased degree completion resulting from competent instructional and administrative practices that create supportive, learner-centered, barrier-free learning environments.

Project Director: Julie Padgett
Telephone Number: 520-626-5768
E-mail Address:


University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) – Postsecondary Academic and Curriculum Excellence - Project PACE

It is the intent of Project PACE to produce systems change at the University of Arkansas at little Rock and other University of Arkansas (UA) campuses through a peer teaching model and development of training materials that will teach faculty and administrators to meet the needs of students with disabilities. The UA campuses comprise four four-year institutions (including UALR), a medical sciences campus, and three community colleges.

Development of products will focus on reaching a broader group of faculty and administrators within the UA system as well as other interested postsecondary institutions in the state. These products include:

  • Two additional faculty training videotapes on teaching strategies for students with visual and with learning disabilities (one on teaching students who are deaf or hard of hearing has already been completed and also will be used)
  • A revision of UALR’s faculty handbook on accommodating students with disabilities, and development of a faculty handbook template which can be used by any institution to develop and customize their own faculty handbooks
  • Discipline-specific handbooks for teaching students with disabilities within specific disciplines or across broader disciplines (e.g., social sciences)
  • A Web site designed to provide current information, resources, and interactive discussion of disability issues in higher education
  • A guide to implementing Web accessibility on other campuses
  • An adaptive technology resource guide of the uses for adaptive technology, vendors and technical assistance centers
  • A quarterly newsletter on disability issues for faculty and administrators
Project Director: Melanie Thornton
Telephone Number: (501) 569-3143
E-mail Address:
Web Site:


University of Connecticut

Innovative strategies developed for and by faculty are a hallmark of this project. The focus on Universal Design for Instruction represents a significant shift in how faculty are involved in providing access for students with disabilities. UDI operates on the premise that the planning and delivery of instruction as well as the evaluation of learning can incorporate inclusive attributes that embrace diversity in learners without compromising academic standards. The Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability (CPED) at the University of Connecticut (UConn) has taken a leadership role in moving this "hot topic" from general ideas and suggestions to a theory based model of practice with nine principles that provide a framework for the grant. By empowering faculty with knowledge about inclusive instructional approaches and with support to apply this knowledge in innovative ways in the classroom, faculty members become agents of change in creating equal access for students with cognitive disabilities.

The methods and strategies built into this project to support and encourage faculty to use more inclusive instructional features are varied. Technology represents one method. Drawing on UConn's new Facultyware web site, built to host and disseminate resources and instructional materials pertaining to UDI, faculty will have anywhere-anytime access fitting their schedules and needs. The Facultyware site continues to expand its unique repository of inclusive products submitted by faculty across the country.

Project Director: Joan McGuire
Telephone Number: 860-486-6201
E-mail Address:


The University of Northern Colorado/Aims Community College Collaborative Project to Improve Services for Rural Areas

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC), in partnership with Aims Community College (Aims), seeks federal support to implement a model demonstration project that provides technical assistance and professional development to faculty, staff, and administrators in order to assure that students with disabilities enrolled at either institution receive a high quality postsecondary education. Working together, this Associate's College and Doctoral/Research University-Intensive will design and implement innovative, effective and efficient teaching methods and other strategies that: (a) provide faculty with the skills and supports necessary to teach students with disabilities; and (b)improve services for students with disabilities provided by staff and administrators.

The UNC-Aims partnership is an efficient model emanating from the two institutions' proximity in rural Greeley, Colorado, and their previous collaborative efforts. Many students who receive an associate's degree from Aims' go on to pursue a baccalaureate degree from UNC. Working together holds the promise and the potential of shared expertise, increased enrollment of students with disabilities at both institutions, and an improved climate for students with disabilities during their entire postsecondary experience, regardless of how far they pursue higher education.

Specific project objectives include:

  • The establishment of a collaborative working relationship between UNC and Aims to support the academic success of students with disabilities, including fact-finding and evaluation activities mutually facilitated and exchanged;
  • The development, distribution, and evaluation of training materials for faculty on how to design instruction to teach all students, with and without disabilities, using principles of universal design;
  • The synthesis of research-based practices in the provision of educational services to post secondary students with disabilities, with particular attention to services for students who (a) are deaf and hard-of-hearing (b) are blind and visually impaired (c) have significant disabilities; and (d) have psychiatric disabilities; and (e) have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • The distribution of training materials to the 37 institutions that comprise the Colorado/Wyoming Consortium of Support Programs for Students with Disabilities; and
  • The improvement of services to students with disabilities on both UNC and Aims campuses and, ultimately, on all campuses in the Consortium.
  • Two project directors will manage the project, one at each institution, and a team comprised of individuals with disabilities, faculty development specialists, professional psychologists, and staff from UNC's National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities will contribute through the Technical Advisory Committee.

Project Director: Donna Bottenberg
Telephone Number: 970-351-2831
E-mail Address:


University of Nebraska - Building Accepting Campus Communities

The overall goal of the Building Accepting Campus Communities Project is to design and implement a model program that creates a university-wide environment where faculty and administrators take a proactive approach to creating accessible curriculum and classroom environments for students with disabilities. The goals of the project are:

  • Foster collaborative partnerships between students with disabilities, service providers, administrators, and faculty to resolve accommodation challenges by creating a menu of training opportunities and technical supports.
  • Engage faculty in the development of academically appropriate adaptive curriculum in courses that present particularly difficult challenges for students with disabilities and faculty.
  • Create a faculty peer technical support research network for incorporating access by developing "faculty accommodation specialists" in targeted departments. Selected faculty will receive advanced training in accommodation techniques and the use of technology to provide accessible materials and curricula that will enable them to serve as departmental resources for academic accommodations.
  • Develop a university-wide and statewide networking model for accommodation solutions and the sharing of resources to provide accessible media for dissemination to other post secondary institutions through the Great Plains Accommodation Technology Institute's Web site, workshops, and institutes.

Project Director: Christy A. Horn
Telephone Number: 402-472-5738
E-mail Address:


University of Rhode Island - Changing the Culture (CTC): Enhancing the Inclusion and Retention of Students with Disabilities in Postsecondary Institutions

Since 1999, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education , the University of Rhode Island has been developing effective teaching strategies used in professional development seminars for faculty and administrators at Rhode Island postsecondary institutions. The CTC project has successfully trained a network of 103 Disability Resource Mentors, who serve as information resources to their colleagues. We have developed a Web site, listserv, a complete and tested curriculum for the training seminar, and a resource manual for each mentor. Apprentice trainer teams have been established to support and expand the networks of mentors at cooperating institutions. This formative period for a grass-roots movement of systemic change has begun to foster a more inclusive environment for college students with disabilities. The increased awareness and improved strategies benefit ALL students.

The CTC project will continue this important work by professionally packaging the tested curriculum for use by other institutions, upgrading the CTC Web site so that it becomes a national interactive resource, and creating professionally prepared documents that will complement the library materials from NETAC and the other Demonstration Program projects. We also propose to continue efforts to train new Disability Resource Mentors, support the efforts of established training teams at other institutions, and adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of future faculty, adjunct faculty and other educators who contribute to student's transition to the postsecondary environment.

The guiding principle of CTC is that disability is an example of cultural diversity. Because of negative stereotypes, students with disabilities are often kept from participating fully in higher education and experience lowered expectation, inaccessible environments, and limiting course policies. These barriers threaten the intellectual identity and performance of students with disabilities in a manner similar to the barriers that African Americans and women experience, as described by C. M. Steele, 1997.

The overarching goal of the CTC project is to create systemic change in institutions of higher education that combats the threat to the intellectual, academic and personal achievement of students with disabilities (with policy changes in department and administration, funding of positions, reduction of attitudinal barriers, increased retention and graduation rates for students with disabilities, etc.). Three objectives will provide the framework for accomplishing CTC's goal to promote systemic change.

(1) Refine, for use by institutions of higher education, the tested TEACHING METHODS AND STRATEGIES of the Mentor training. Adapt for future faculty, and secondary transition educators. Universal design and multicultural issues will also be important.

(2) Expand the network of Disability Resource Mentors through PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING SESSIONS at postsecondary institutions in Rhode Island, New England and beyond the local region.

(3) Professionally package program materials for effective dissemination on a national basis (i.e., package curricula in CD-rom, create an interactive CTC Web site, etc.) to support systemic change. To evaluate the progress of CTC, we will examine the impact of Disability Resource Mentors and published materials on department attitudes and student experience. We will also continue look at the effectiveness of each seminar, as well as retention and statistics for students with disabilities.

Project Director: Gail Wing
Telephone Number: 401-874-5138
E-mail Address:


The University of Southern Mississippi - ACCESS for All (Adopting Curriculum Criteria that Ensures Post Secondary Success for ALL)

The Institute for Disability Studies (IDS), Mississippi's University Center of Excellence in Development Disabilities, at The University of Southern Mississippi (The USM) received a demonstration project grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Part D of the Higher Education Act. The grant project is designed to meet authorized activities 1: The development of innovative, effective and efficient teaching methods and strategies and 3: conducting professional development and training sessions for faculty and administrators from other IHEs. The two primary purposes of the project are: to ensure that students with disabilities have access to quality postsecondary educational opportunities that enhance their ability to graduate and to acquire meaningful employment and to ensure that students have access to lifelong learning opportunities that enhance their ability to maintain employment and increase of life outcomes.

There are two project goals designed to meet the purposes of the project. GOAL 1: Develop innovative, effective and efficient teaching methods and strategies to provide university faculty and administrators with skills and supports necessary to enhance the quality of postsecondary educational opportunities for students with disabilities; GOAL 2: Conduct professional development and training for faculty and administrators from other universities and community colleges across the State of Mississippi and surrounding states to increase their capacity to meet the postsecondary needs of students with disabilities.

The primary task of Goal 1 is to provide administrators, staff and faculty with the information, training and technical assistance necessary to increase their capacity to provide quality postsecondary learning opportunities for students with disabilities. Goal 1 will focus on identifying barriers to academic access and providing administrators, faculty and staff with the knowledge and skills necessary to overcome those barriers while at the same time maintaining program integrity and excellence for all students. Teaching methods and strategies will focus on research-based practices for integrating principles of Universal Instructional Design and Advanced Technology into existing courses. Demonstration courses that model the use for advanced technology and principles of Universal Instructional Design will be implemented in each of USM's academic Colleges. Training modules and materials will be developed and formatted for distance learning. Training modules and materials will be widely disseminated to other IHEs across the state and nation.

The primary task associated with Goal 2 is to provide outreach training and technical assistance to other universities and community colleges to increase the capacity of their administrators and faculty to provide quality learning opportunities for students with disabilities. Outreach training and technical assistance will focus on group training through on-campus workshops, a summer training institute, and synchronous web-based training, video checkouts, and CD training modules. Other universities across the Southeast portion of the United States will be invited to participate in workshops and summer institutes. Subcontracts will be issued in years 2 and 3 of the project to develop demonstration courses that model the use of advanced technology and principles of Universal Design at Hinds Community College and Jackson State University. Hinds Community College has a strong history of providing services to students with disabilities, especially those with hearing impairments. Jackson State University is Mississippi's historically black university.

Project outcomes will focus on the impact of integrating principles of Universal Instructional Designs and Advanced Technology into existing courses design and instructional methods and strategies; the numbers of students graduating from the university; numbers of students employed after graduation; ease of replication at other IHE's; perceived relevance by all stakeholders; and the contribution of project findings on the state-of-the-art practices.

Project Director: Jane Siders
Telephone Number: 601-266-5163
E-mail Address:


University of Texas Pan-American

University of Texas-Pan American - The Rehabilitative Services Program (RSP) is proposing to develop a demonstration service delivery model utilizing technical assistance, an assistive technology lab, and professional development for faculty and administrators to provide them with the skills and supports that enhances the teaching and services for students with disabilities. The research, product development, strategies, and training developed by the demonstration service delivery model will be widely disseminated nationwide to all Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) with a special emphasis and priority given to Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and IHEs with a growing Hispanic student population. Project Enhance will benefit from collaborative relationships with the RSP, the Center for Hispanic Resources in Rehabilitation, and the UTPA Office of Services for Persons with Disabilities.

The first goal of Project Enhance will be to develop a demonstration service delivery model at the University of Texas-Pan American, the second largest HSI. The following objectives will be utilized to accomplish the goal:

  1. Access current disability knowledge, attitudes, and practices at UTPA via surveys and interviews with administrators, faculty, new students and returning students. Institutional resources, accessibility, and procedures will be examined in the assessment.
  2. Review existing best practices using professional literature and published research. Previous products and materials from funded grant recipients of the Office of Postsecondary Education, Demonstration Projects to Ensure Students with Disabilities Receive A Quality Higher Education Program, will be heavily utilized.
  3. Synthesize data and develop a customized innovative and effective service delivery model for UTPA to enhance teaching services for students with disabilities.
  4. Augment the existing Assistive Technology Lab for students with disabilities, administration, faculty, and training workshops.
  5. Provide technical assistance, as requested, to assist in the implementation of the demonstration service delivery model.

Project Director: Bruce Reed
Telephone Number: 956-316-7038
E-mail Address:


The University of Toledo - Post Secondary Demonstration Project, UTPSDP

In addition to acquiring knowledge, skill and experience, Fichten (1988) cites three primary motives for obtaining a degree or certificate from a post-secondary institution; it fulfills personal goals, allows for effective competition in the job market and contributes to independence and financial security. These motives are particularly true for persons with disabilities for whom post-secondary education has been described as a crucial link between high school and successful adult life (Fairweather & Shaver, 1990). Hence, in light of the influx of students with disabilities (SWDs) into post-secondary institutions, and based on the finding that these students experience many problems and setbacks in higher education leading to academic failure and increased attrition (Malakpa, 1997), the purpose of this grant proposed by the University of Toledo is to address the nationwide problem of decreased academic success and consequent high attrition rate among students with disabilities in post-secondary education. This project will accomplish this goal in many ways: (A) provide technical assistance and personnel support to the Office of Accessibility; (B) develop and teach a college survival and achievement seminar for SWDs; and (C) conduct professional development workshops for administrators, professors and staff within the university community regarding the admission, retention, and academic success of SWDs.

Project Director: Sakui Malapka
Telephone Number: 419-530-2047
E-mail Number:


University of Washington - DO IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology)

DO-IT programs at the University of Washington have, since 1992, worked to increase the representation of individuals with disabilities in postsecondary education and employment. In 1999, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) funded DO-IT Prof which has successfully created professional development materials and trained faculty and academic administrators nationwide to more fully include students with disabilities in their courses. Input from students with disabilities, administrators, and faculty collaborating in DO-IT Prof support the need to also train administrators of student services on campus.

The proposed DO-IT Admin project will expand DO-IT Prof activities to improve the knowledge and skills of postsecondary student services administrators for making their programs accessible to students with disabilities on their campuses. It will continue to offer and refine DO-IT Prof successful programs for training faculty and academic administrators as well. Completion of this project will have widespread, lasting impact and contribute to system change within individual campuses and across the nation.

Responding to the diverse content and scheduling needs administrators, the DO-IT Admin Team, representing a diverse set of 2- and 4-year postsecondary institutions from more than twenty states, will create and deliver five models of professional development.

  • Model 1: A 20-30 minute presentation at regular meetings to introduce participants to legal issues, accommodation strategies, and resources specific to their campus.
  • Model 2: A 1-2 hour presentation with special focus on designing accessible programs and providing accommodations to students with a variety of disabilities.
  • Model 3: Tailored workshops for more in-depth training to assure the accessibility of specific units, such as admissions offices, libraries, advising offices, tutoring centers, distance learning programs, computing services, and career services offices.
  • Model 4: A televised instruction option using a series of videotapes to deliver programs on public television.
  • Model 5: Self-paced, Web-based instruction with expanded content of other models, interactive components, and downloadable video presentations.

Project Director: Sheryl Burgstahler
Telephone Number: 206-543-0622
E-mail Address:


The University of Wisconsin-Madison: Electronic Accessibility For All - Failure Is Not An Option

An electronic revolution is transforming postsecondary education-faculty. In all fields of study, faculty are integrating a myriad of Web pages and electronic documents into their courses. As electronically mediated instruction transforms higher education, the need to ensure electronic accessibility for all learners becomes an ever increasing practical, moral, and legal obligation. Unfortunately, this instructional revolution is rapidly outpacing higher education's ability to meet the accessibility needs of their growing number of students with disabilities. For example, a recent Web site accessibility study of Wisconsin's 13 four-year public institutions using BOBBY 3.2 found that only 53 percent of the campus home pages were accessible to learners with disabilities (Schmetzke, 2002). Worse still Schmetzke also discovered that fewer than four percent of the pages located only one level beneath the showcase champagnes were accessible. The implications are both profound and troubling. Learners who lack electronic accessibility in a twenty-first century classroom are no better off than their earlier counterparts who confronted steep staircases that barred their entry to university buildings. Despite current federal laws and regulations, electronic accessibility for learners with disabilities remains a chronic and growing problem in the nation's postsecondary institutions.

The Center on Education and Work (CEW) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), in collaboration with UW's McBurney Disability Resource Center, offers a solution to this electronic accessibility challenge that will impact not only the UW-Madison, but also the other 25 campuses of the UW system, the 16 Wisconsin Technical College districts, and ultimately postsecondary institutions across the nation. The three year program will meld faculty/staff outreach, Web accessibility analysis, technical assistance, professional development workshops and online tutorials. Project staff will tailor workshops and tutorials to the needs and skill levels of key stakeholders: faculty, Web designers/managers, disabled student services staff, and other key departmental staff. During project years two and three, project staff will offer outreach and professional development workshops via the Web using WebCT and via ISDN/DS3 videoconference facilities. Self paced tutorials will be developed and posted on the project's Web site and disseminated in CD-ROM format. Topics will include planning/implementation strategies that staff on campuses nationwide can use to implement their own proactive outreach, Web accessibility analysis, technical assistance, and professional development campaigns. Project year one will target the UW-Madison campus. During year two, the project will expand to include all forty-two of Wisconsin's state-sponsored colleges, universities, and technical colleges. In its final year, the project will expand once again to include a national audience of postsecondary institutions interested in increasing Web site accessibility for their student with disabilities. Most of the staff who will implement this project have disclosed disabilities.

The project's ultimate goal is to ensure equitable and effective Web-mediated instructional opportunities for students with disabilities throughout Wisconsin's and the nation's postsecondary accessibility an maintain that high level accessibility as instructional use of the Web increases and the inevitable turnover in faculty, staff, and students occurs.

Project Director: Wendy Way
Telephone Number: 608-263-2724
E-mail Address:


Utica College

The Adapting Curriculum for Student Success (ACSS) project consists of five inter-related components. The college student with disabilities is at the heart of the program, surrounded by four inter-related components that will support and advance the quality of education provided by the institution. Program Component I: Curriculum Design and Faculty Training is the cornerstone of the system. It is here that the primary educational objectives are delivered and achieved. This is also the place where paradigms will shift from the old external (resource room) delivery-of-services system to an inclusive system that will provide in-class support as well as the more traditional external support services. Components II, III, and IV provide the tutoring, academic support services, assistive technology, and outside agency support that will make it possible for students and faculty to achieve success. Component V: Dissemination of Information will provide the means for sharing this model project with other institutions.

The project is designed "to improve the quality of higher education for students with disabilities." The ultimate goal of the project is to make instruction, accommodations, and related services for students with disabilities completely integrated into the curriculum while we continue to provide high quality external support services. The integration of instruction, accommodations, and services will be accomplished in the following ways:

* College faculty will receive training in techniques, strategies, and the use of assistive technology.
* College faculty, working in collaboration with experts in disabilities and disabilities education, will redesign existing courses or design new courses that will directly meet the needs of students with disabilities.
* The courses targeted for redesign are of two main types: courses that have traditionally proven difficult for students with disabilities and "gatekeeper courses" that serve to restrict entry into higher level courses.
* Students with disabilities will receive over 3,000 hours of specialized tutoring by individuals with expertise in working with students with disabilities.
* Assistive technology will be purchased and used specifically to enhance the quality of teaching in targeted courses and the performance of students with disabilities. Specialized computers will be placed in the writing center and the math center.
* A peer support network and Web site will be established.
* An advisory panel composed of College faculty, Academic Support Services Center staff, and representatives from agencies that support individuals disabilities will meet regularly to provide guidance and advice and to serve as expert resources for faculty.
* Information about the program design and the syllabi of targeted courses will be posted and available on the ACSS program web site.
* A Summer Institute will provide training and establish preliminary collaborative relationships among a variety of expert consultants, Utica College faculty, and faculty from institutions of higher education located across the country.

The ACSS Program will generate systemic change resulting in an increase in enrollment of students with disabilities and an increase in graduation rates for students with disabilities.

Project Director: Lois Fisch
Telephone Number: 315-792-3815
E-mail Address:


Utah State University - A National Partner Network to Train and Support Faculty and Teaching Assistant and Expanding the Curriculum for Laboratory and Field Sceinces Discipline

This project will improve postsecondary education for students with disabilities by (a) creating a national network of partner colleges/universities that will provide training and support to faculty and teacher assistants (TAs) and (b) extending a current curriculum for lab and field science disciplines. This proposal was developed with input from students with disabilities; faculty, university administrators; disability service office directors; information and research from previous projects; experts in research, instructional design, evaluation, and distance education.

Goal I: Develop a National Partner Network to provide training and support to faculty and teaching assistants. This project builds on a previous project which developed a training and support system for faculty and TAs. The training is in two formats, workshops and Web-based distance education, to provide maximum access for on and off-campus faculty and faculty/TAs who have disabilities. A minimum of 45 institutions of higher education will provide training and support for faculty/TAs.

Goals II & III: Develop specialized curriculum for faculty and teaching assistants laboratory and field science disciplines. This project will expand existing curriculum using a systematic R&D process to develop specialized materials for faculty in lab and in field sciences.

Goal IV: Disseminate the faculty/TA training and support system. The project will disseminate project materials and information using these strategies: Ads in journals and newsletters, presentations and exhibition booths at AHEAD and other conferences, published articles, web links with other organizations and direct mail solicitations.

Project Director: Charles L. Salzberg
Telephone Number: 435-797-3234
E-mail Address:


The University of Wisconsin-Stout: Teachable Moments Faculty Development to Support Students with Disabilities in Postsecondary Settings

The University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout) proposes to continue a faculty development model that supports the recruitment, retention, and employment of students with disabilities and improves the quality of their educational outcomes. This demonstration project will continue to be known as "Teachable Moments Faculty Development to Support Students with Disabilities in Postsecondary Settings" (Teachable Moments).

The Teachable Moments project will continue its use of a combination of just-in-time training-AskABLE, technical support, and professional development activities to provide UW Stout faculty with the skills necessary to successfully teach and foster students with disabilities. It is anticipated that project-effected increases in faculty skill for teaching students with disabilities choosing to enter degree programs, (b) improved retention of students (c) reduction in barriers for students in the postsecondary setting and (d) the quality employment of graduates with disabilities in jobs related to their degree programs.

An integral part of the plan to address priority activities is the inclusion of faculty and students with disabilities in its creation, administration, implementation, and evaluation. Two students recruited from the Disability Services Office from the current project have already volunteered to act as advisors for the project.

Teachable Moments is a just-in-time training model that will continue to provide instruction to faculty and their colleagues at the time when it is most needed. Elements that define the project include (a) further development of the just-in-time interactive on-line, one of a kind service known as AskABLE (developed as a result of the current Teachable Moments project) provides faculty training and Universal Design training, which will benefit all students that will have a direct impact on the high need of faculty awareness in the area of Learning Disabilities; (b) the development of a two-day Job Seeking Skills workshop offered once each semester for disabled students, to be collaborated with the Placement and Coop Office; and (c) development of a summer institute focusing on disability concerns in higher education, to be lead by UW-Stout faculty and students with disabilities for K-12 and service providers.

Project evaluation will also incorporate UW-Stout faculty and students into its design. Evaluation will be conducted and closely monitored by the UW-Stout's Master of Science degree in Applied Psychology's Program Director, Dr. Richard Tafalla. Dr. Tafalla oversees the graduate program of specialization training in program evaluation.

Project Director: Christine Varnavas
Telephone Number: 715-232-2387
E-mail Address:


Virginia Commonwealth University - The VCU Professional Development Academy: Increasing Capacity of University Personnel to Support Students with Disabilities in Higher Education

The Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University will continue expand its efforts to infuse disability related information, technical assistance, and training within the university's infrastructure. Building on a three year effort by students with disabilities, faculty, staff and administrators to construct a network of resources, information and training at VCU, the project will provide an array of ongoing supports and resources to enable university personnel to responsively and effectively meet the educational needs of students with disabilities at VCU.

The activities described in this proposal focus on three primary areas. First, we will integrate our existing training and information dissemination activities, developed over the past three years through the VCU Professional Development Academy, into the newly created VCU Center for Teaching Excellence. The Center for Teaching Excellence is responsible for enhancing the quality of academic instruction across the VCU community. We propose the implementation of a new partnership in which the Vice-Provost's Office will collaborate with the Center for Teaching Excellence to carry out all faculty and staff training activities concerning students with disabilities. This will ensure that disability related information is included in the information and training that the Center sponsors. The Center will work with a number of collaborators, including the Professional Development Academy staff, to create opportunities for university personnel to understand, implement, and evaluate principles of universal design into their course work and teaching.

Second, we will provide intensive training and technical assistance activities for adjunct faculty/graduate teaching assistants, and faculty liaisons for internships and clinical experiences. These activities will also be conducted through the Center for Teaching Excellence, however, the training for these groups will be very specialized and will provide numerous technical assistance activities as a follow-up to any training or information provided. The activities developed for this proposal are a result of in-depth structured interviews conducted with adjunct faculty/teaching assistants and faculty liaisons on both the VCU academic and medical campuses during the spring of 2002.

The final area of focus will be on replicating the training and technical assistance model that has been developed through the VCU Professional Development Academy. VCU has disseminated information concerning this model through the university's Web site, conference presentation, journal manuscripts, and invitations to other universities and colleges in Virginia to attend any of our training sessions. However, VCU is proposing to go one step further in promoting the education of students with disabilities in higher education. During Years 2 and 3 of the project, we will be working with other two and four-year institutions in the state to replicate our training and technical assistance model. During Year 2 we will be working with a private, four-year liberal arts college, and a historically black university in the state. During Year 3 we will also include a two-year community college and a public four-year college located in rural Virginia. These colleges and universities have committed to working with the project and have agreed to implement and evaluate specific training and technical assistance activities on their respective campuses.

Virginia Commonwealth University is fully committed to implementing the project activities in the proposal. The activities have been designed to capitalize and build on existing professional development structures professional development structures on campus, and to increase the capacity of faculty, staff, and administrators at VCU and other Virginia universities and colleges to more fully meet the unique and varied learning needs of students with disabilities.

Project Director: Henry Rhone
Telephone Number: 804-828-1244
E-mail Address:


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