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OHIO to host higher education, disability conference

Registration deadline is Wednesday

Disability services colleagues from across the state will gather on Ohio University's Athens Campus on Friday for a day of information sharing and gathering and an opportunity to network.

The fourth annual Ohio Association of Higher Education and Disability (OH-AHEAD) conference will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Ballroom B of Baker University Center. The deadline to register for the event is Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 8 a.m.

This is the first year that OHIO is hosting the conference, which OH-AHEAD is organizing in partnership with the Southeast Ohio Disability Consortium (SODC). Part of OHIO's Student Accessibility Services, the consortium is a group of professionals interested in building new relationships between secondary and post-secondary disabilities services. Its aim is to collect, develop and share resources related to the transition of students with disabilities to post-secondary education.

"I felt hosting the event this year was particularly important because so much of our campus has been exploring issues of inclusion and accessibility through the work of the Presidential Advisory Council on Disability and Accessibility Planning (PACDAP)," said Carey Busch, OHIO's assistant dean of student accessibility and a member of PACDAP. "I know that Ohio University has the potential to be a leader on the issues of equality for people with disabilities."

Themed "Ohio: With Access and Justice for All," the conference provides a unique opportunity to engage both high school and post-secondary institutions in a conversation about collaborating to increase higher education opportunities for students with disabilities. This year's conference will feature several disability services professionals from throughout the state and nation, including several from Ohio University.

Ken Petri, director of the Web Accessibility Center at Ohio State University, will serve as the conference's keynote speaker. Petri will discuss his experiences working with campus constituencies to make accessibility an overt concern in their strategic planning.

The remainder of the day will be divided into sessions on various topics. Among the presentations are:

  • "Changing the Documentation Perspective," presented by Jenn Radt, director of disability services at Clermont College, and Andrew Zeisler, office of disability resources at Miami University
  • "College Success and the Disability Blues: An Exploration of Two College Success Programs Designed for High School Students with Disabilities," presented by Dr. Cort Schneider, a student at OHIO, and Carey Busch, OHIO's assistant dean of student accessibility
  • "Transition to Post-Secondary Settings," presented by Lisa Gatterdam, special education specialist at Bexley High School
  • "Veterans and Post-Secondary Education," presented by Angela Abel from Student Health and Counseling at Portland (Ore.) State University and Denise Bays-Napier, a campus counselor with VetSuccess at Ohio State University
  • "Self-Advocacy and Disclosure," presented by Dr. Laura Owens, associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • "There's an App for That! A Look at Mobile Applications for Education," presented by Deanna Arbuckle, disability services and assistive technology coordinator at the University of Dayton and Ashley Studley, a member of the learning resources staff at the University of Dayton
  • "Using Technology for Success," presented by Debbie Brewer from the State Support Team–16 and Christina Jenkins, an accessibility coordinator at Ohio University
  • "Navigating the Financial Maze: Preparing to Finance a College Education," presented by Mike Kinney, rehabilitation program specialist with OHIO's Southeast Ohio Disabilities Consortium and Melissa VanMeter, associate director of operations in the financial aid office at Ohio University
  • "Expanding Access Through Creative Staffing," presented by Amy Quillin in the office of student accessibility services at Kent State University

Event organizers are expecting 75 people from around the state, including post-secondary disability service providers, secondary school personnel and vocational rehabilitation counselors, to attend the conference, which this year will also include vendors exhibits. Vendors will include Freedom Scientific, TextHelp Systems, Alternative Communication Services, Universal Low Vision Aids and Cambium Technologies.

The cost of the conference is $50 for professionals and $25 for students.

For more information on the conference and registration forms, visit http://ohioahead.org/conference/ or contact Carey Busch at buschc@ohio.edu or 740-593-2620.