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Robert Pleasant, who coordinates diversity and inclusion at Ohio University's Southern Campus, was awarded the 2017 Accessibility Ally Award.

Robert Pleasant, who coordinates diversity and inclusion at Ohio University's Southern Campus, was awarded the 2017 Accessibility Ally Award.

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Pleasant wins Ohio University Accessibility Ally Award

Robert Pleasant almost always has someone sitting outside of his office door waiting to speak to him. With an easy smile and a “get it done” attitude, Pleasant who coordinates diversity and inclusion at the Southern Campus – along with his other duties – is always looking for ways to educate the campus community about how it can welcome everyone to the table. This passion for what he does often makes Pleasant a busy man, but he balances it with ease. 

Pleasant was recognized for his hard work as he was awarded the 2017 Accessibility Ally Award at the 2017 University College Honors Ceremony hosted by the Athena Cinema in Athens on April 19. The award, introduced this year, recognized Pleasant for being an excellent advocate who has kept disability and accessibility a central consideration in the work that he does at Ohio University Southern.

Dean of Ohio University Southern Dr. Nicole Pennington said, “Robert is a true champion for making sure that our campus is serving all students to the very best of our ability. He is a strong student advocate and is always looking for ways to improve access and service to students.” 

Dr. Carey Busch, assistant dean for Student Accessibility at Ohio University, said that she was personally very excited that Pleasant was one of the award’s first recipients. “I have had the pleasure of partnering with him for several years and have greatly appreciated his proactive approach to accessibility,” Busch said. “I think the support that he provides to our office at the Southern Campus as well as his work to keep disability as a part of the diversity conversation has led to a culture that will allow for students with disabilities to experience greater inclusion in the community and better support their success.”

The Accessibility Ally Award recognizes members of the Ohio University community who approach their work with students in a way that is inclusive of all abilities and supports the success and persistence of students with disabilities. As such, recipients of the award exemplify many of the following behaviors and attitudes:

  • Treats students with disabilities as valued and respected members of the community by seeing their potential to succeed and holding them to the same standards as all students
  • Takes on multiple points of view to develop a full understanding of a student and/or the impacts of their disability to reach creative solutions to provide access
  • Demonstrates flexibility, understanding, empathy and adaptability when working to address student concerns or newly emerging issues regarding access
  • Invites students to discuss issues of disability and accessibility and willingly makes time to speak with a student or consult with Student Accessibility Services to address situations or arrange accommodations
  • Encourages students to fully access accommodations and services related to their disability
  • Understands that college students with disabilities are developing necessary skills to navigate a new system in which they are responsible for seeking accommodations and works with students in a way that is sensitive to this aspect of student development

For more information about Ohio University Southern, visit www.ohio.edu/southern/. For details about the Ohio University Office of Student Accessibility Services, visit www.ohio.edu/uc/sas/