Accessibility in Aggieland
Thank you for your interest in the “Accessibility in Aggieland” Webinar Series!
The purpose of this series is to promote proactive accessibility and educate the campus community about many different places that accessibility is important.
The webinars will all be held via zoom and each requires a separate registration. The webinars are scheduled to be every Thursday April 1- May 6 from 1:30-2:30pm. Please review the sessions below and register for one or all that are of interest to you. The webinars are free and will be recorded as well as stored on the Center on Disability and Development website.
- April 1st: Universal Design for Learning – (Dr. Shaunta Singer, AgriLife)
- Webinar Description: Our student population is more diverse and variable than ever before. As educators, we are tasked with preparing individuals to interact with a world that is complex and exist on a continuum of differences. To do this, we must design learning activities and environments that recognize the differences, preferences, and unique abilities of our students themselves. Universal Design for Learning is a framework that embraces learner variability and uses this information to create an enriched and equitable culture of learning. This session will focus on tenets of the framework with a heavy emphasis on how to utilize UDL within the classroom. Recommendations and resources will be provided for developing flexible syllabi, delivering content to a diverse audience to increase engagement, understanding, and expression, while ensuring that both the content and learning environments are accessible to all learners. Get ready to interact and engage as your learning is enhanced!
- April 8th: ADA in the Workplace: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Overview – (Andrew Barna Jr., Division of Human Resources and Organizational Development)
- Webinar Description: Attendees will learn what is the law, how to define disability, how to work with human resources on a reasonable accommodation, the process of providing accommodations, confidentiality as an employee, and who to contact for help in regard to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- April 15th: Promoting Accessibility of Online Meetings and Presentations – (Justin Romack,TAMU Disability Resources)
- Webinar Description: The past year has offered us all new ways to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers using tools like Zoom, Google Meet and many others. But with these new ways to share and engage comes the continued responsibility to ensure equitable access for all participants. In this session, Justin Romack with Texas A&M University’s Department of Disability Resources will discuss several practical ways for facilitating accessibility when planning, promoting and hosting online meetings, events and presentations.
- April 22nd: Providing Access in Student Organizations and Activities – (Tracey Foreman, TAMU Disability Resources)
- Webinar Description: Providing access to individuals with disabilities is a university-wide responsibility. Even student organizations need to consider accessibility and should be prepared to respond to requests for disability accommodations. Join us for an overview of common accessibility needs along with best practices, strategies and resources for student leaders and advisors to consider when planning activities and programs that are facilitated by student organizations.
- Equal_Access-Student_Orgs-DOIT (PDF)
- Providing Access in Student Organizations (PDF)
- REGISTER ONLINE
- April 29th: Canvas Accessibility– (Dr. Travis Irby, Academic Innovation)
- Webinar Description: This presentation will cover the use of the Ally Accessibility tool in Canvas, as well as some general accessibility tips to help make your digital learning environment as inclusive as possible.
- REGISTER ONLINE
- May 6th: Virtual Accessibility – (Cynthia Kauder, Electronic and Information Resources)
- Webinar Description: Litigation in recent years has catapulted accessibility to new heights when it comes to topics of concern within higher education. With an increasing dependence on online resources and applications, strategies to ensure compliance may seem confusing. We’ll examine ways to improve access through application and product selection as well as ways to improve access to faculty websites. Accessibility planning, best practices and documentation methods will be examined in order to create a clear path toward compliance with state and federal mandates..
- REGISTER ONLINE
- May 13th: Everyday Ableism: Unpacking Disability Stereotypes and Microaggressions – (Dr. Amanda Kraus, The University of Arizona)
- Webinar Description:
- When we understand disability in a context of social justice and ableism, a cultural experience very much influenced by dynamics of power and privilege, we can begin to unpack the many ways disabled people are targets of bias and microaggressions. This workshop will use relevant research to identify pervasive disability stereotypes and microaggressions and explore about how these ideas shape the disability experience and inform our personal and professional behaviors and attitudes. In order to affect sustained access and inclusion on college and university campuses, we must recognize the pervasiveness of these ideas and reframe our work and attitudes to align with social justice values.
- REGISTER ONLINE
- Everday Ableism notes – Amanda Kraus, Ph. D. (PDF)
Dr. Singer has been in the field of Special Education for 20 years. I began my career in the K-12 setting as an elementary special education teacher in a DC Public School. For the next twelve years, I served as a department and Individual Educational Program (IEP) Chairperson, Director of Special Education, and a district level Coordinator for Instruction, Autism, and Alt-Assessments. Within Texas, I have served as a regional education specialist and am currently an Assistant Professor &Extension Specialist at Texas A & M University, AgriLife Extension where I support individuals with disabilities and those who support them while encouraging Universal Design for Learning principles. I have been in Higher Education as an adjunct or faculty member for eleven years. Since learning about UDL in 2010, I have dedicated my research, teaching and consultation to spreading knowledge of what and how UDL supports teaching and learning. Within a few short weeks, I will become an employee of CAST, where UDL was conceptualized and will continue my work in supporting educators with their development, understanding, and utilization of UDL. Personally, I am the mother of two; ages 3 and 5, and the wife of a faculty administrator in the College and Education and Human Development here at Texas A & M.
Andrew is the Director of Employee Relations. Employee Relations is department within the Division of Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness. Employee Relations department provides strategic human resource management and support to academic and administrative departments within the University to ensure compliance with all Federal, State, local laws and all University rules, regulations, and procedures. The department is responsible for handling all staff ADA Accommodations, Disciplinary matters (terminations), Appeals/complaints, Alternate Work locations, administering the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), policy guidance, staff arrests, drug testing, reductions-in-force (RIFs), Workers’ Compensation, and Unemployment Claims.
Tracey has a Masters in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University and has been working in Disability Resources for over 15 years. She currently serves as an Assistant Director in TAMU Disability Resources where she is an Access Coordinator for students in the Health Science Center and the College of Geosciences. She also serves on the department leadership team; supervises the Assistive Technology Services area and participates in a variety of campus committees and liaison roles. Tracey has consulted with various student organizations on proactively planning for accessibility and how to respond to specific accessibility requests. She also serves as a student organization advisor.
Justin Romack is a Program Coordinator for Assistive Technology Services in the Department of Disability Resources at Texas A&M University. In this role, he works with students, faculty and staff to achieve equitable access to the Aggie experience for disabled students and works to educate the campus community on its shared responsibility for accessibility and inclusion. Justin enjoys unraveling the complexities of technical accessibility requirements to equip and empower leaders, communicators and creatives to make decisions and develop resources which provide access to all information, opportunities and experiences.
Travis has been an instructional designer with the Office for Academic Innovation since 2019. He was previously an instructional designer at Austin Community College. Travis was also an instructional designer at Texas State University. He has taught both online and face-to-face classes. He also worked at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Texas at Austin supporting student accessibility. Travis is interested in fostering inclusive online environments, and instruction that cultivates student success.
- Ph.D., Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
- M.Ed., Special Education, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
- M.A. English, Technical Communication, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas
- B.S. Journalism, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Cynthia Kauder has served as the EIR Accessibility Coordinator for Texas A&M University since 2015, where she and her team utilize risk-based assessments to drive accessibility compliance. Recent affiliations include the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) IT Accessibility Working Group; the Texas A&M ADA Committee and the GoWeb Steering Committee; and The Texas A&M University System Council for Academic Technologies and Innovative Education (CATIE) and its Accessibility/Universal Design for Learning Task Force.
Cynthia is a graduate of Texas A&M with marketing and communications experience in the private sector. She has been involved in IT strategic planning at Texas A&M and the Texas A&M Health Science Center, where she played an essential role in directing accessibility efforts for almost five years.
Dr. Amanda Kraus, The University of Arizona
Originally from the suburbs of New York City, Dr. Amanda Kraus has lived in Tucson and worked at University of Arizona for nearly 20 years. She serves as Assistant Vice President for Campus Life, and is Executive Director for Disability Resources and ADA/504 Compliance Officer. UA’s Disability Resource Center is one of the largest in the nation, and considered an international model of progressive service delivery, uniquely positioned to approach campus access proactively and systemically. Dr. Kraus is also Associate Professor of Practice in Higher Education where she coordinates the MA program and teaches courses on student services and disability in higher education.
Dr. Kraus is President of the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Board of Directors and previously chaired its standing committee for diversity. She has had the privilege of speaking and consulting with campuses such as Singapore Management University, Duke University, and Wake Forest University. She was recently invited to join a delegation convened by the US Department of State to engage in dialogue on disability access in education and employment in Beijing, China.
Dr. Kraus earned her MA and Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in Higher Education.