Christy Ashby discusses The Big Shift event on Bridge Street

As Central New York and the world starts to transition to post-pandemic life, it’ going to be challenging for many, and especially so for those living with special abilities.

“I think this whole last year and a half has been challenging for everyone” says Dr. Christine Ashby, the Director of the Center on Disability and Inclusion at Syracuse University and an Associate Professor in their School of Education.

“For folks who already struggle with transition issues, with mental health challenges, with disability, the difficulties can be exacerbated” she adds.

Dr. Ashby cautions that while the pandemic seems to be nearing its end, the world and our individual lives are forever changed.

“Even though most of us are celebrating seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, this is still a big change, and we still need to think about the kinds of supports and strategies that are going to help ease that transition for folks, and recognize that this has been complicated not only for people with disabilities, but also for their family members and their educators and mental health providers and support people in the community.”

Dr. Ashby is helping moderate a virtual panel discussion about this topic. Topics will include the biggest challenges expected and strategies to deal with them, as well as information on available local resources.

Panelists scheduled to take part include:

  • Adrian Bayardi, Consultant for Remote Learning, The Jowonio School
  • Melissa Luke, Associate Dean for Research and Dean’s Professor, Counseling and Human Services
  • Samantha Pierce, Founder, Sanchia A. Callendar, Inc.
  • Mark Warner, Teaching Assistant, Syracuse City School District
  • Monique Wright-Williams, Chief of Staff, Syracuse City School District
  • Amy Zogby, Professional Development Specialist, School-Age Family and Community Engagement Center at Syracuse University

“We should say it’s a collaboration also with Senator Rachel May’s office” says Dr. Ashby. “So, this I think really shows this recognition of this as a whole community issue, not just an issue relating to education.”

The Big Shift: Special Education and Mental Health in 2021 is planned for Tuesday, May 25 starting at 6pm. It’s happening on Zoom and free to all.

View Interview Here