Senior Correspondent Emily Karp looks at how the University can better integrate and accommodate the disabled community.
Christy Ashby, director of the Center on Disability and Inclusion and associate professor in the School of Education at Syracuse University, spoke to Joey Pagano at the student publication The NewsHouse for “The Wheelchair Quarterback Column: Analyzing SU’s Universal Design for Learning technique.” Universal Design for Learning, or UDL, is a framework for designing flexible instructional materials that allow for multiple methods of representing information, assessing student learning, and engaging and motivating students. Pagano notes that “UDL is a set of techniques aimed at facilitating success for all students, though those with disabilities are often the beneficiaries.”
As Ashby says, faculty understanding and acceptance of both UDL and traditional accessibility accommodations can vary widely, but concrete UDL policies and training can help faculty better understand how to better support students without worries of “cheating” or making work “easier.”
“Some faculty go above and beyond to ensure that they understand how the disability impacts access and how they can support the student in all aspects of the course, but some do not,” Ashby said. “Testing accommodations are by their very nature individual to the student and generally are after-the-fact accommodations to assignments and tests that have already been designed.”
“Test accommodations are not about making it easier, but making it accessible. Students still need to know the content and be able to apply it, but there are multiple ways that can happen meaningfully.
In this same column, School of Education Dean Joanna Masingila mentions that Syracuse’s Disability External Review Committee initial recommendations, which were all accepted, included Universal Design for Learning training as a part of all new faculty orientations.
Center on Disability and Inclusion director Christy Ashby appeared on the latest episode of the Jabbedu Podcast: “Creating an Equitable Path for Students with Disabilities.”
From Jabbedu: We should all be working towards a more equitable future for all… but what does that look like exactly? It’s hard to know for sure, but the point is that we’re making the effort. On this episode, Dr. Christine Ashby shares with us her experience as a special education teacher in a fully-immersed school and some of the pros and cons of that design. We spend some additional time chatting about how to change the culture of a school, before transitioning to some of the amazing work she’s doing with the brand new Center on Disability and Inclusion. We wrap up with a highlight of her co-authored book, Enacting Change From Within. Great conversation through and through – tune in!
Bringing together decades of leadership into one collaborative center, the School of Education has announced the new Center on Disability and Inclusion (CDI). Formed to advance inclusive education and disability rights, and promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of school and society, the center is a strategic collaboration between the Lawrence B. Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education, the Center on Human Policy, the Inclusion and Communication Initiatives (ICI) and the newly established Mid-State Partnership and Pre-Employment Transition Programs.
First-year students join the program’s largest group of participants ever as they begin their college experience.
Learn more about the work of the units under the new Center on Disability and Inclusion.
The program’s leadership staff worked with faculty and peer mentors to ensure students had a successful finish to the spring semester—and to continue building a culture of community.
“To my knowledge, this is the only program that integrates students from various disciplines with students with intellectual disability into collaborative teams to problem solve design solutions,” said Beth Myers.
Assistant professor Beth Myers spoke to NBC News about the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the progress made, and the work still to be done. The ADA was landmark civil rights legislation when passed in 1990, prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life, including education, employment, public facilities, government services, telecommunications, and more.