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Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)

Author: Wendy Taormina-Weiss

Published: 2011-11-30 : (Rev. 2016-03-27)

Synopsis and Key Points:

AHEAD is involved in development of policy and provision of services which meet needs of persons with disabilities and are involved in all areas of higher education.

Main Digest

AHEAD is an organization of professional members who are involved in the development of policy as well as the provision of services which meet the needs of persons who experience forms of disabilities and are involved in every area of higher education.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a United States federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities. It addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities from birth to age 18 or 21 in cases that involve 14 specified categories of disability.

The organization has greater than 2,500 members in England, Canada, Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Ireland, North Ireland, Japan, South Africa, and Greece. Along with international members, AHEAD also has formal partnerships with 30 Regional Affiliates and many additional professional organizations that work together to advance equity in higher education for People with Disabilities.

Starting in the year 1977 AHEAD began delivering quality training to personnel who provide higher education via conferences, publications, workshops, and consultation. The members of AHEAD are a diverse network of professionals who actively pursue disability issues on campuses they are involved with, as well as in the field of higher education. The organization is involved in all aspects of promoting equal and full participation by people who experience forms of disabilities in higher education. AHEAD supports the institutions, systems, professionals, and professions that are so important to attainment of their mission.

AHEAD Offerings

AHEAD Audio-conference Packets

For people who find themselves unable to attend an audio-conference, or those who did participate yet left wanting more, the AHEAD Audio-conference Packets provide a solution. The packets include not only a full audio recording of the sessions in CD-ROM format; they also include handouts, transcripts of the sessions, and PowerPoint presentations as available. The AHEAD Policy Tele-Institute for Higher Education Packet Audio-conference Series is an excellent example.

In the Policy Tele-Institute for Higher Education:

Implementing the, 'new,' ADA and DOJ Regulations, Congress clarified the ADA's definition of disability, as well as including a wider range of people while broadening its focus on disability in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. The Department of Justice (DOJ) updated its ADA regulations regarding program access. The DOJ also issued new accessibility standards, joint guidance with the Department of Education on access to instructional forms of technologies that are emerging, and is pursuing more rule making.

AHEAD is offering people this timely and exceptional opportunity designed for collaborative teams working in postsecondary educational settings. People have the opportunity to learn what these changes mean, as well as how to prepare in institutional response based on the multi-session audio-conference series and the information offered with it. The package includes not only the recordings, but slides, handouts, and transcripts for each of the sessions. People have the ability to order individual sessions, or the entire series. The audio-conference sessions include:

Session 1: Transforming Law Into Policy and Practice
Session 2: Exploring the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design: Facilities and the Physical
Session 3: Program Access and Changes in the ADA's Title II and III Regulations
Session 4: Establishing Policy, Practice and Resources for Virtual Environments: Technology, Web Access, and Access to Print Materials
Session 5: Documentation Policies under the ADAAA

Books through AHEAD

There are many books available through AHEAD. The topics available range from Emergency Procedures to Learning Disabilities in Higher Education, Mathematics and Disabilities and much more. Books available through AHEAD include the following:

One of the books that caught my attention is, 'Adapting Emergency Procedures on Campus for Individuals with Disabilities,' by Mary Farrell. It is actually a manual that helps people to develop or adapt procedures for people with disabilities in emergency situations. The manual presents a general framework people can use to plan for emergency evacuation procedures, management procedures related to particular disasters, emergency procedures with disability-specific guidelines, emergency procedures in laboratory settings, as well as self-advocacy for people with disabilities who find themselves in emergency situations. It also has a resource list and bibliography.

AHEAD is an organization that is highly worth spending some time interacting with if you are interested in higher education and experience a form of disability. The offerings the organization presents are extremely worthwhile, and participation with AHEAD can only find you gaining from the experience.

An Introduction to Blindness and Visual Impairment for Postsecondary Education in the United States
Randall E. Borst

"The first of AHEAD's Professional Monograph Series, this compact volume offers a thorough discussion of blindness and visual impairment (BVI) from the viewpoint of a seasoned DSS practitioner. Vision impairment diagnoses, accommodations and academic strategies are included to expand your knowledge of this disability experience."

AHEAD - Association on Higher Education and Disability -

"AHEAD envisions educational and societal environments that value disability and embody equality of opportunity."

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