Join AHEAD for the 8th Annual Management Institutes (Designed for Disability Service, Resource, and TRiO Professionals)


January 30 - February 1, 2014
The Westin New Orleans Canal Place
New Orleans, Louisiana USA

Colorful New Orleans, Louisiana, is a lively place to be in the wintertime. We are excited to be gathering in this multicultural city to bring you insightful teaching that will enhance and enliven your work.

The AHEAD Management Institutes offer disability services, resource, and TRiO professionals an intensive opportunity to gain knowledge and skills from respected instructors in an interactive learning setting. AHEAD will apply for pre-approval for CEU’s from the CRCC for this program.

Each attendee will choose one of four topical tracks to attend all day Thursday and Friday of the Institute:

  • Institute #1: Social Model at Work: Shifting Office Practices
  • Institute #2: ASD from A-Z: How to Serve this Increasing Population with Pro-active, Positive and “Penniless” Approaches
  • Institute #3: The Institute for New and Newer Disability Services Managers
  • Institute #4: Working with Students with Disabilities: Services & Programming Beyond Accommodations (Particularly designed for TRiO Program professionals, but all are welcome.)
  • Plus a Saturday morning plenary session for ALL attendees: Access Always, in All Ways: A Clear Standard for Access to Instruction on Saturday, February 1, 2014

Key Deadlines:

  • Discounted registrations are available until December 20, 2013.
  • The discounted hotel rates are available until January 6, 2014.
  • Accessibility requirements must be registered by January 10, 2014.

Institute #1: Social Model at Work: Shifting Office Practices

Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)
Friday, January 31, 2014 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)

Adam Meyer, University of Central Florida
Kimberly Tanner, Valdosta State University
Margaret Camp, University of South Carolina, Upstate

At the past two AHEAD conferences, there has been an increased emphasis on the social model of disability as an emerging focus for higher education disability offices to consider in working with the campus community and students with disabilities. The primary idea is that the greatest barrier for students with disabilities is not the disability itself but rather the environment and the interaction between the person and the environment. The focal point of accessibility and accommodations should be on the limitations of the environment as much as and even more so than on the limitations of the student. This shift in thinking can have a profound impact on how a disability office conducts its operations.

This institute session is designed for people already familiar with the social model of disability and interested in incorporating the concepts into office practices. The ideal attendee will be able to influence changes in their office but are unsure how to best make this happen. During these highly hands-on and interactive two days, participants will work with each other to review and to consider modification of the following:

  • Office mission statement
  • Documentation practices
  • Initial interview with student
  • Office language and terminology
  • Accommodation letter process and language
  • Syllabus statement
  • Website and brochure language
  • Position descriptions
  • Test scheduling practices
  • Faculty outreach

Audience: Intermediate to Advanced

Institute #2: ASD from A-Z: How to Serve this Increasing Population with Pro-active, Positive and “Penniless” Approaches

Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)
Friday, January 31, 2014 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)

Garrett Westlake, Arizona State University, STEM Force Technology
Michelle Rigler, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Lisa Meeks, University of California, San Francisco

Panelists will guide participants through the development of positive approaches to working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, including ready-to-go relatable presentations for faculty.

Day 1: Panelists will guide participants through an exploration of the triad of deficits, DSM-V criterion, documentation guidelines, and the aligning of accommodations in a Higher Education setting.

Following the discussion of the deficits inherent in ASD, participants will be invited to change their lens and review the positive aspects of ASD while discussing methods for fostering these positive traits in a higher education setting. Panelists will share methods for developing partnerships with other campus departments, faculty, parents, police, and campus leadership to best support this group of students.

The second half of the day, participants will be split into smaller groups to review vignettes that include ASD related challenges (developed from real life scenarios). Groups will have a facilitator from the panel to guide them through the process of effective student and situational management.

Each vignette is very detailed and includes 2-3 action items. Solutions will focus on 1) The immediate action, 2) A preventative (if applicable) action, 3) Relevant disability resource actions/preventative measures, 4) university collaborations to address future issues.

At the conclusion of day 1, the panel will reconvene to discuss the legal aspects of working with ASD students including relevant OCR judgments and involuntary withdrawal.

Day 2: Participants will engage with the panel on a myriad of topics that include: ASD Support Groups, Student Engagement, study abroad, partnerships with student groups, graduate school, high stakes testing, the use of technology with the ASD population, entrepreneurship with the ASD population, and employment and future planning.

The second half of day two of this workshop is focused on coaching, mentoring, supervised study, and time-management strategies within the framework of a comprehensive programming model. Participants will gain an understanding of a comprehensive program, but will also be empowered to “pick and choose” from programmatic support options that best fit their campus needs.

Participants will be introduced to a comprehensive program and how it was developed with no commitment of institutional funding. The development plan, fiscal plan, and sustainability plan for this program will be shared.

Throughout the workshop, panelist will rotate with participants for breakfast and lunch to foster a more conversational style of learning and will be available for follow-up questions and topics.
Audience: Intermediate to Advanced

Institute #3: The Institute for New and Newer Disability Services Managers

Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)
Friday, January 31, 2014 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)

Carol Funckes, University of Arizona

Designed for disability resource directors, coordinators and staff members who are new to the field or seeking to refresh their approach, this two-day Institute offers a comprehensive overview of the issues that shape postsecondary disability services in today’s changing climate. No longer only a service office for students, the disability resource office is an increasingly vital center of information, collaboration, and technical assistance for the campus community. Higher education administrators, faculty, and students rely on disability resource personnel to provide effective consultation and services to create inclusive, welcoming campus environments. 

Through lecture, discussion, and resource sharing, we will explore how legal and philosophical frameworks intersect with the practical realities of working in higher education today and identify opportunities for personal and programmatic growth and innovation. We will discuss strategies for moving our campuses beyond a compliance narrative and provide the opportunity for participants to develop a professional network and find confidence in their role as campus leaders. Topics to be covered include:

  • the basics of disability service in higher education, including our legal foundation, frames of disability, the importance of disability studies scholarship, and the emerging body of knowledge and practice related to universal design;
  • promising approaches for using interview and a variety of forms of information, including third-party documentation, as tools for assessing barriers and planning individual strategies;
  • strategies for developing and refining mission and vision and for engaging in strategic planning to frame the institution-wide role of the disability resource office, whether that “office” is one person doing the work in combination with other responsibilities or a large staff of professionals;
  • campus training and outreach: collaboration, consultation, and institutional advocacy and leadership;
  • office management: record keeping, resource management, staff development, and program review and assessment.

Audience: Novice

Institute #4: Working with Students with Disabilities: Services & Programming Beyond Accommodations (Institute #4 is designed primarily for TRiO Program professionals, but is open to all interested attendees)

Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)
Friday, January 31, 2014 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (6.5 hours direct instruction)

Rhonda Rapp, Ph.D., St. Mary’s University, Texas

With lowered budgets, and ever increasing expectations, it is more important than ever to get a bigger bang for your buck and to find ways that will significantly improve your chances of achieving your programmatic goals and objectives.

Students with disabilities are the fastest growing educational subpopulation today, and while these students are more like students without disabilities than they are different, it is imperative that you know and understand not only how various disabilities impact educational programming, but also how to ensure that these students successfully complete your programs. 

In this intensive, hands-on workshop, you will experience first-hand the functional impact of a variety of disabilities and how tutoring, supplemental instruction, mentoring, academic advising, social programming, bonding with fellow students and program personnel, and even field-trips are impacted by an individual’s disability.

This workshop is for TRiO administrators, staff and faculty, Learning Assistance Center administrators and tutors, and the administrators and faculty of Learning and Living communities and will include time for Q&A. 

Participants will explore and understand the functional impact of a variety of disabilities, as well as explore counseling, academic and other programming issues that are impacted by a student’s disability. Participants will also learn and understand strategies for working with students with disabilities in a variety of settings and situations.

Access Always, in All Ways: A Clear Standard for Access to Instruction

Saturday, February 1, 2014, 9:00 am – 11:30 pm (2.25 hours direct instruction)

L. Scott Lissner, The Ohio State University, AHEAD President

AHEAD continues to explore the implications of this year’s enforcement efforts through litigation by the Departments of Justice and Education to create a consistent legal standard for access to instruction using Information and Communications Technology.

This presentation will review cases involving Louisiana Tech, UC Berkeley, South Carolina Technical College System and others related to instructional accessibility in the physical and virtual environment. We will discuss promising practices in how institutions can evaluate and improve their approach to access and legal compliance, while offering strategies that you can take back to your campuses.

AHEAD will apply for pre-approval for CEU’s from the CRCC for this program.

Institute Faculty

Margaret Camp, M.A.
With a Master's degree in education concentrating on school psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science degree from Guilford College, Margaret serves as the Director of Disability Services and ADA Coordinator for University of South Carolina, Upstate.

Margaret's background includes teaching in the Montessori to children, as well as teaching adults at Duke University. She has worked for Head Start, Project Autism, and the North Carolina Education Research Council. She serves AHEAD on the Standing Committee for Professional Development, and most recently taught and facilitated the Out of the Box training track at the 2013 AHEAD Conference.

Carol Funckes, M.A.
Carol is the Associate Director of the University of Arizona’s Disability Resources and a Past President of AHEAD. She served as the Chair of AHEAD’s Standing Committee on Professional Development, was a trainer for Project SHIFT, a federally-funded grant on progressive service delivery, and has an Advisory Board member for pepnet 2. Carol has worked in postsecondary disability services for over 30 years, is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences and conducts on-site reviews of disability resource service offices. At the University of Arizona, Carol works with a staff  of Access Consultants, technology staff , and service coordinators responsible for coordinating accommodations for students, and resources for faculty.

Carol represented AHEAD in collaboration with the University of Arizona to participate in a U.S. Department of State-sponsored Professional Fellows EMPOWER Program to the Ukraine in Fall 2013.

L. Scott Lissner, M.A.
A popular presenter, consultant and mentor, Mr. Lissner has served as the ADA Coordinator for The Ohio State University since January of 2000. Lissner is an Associate of the John Glenn School of Public Policy and serves as a lecturer for the Moritz College of Law, the Knowlton School of Architecture and Disability Studies. Lissner is serving his two-year term as President of  the Association on Higher Education And Disability and serves on the Board of Directors for ADA-OHIO and the Editorial Board for Thompson Publications’ 504 Compliance Manual. Lissner publishes, presents, and consults frequently on disability issues for AHEAD and numerous organizations and institutions.  His publications include The Impact of the ADAAA of 2008 on Higher Education Thompson Publications; “Universal Design in the Institutional Setting: Weaving a Philosophy into Campus Planning” in Universal Design: From Accessibility to Zoning (J. Cowley-Evans & J. Nasser (Eds.) and From Legal Principle to Informed Practice with J. E. Jarrow. In 2013 Lissner participated in the US Department of State’s Public Diplomacy Program, visiting disability programs and communities throughout Indonesia.

Lisa Meeks, Ph.D.
Lisa specializes in working with individuals with ASD during periods of transition and has consulted on the topic at some of the leading colleges in the US, including: The University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. Her work is especially relevant to transitions into college and from college to work. She is committed to advancing the employability of individuals with ASD and serves on the Board of Directors for Mindspark Training Academy, an organization dedicated to employing individuals with ASD.

Lisa's programmatic experience includes the development of support groups for students with ASD at the University of Alabama, John Carroll University, and Case Western Reserve University. Lisa frequently presents on ASD topics at conferences and workshops across the United States and recently signed her a contract with Jessica Kingsley Publishers for her first book entitled, It's All in My Head.

Adam Meyer, M.A.
Adam Meyer is currently at the University of Central Florida’s Student Disability Services following four years at Eastern Michigan University and nearly five years at Saint Louis University. Adam was part of a now completed national US Department of Education grant that explored ways in which concepts of social justice could be more regularly and routinely incorporated into the operations of the disability services office. This grant project fell very much in line with how Adam has wanted to operate since entering the field. Adam is currently on the AHEAD Standing Committee for Professional Development, which seeks to develop ways to create greater professional growth opportunities and for AHEAD members. Adam has presented on the social model of disability, documentation practices and disability office practices at various times over the past four national AHEAD conferences.

Rhonda Rapp, Ph.D.
Dr. Rapp is currently the Coordinator of Disability Support Services, a Counselor and Adjunct Faculty member at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.   She is a former Director of a TRiO-SSS program and former Lead Trainer for a TRiO Training grant.  Dr. Rapp has been in the field of disability services for over 30 years and has provided a variety of services for students with disabilities including psychoeducational diagnostic assessments, accommodation prescription and implementation, academic advising, career counseling, transition services, and individual and group counseling.  She has also created and presented training focused on working with students with disabilities for faculty (kindergarten through postsecondary) and support personnel.  Besides working full time at St. Mary’s University, she is also the disability consultant for the Kamehameha School System in Hawaii and a Technical Advisor for the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD).

Michelle Rigler, Ed.D.
Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education-Severe Affective Needs in 1998 from Western Michigan University. This degree focused heavily on educating students with autism. While working full time as a special education teacher, she earned her Master of Arts degree from Prescott College in Special Education-Severe Affective Needs. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, she began her career in higher education in 2004. Following the defense of her dissertation which focused on improving the retention of college students with disabilities, she received a Doctorate in Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) in Learning and Leadership with a focus on Higher Education Administration.

Her career in higher education has focused on creating equal access for students, faculty, staff, and visitors with disabilities. By remaining fluent in the language of the Americans with Disabilities Act-Amendments Act through all of its changes, she has been able to create and manage an effective Disability Resource Center at UTC. In this role, she has been able to rejuvenate her passion for studying and working with students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In partnership with colleagues, she developed a successful comprehensive and holistic program to support students with ASD as they transition to and move through their college careers with a hopeful outcome of appropriate career attainment.

Michelle is a professional member of several organizations, and served in many leadership roles within these organizations. In addition, she has presented at several local, regional, national and international conferences regarding the varying aspects of accommodations and programming for people with ASD.

Kimberly Tanner, Ed.D.
Kimberly Tanner is the Director of the Access Office at Valdosta State University. She received her Ed.D. in Adult and Career Education at VSU in 2008. She completed her B.S. in Marine Affairs and her M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies: College Student Personnel at the University of Rhode Island in 1993 and 1996, respectively. She has been trained as a Diversity Trainer through the National Multicultural Institute and as a University System of Georgia Campus Mediator through the Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program. Kimberly is a member of the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Technology Standing Committee, the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Disability Knowledge Community and the Georgia Board of Regents Administrative Committee on Learning Disorders. She is the Past Chair of the Regents Administrative Committee on Disability Services and the Valdosta Mayor's Council for Persons with Disabilities. Kimberly was selected as one of 25 Disability Services Providers across the country to participate in the three year Department of Education funded grant, Project ShIFT (Shaping Inclusion through Foundational Transformation).

Garret Westlake, Ph.D.
Dr. Westlake has a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University.  He holds an M.Ed. in Special Education from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, and a BA in Cognitive Science from Carleton College, where he graduated with distinction.

A higher education professional for over 10 years, Dr. Westlake has served as the Coordinator of Disability Services for Volunteer State Community College, and in leadership roles for the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), and the Tennessee Department of Education. He is currently an Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Disability Resources at Arizona State University.

Dr. Westlake is an expert on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), student development, and entrepreneurship in higher education.  He is a respected speaker and consultant appearing at national conferences, colleges and universities, and local parent and advocacy organizations.   He currently serves as a board member for Phoenix-based New Way Academy’s Bridgeway Transition Program.

Host Hotel

All housing and events associated with the 2014 AHEAD Management and TRiO Institutes will be held at the The Westin New Orleans Canal Place. 

AHEAD has secured sleeping rooms for AHEAD Management and TRiO Institute Attendees nearly 50% off the hotel’s standard rate. 

The room rate for AHEAD attendees is $159 + tax per night for a single or double occupancy room.  

The Westin Hotel has agreed to accept AHEAD group reservations made between Friday, January 17th and Sunday, January 19th for the nights of Wednesday, January 29th through Saturday, February 1st, 2014. If you make your reservation between Friday, January 17th and Sunday, January 19th and are told that the group rate is unavailable, please email to ahead@ahead.org letting us know your name and hotel confirmation number. The AHEAD conference staff will ensure you are granted the group rate prior to your check-in.

  • Reservations can be made by calling the hotel’s toll-free reservation line directly at:  1-888-627-8180, and asking for the “AHEAD Group Rate,” before January 6, 2014.  Reservations can also be made online.
  • Based on availability, the hotel will extend the group rate up to three days before and after the event if attendees want to add on some ‘get-away’ time in the Big Easy.   

The Westin New Orleans Canal Place
100 Rue Iberville
New Orleans, LA  70130
(504) 566-7006

In case you’d like to “visit” the hotel in advance, please feel welcome to check out: www.westin.com/NewOrleans