SIGS (Special Interest Groups)
AHEAD works because of you, our members. Every day, we receive requests for information on hot topics such as open enrollment, documentation needs for students with psychiatric disabilities, transition issues, job placement, etc. These are not new questions, they are ones arise for all of us in the day to day operations. But there is a way that we can organize and help one another.
SIG's, or Special Interest Groups, are AHEAD members organized around an interest or concern. SIG's provide leadership to the AHEAD membership by providing information and referral, organizing professional development opportunities, and networking around a particular topic.
Consider setting up a discussion forum; if you're active in a SIG (or would like to be) request a listserv on a topic of interest or join an existing one. Or perhaps you'd like to learn more, below is a list of the SIGs that have been established over time. Contact the leaders and see how you can get involved.
Contact the AHEAD office for more information.
Current SIG Information
- ADA Coordinators
- Autism/Asperger SIG
- Blindness/Visual Impairment
- Career Planning/Placement
- Community Colleges
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Disability Studies
- Graduate and Professional Students
- LD - AD/HD
- Online and distance learning SIG
- Private Colleges (formerly) Independent Colleges and Universities
- Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Disability
- Student Athletes with Disabilities
- Wounded Warriors
Responds to members' concerns about education, communication and training for persons charged with ADA compliance for their campuses.
- L. Scott Lissner The Ohio State University
The Asperger's Special Interest Group provides information and resources for professionals working with students with Asperger's Syndrome. As this challenging population on college campuses continues to grow, the SIG will sponsor conference session and have a listserv to share ideas and resources. Contacts:
Promotes accessibility to higher education by blind and visually impaired persons.
- John Harris Montana State University
Offers practical strategies on how to empower students and human resource managers to recruit, hire, train, and promote qualified college graduates with disabilities in today's diversified work force.
- Ronnie Porter Northeastern University
Serves as a forum for dissemination of information and promotion of shared problem solving around the unique issues concerning disabilities and community and junior colleges.
- Jennifer Radt University of Cincinnati
Promotes postsecondary education equity for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Cassie Franklin, PEPNet
Promotes an awareness of the discipline of disability studies and provides a forum for discussion of current issues and trends in disability studies. AHEAD members who are interested in the field of disability studies are encouraged to attend Disability Studies SIG meetings and join the Society for Disability Studies, www.disstudies.org. Contact:
Graduate and Professional Students-"GAP"
Purpose is to help bridge the GAP experienced by many service providers and students with disabilities in graduate and professional programs.
- Jane Thierfeld Brown University of Connecticut Law School
- Neera Jain, University of California San Francisco
LD - AD/HD
Purpose is to collaboratively address the current and salient issues of students with learning disabilities (LD) and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) in the postsecondary setting and the professionals who work with them.
- Debby Wilkerson (listserv contact) J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College
- Matt Buckley (co-chair) University of Missouri
- Dr. Mitchell Stoddard - Simon Frasier University in British Columbia
The LGBTQA Special Interest Group (SIG) will serve two primary groups of AHEAD members, 1) those who are LGBTQA-identified, and 2) those who would like more information on the LGBTQ community so as to better serve those students on our respective campuses.
- Jenny Dugger Portland State University
Online and distance learning SIG
The online and distance learning SIG provides AHEAD members with an opportunity to learn more about the unique challenges of accommodating students with disabilities in online and distance learning. The SIG also offers members an opportunity to share resources and strategies as well as to network with others who are working with online courses at their institutions. Contacts:
Private Colleges (formerly) Independent Colleges and Universities
This SIG offers AHEAD members representing private colleges and universities an opportunity to address the issues and concerns unique to their institutions such as the variety of responsibilities of their limited staffing.
The mission of the Psychiatric Disabilities Special Interest Group is to improve services and the campus climate for students with psychiatric disabilities. This is accomplished by establishing a network for disability service providers, providing a forum to get answers to their questions, sharing useful resources, and developing and promoting the use of best practices to provide equal access to higher education for students with psychiatric disabilities.
- Barbara Blacklock University of Minnesota
Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Disability
Aims to increase the awareness of AHEAD members on issues of diversity pertaining to students from historically underrepresented groups.
- Tockie V. Hemphill
- J'Naudia D. Hunter-Phillips, Northern Virginia Community College
- Kevin Johnson, Berklee College of Music
Student Athletes with Disabilities
The purpose of this SIG is two-fold: to discuss issues and best practices as they relate to student-athletes with disabilities in existing varsity sports and to discuss ways to increase athletic opportunities on college campuses for students with disabilities.
- Matt Springer Indiana University Southeast
Shares information and resources regarding access to information technology by students with disabilities in higher education. Focus is on policy and management and issues regarding the availability of assistive technology and the procurement, develpment and use of accessible information technology.
- Cindy Jepsen Mesa Community College
The purpose of this SIG is to bring awareness of the unique skills and knowledge required to work effectively with veterans with disabilities in higher education. This SIG will provide a forum for discussion of current issues and a network/clearing house/liaison for AHEAD members on veterans' issues. Also, this SIG will sponsor and promote scholarly research about student veterans with disabilities and conduct outreach activities to other professional organizations working with veterans with disabilities in higher education.