AccessCollege Funded!

September 9, 2005

DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) at the University of Washington has, since 1992, worked to increase the representation of individuals with disabilities in postsecondary education and employment. In 1999 the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) funded DO-IT Prof (grant # P333A999042), which created professional development materials and trained faculty and administrators nationwide to more fully include students with disabilities in their courses. In 2002, OPE funded DO-IT Admin (grant #P333A020044), which expanded DO-IT Prof efforts to train student service administrators and staff as well. Project Team members further identified the critical need to systematically change policies, procedures, and practices in order for both universal design and reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities to be embraced at an institutional level; some strategies were piloted in DO-IT Prof and DO-IT Admin.

In AccessCollege, funded by OPE (grant # P333A050064) for three years beginning 10/1/05, DO-IT will continue to offer and refine the successful professional development and resources for faculty and administrators of earlier projects, and complement them with the identification, validation, and application of Systemic Change Indicators to document institutional change toward more accessible courses and services. AccessCollege staff will build project methods and materials from earlier work and current research through a nationwide collaboration with a Team of faculty and administrators representing 24 two- and four-year institutions each paired with another campus; together they represent institutions with a wide range of characteristics. Staff and Team members will:

Project methods will result in postsecondary faculty and administrators better prepared to fully include students with disabilities in their courses and service units, campus programs with systems in place to assure full access to students with disabilities, and improved accessibility of professional organizations. Ultimately, AccessCollege will increase the success of individuals with disabilities in postsecondary education and careers.