CWUNewsNews Article on CWU Accessibility Collaboration, 29 Nov 2017 11:47:34<p>&nbsp;We are pleased to let you know that Educause Review has published an article featuring the faculty-student-staff collaboration that produced a 3D-printed braille-embossed "tactile teachable" and inspired the development of the Accessibility Studies Program. It is <a href=";utm_medium=Email&amp;utm_campaign=ER#_zs7W2Me1_zlcisM4">published online</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp; The collaboration involved the Multimodal Education Center (Forrest Hollingsworth, Justin Carroll, Jani Jesenovec, Chad Schone), Disability Services (Wendy Holden, Humberto Avila), and the Professional Education Program (Naomi Petersen).</p><p><img alt="Transformation from 2D foldable to 3D printable" src="/accessibility-studies/sites/" style="width: 706px; height: 221px;"></p><p><em>Educause Review</em>&nbsp;is an open online publication highlighting the use of technology in education. We are proud to have been an 'Editor's Pick', drawing attention to this innovation.</p>ASP at the New Student Send-Off, 12 Sep 2017 10:52:04<p>The Accessibility Studies Program attracted considerable interest at the New Student Send Off 2017 at the Yakima Children's Museum thursday September 7th. Dr. Petersen explained the program to many incoming freshmen and their families as she hosted a table representing the College of Education and Professional Studies. In addition to the social justice value of improving access for people with disabilities, students were attracted to the program's practicality: online delivery, no prerequisites, the minor only requires 20 credits, and it is highly marketable.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/accessibility-studies/sites/" style="width: 450px; height: 338px; float: right;"></p>Washington Accessibility Coordinators Summit, 03 Aug 2017 13:41:14<p>One year after Washington State l required all&nbsp;;utm_source=govdelivery&nbsp;</p>CWU's Accessibility Studies Program pioneers preparation of the new Accessibility Coordinator position mandated by Policy #188, 01 Jun 2017 20:28:49<p>Central Washington University's new Accessibility Studies Program is the first in the state to focus on analyzing environments for their functionality so people of all levels of ability can participate. This is aligned with Policy #188, the new mandate that all state agencies in the State of Washington must have an Accessibility Coordinator and must produce an Accessibility Plan.&nbsp;</p><p>Recently Dr. Naomi Jeffery Petersen, originator of the Accessibility Studies Program, was invited to Olympia to meet with Ryan Leisinger, Accessibility Coordinator for all state agencies. Their discussion included the alignment of the ASP curriculum with the competencies that the state expects accessibility coordinators to have.&nbsp;</p>CWU's ASP featured on Yakima TV News, 01 Jun 2017 20:20:47<p>CWU's Accessibility Studies Program was a feature on Yakima TV Station KIMA News Program May 19, 2017.</p><p>Reporter Ryan Yadao visited Black Hall to interview program originator Dr. Naomi Jeffery Petersen with Humberto Avila, a resident of Yakima and the first student to enroll. Mr. Avila was also instrumental in the development of the program beginning a year ago when he was a student in Dr. Petersen's education course. Blind since birth, Humberto has experienced issues of accessibility "from the get go", and offered strong words of praise for the program &nbsp;which is the first in the country to focus on environments.&nbsp;</p>Student Investigations Featured at Diversability Day, 12 May 2017 12:14:47<p>Students in ASP 305 Accessibility &amp; User Experience have investigated local venues for accessibility. Several of their reports will be featured at Diversability Day, an event highlighting the importance of barrier-free design in everyday environments. Posters of their &nbsp;photojournalistic efforts will be displayed during th event Monday May 15 at Dean Hall 430-600PM.</p><p>Several projects focused on CWU's main campus, such as&nbsp;Brittney Windsor's description of the Randall Clay Room. Humberto Avila shared his experience visiting CWU's Barge Hall from the perspective of a blind person trying to visit Student Accounts. His account included more than the architectural analysis for he explained the compound effects of physical obstacles, the lack of adequate signals, and the common anxieties all students have when trying to sort out financial difficulties. Joey Thornton focused on Mitchel Hall, nothing that "Though recently upgraded to include automatic door operation on the east end of the building, the west end still does not have push-button door assistance, which is an issue for the outward-opening doors throughout the building. Additionally, the second floor doors do not have push-button access, leaving the doors difficult to open. Often this is ameliorated by leaving the entrances to the second floor propped open during business hours. Sadly, this isn’t a permanent fix, and someone simply forgetting to prop open the doors is a reality every day."&nbsp;</p><p>A more ambitious investigation of CWU's campus was reported by Cheyanne Manning who analyzed the whole campus from the perspective of a wheelchair user: "Even the newest built building on CWU’s campus (Science II) isn’t easily accessible for someone in a wheelchair. The only entrance/exit that can be used is by a long ramp on the west side of the building. The building enters right off of a main mall on the east side, but there are stairs leading up to that entrance creating a barrier for someone who travels by wheelchair. There are many other examples of buildings on the campus that do not have easily accessible routes for wheelchairs. One building that has been concerning is Michaelsen Hall. This is a large two story academic building that does not have an elevator. If you are in a wheelchair and have a classroom on the second floor of Michaelsen you will have to enter through Randall Hall and take the elevator up, then travel through the Breeze Thru Café to get over to Michaelsen. Not only is that a far travel distance, it isn’t safe in case of emergency. Exterior issues have to do with campus inclines that are not to ADA code, so would be dangerous in a wheelchair (ex. Angled sidewalk on the northwest side of Bouillon Hall). Other issues pertain to bumpy travel, curb cuts missing and extended travel distances from parking spaces. There are more problems that are specific to weather changes; ice, snow, and large puddles creates hazards to PWDs."</p><p>Love's Truckstop in Ellensburg was also analyzed for wheelchair accessibility. Courtney Mohan found "As you drive up the building you notice that there is no handicap parking in front of the building. All of the handicap parking is located behind the building and not near any doors. Then the next challenge is getting over a ramp built into the sidewalk and is nearly non-existent. Not to mention the sidewalks and narrow and not wheelchair friendly. Next you notice that doors are not automatic and hard to open. If you are in a wheelchair and visit the Subway inside Loves, you learn that is a real challenge because the counter is so tall that you cannot see the menu boards very well because the counter is in the line of view. Next you can’t really see past the counter to order a sandwich and it is a struggle to order a sandwich because you also can’t see the product that you are ordering. Also if you proceed to the restroom though the store the aisles are very narrow. Once you enter the restroom, it’s very crowded and hard to enter the stall. Once in the handicap still it is not very use friendly. The bars are nowhere near the toilet neither is the toilet paper dispenser."</p><p>Patricia Dailey shared an experience common to many parking lots: other drivers who do not allow enough space for a wheelchair to be maneuvered in and out of a vehicle, and the great frustration in getting people to comply. An interesting aspect to these investigations is the responsibility of the property owner to guarantee access but also the customs of the store managers enforcing (or not) these requirements on other customers who may violate them. Parking was also an issue in Brittany Francis' article on Rotary Park in Wenatchee where "There are only two handicap parking spaces for the entire park. They are also the farthest spots from the park entrance trail."</p><p>An elementary school in Entiat, WA, was also found to be inhospitable. Deb Porrovecchio reported that "There is no signage to help guide those in need of these services. PWODs have no problem directly entering the building from the few parking spots in front or on the side of building. Once in the building PWD need someone with access keys to use the elevators. Making PWDs dependent on others for mobility. This unnecessary dependence to participate in a basic child related activity discourages PWDs to be supportive, and be considered typical, ordinary people."</p><p>The students in this online class may live far from Ellensburg, so they are spotlighting many different locations.Camille Grove found McNary Dam in Umatilla, Oregon, located on the Columbia River on the border between Oregon and Washington State, "surprisingly in such a small town, is a very disability friendly park.&nbsp; Other investigations included Foss High School entrance in Tacoma which Sandi Gruberg found to be a mountain of inaccessible steps. In Yakima, Brittney Deaton analyzed Northtown Coffeehouse from several perspectives of persons with disabilities (PWDs) and found it welcoming. Hannah Spero visited&nbsp;JUMP-Jack’s Urban Meeting Place, in downtown Boise, Idaho and interviewed people with and without disabilities and found it "stimulating and creatively engineering/constructed."</p><p>In her analysis of a Fred Meyer store in Bothel, Olga Selezneva provided a good description of a person without disabilities in order to make the point of contrast for a person with disabilities: "When I am the person without disability, I see a store as a well organized place. I can easily move around, and if necessary reach for that pack of salt on the very first floor row or that one special candy set that I crave for often on the very top row that is above my head. Basically, I have all the physical freedom of bending and reaching that eases the trip to a grocery store and results in me buying whatever I wanted, but when I see people riding in carts while shopping - a thought slips my through my mind, “lucky person, doesn’t have to walk when so tired”. In the freedom of PWODs, we see the world more acceptable, more welcoming, and more caring. However, there is the other side to the coin. Being a person with physical disability, you don’t see store trips as easy."</p>CWU Accessibility Studies Focus at Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, 22 Feb 2017 16:00:44<p>Central Washington University's new Accessibility Studies program was the subject of a presentation at the Conference on Higher Edu</p><p>cation Pedagogy at Virginia Tech in February. The conference is focused on ways to improve instruction at the college level.&nbsp;<img alt="" src="/accessibility-studies/sites/" style="width: 400px; float: right; height: 296px;"></p><p>Accessibility Studies professor Naomi Petersen explained the origin of the program&nbsp;from using 3-D printing to make instructional mat</p><div><div><p>erials accessible to a blind student, to realizing the need for courses in producing accommodations for disabilities. She further explained&nbsp;how this&nbsp;recognized need went into developing a completely new academic program focused on accessibility and universal design.&nbsp;</p><p>Many of this year’s sessions addressed online learning, of interest to the Accessibility Studies program because the four core courses are all provided online.&nbsp;Petersen was encouraged to return next year to report on the result of an innovative model of offering all four courses as an integrated summer unit.</p><p>Petersen reported that many conference attendees remarked on the speed with which the program was proposed and accepted.</p><p>--February 22, 2017</p></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p>CWU To Offer Studies In Accessibility; 10-Week Certificate Available Summer 2017, 09 Feb 2017 14:37:24<p>Central Washington University has approved a new certificate and minor in <img style="margin: 3px; width: 350px; height: 263px; float: right;" alt="Stairs and wheelchair ramp" src="/accessibility-studies/sites/">Accessibility Studies, which will start this spring. It’s the first program in the country dedicated to increasing accessibility by applying universal design principles to all fields of study and careers.</p><p>The program provides opportunities to learn about barriers that exclude people with disabilities. Moreover, it serves to ensure that every environment will accommodate everyone, regardless of ability.</p><p>“We want all environments to be designed for maximum functionality by maximum participation,” said Naomi Petersen, Accessibility Studies professor.</p><p>One fifth of the population is affected by disability, and laws protect their rights as individuals to have access. To be accessible, an environment—work, home, school, shopping, medical, leisure, and virtual/digital—must be functional for everyone.</p><p>These laws and accessibility requirements directly impact employers in all industries. And having employees skilled in this area brings added value to an organization.</p><p>The idea for the program stemmed from Petersen’s challenge to use a 3D printer to make instructional materials accessible to a blind student. Petersen found herself asking, “Where do I learn about this?”— Only to find that typically you must figure it out for yourself. After working closely with <a href="">Disability Services</a> and the <a href="">Multimodal Education Center</a>, she realized the university could provide this area of study to aid Central’s staff and students, as well as other professionals.</p><p>The university agreed.</p><p>Almost 30 CWU pre-professional degrees across disciplines—from business and information technology, to social services and safety and health management—have added the Accessibility minor option as a way to broaden their student’s employment opportunities. Several interdisciplinary research projects have already been proposed.</p><p>The first course, ASP 305 Accessibility and User Experience, will be offered spring quarter. A fast-track certificate will be available in the summer. Students who choose this option can become certified in 10 weeks by completing a four-course sequence online.</p><p>A minor in Accessibility Studies is earned by completing five program-approved elective credits in addition to earning the certification. The credits must be related to the student’s major area of study.</p><p>The Accessibility curriculum is aligned with the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) certification, to prepare students to be successful on the IAAP test.</p><p>All courses are offered online in order to make them available to those who are online majors as well as for working professionals.</p><p>While still in its infancy, the Accessibility Studies program has established goals for the future, including a foundation account for donations and grants that will fund scholarships and research.&nbsp;</p><p>As an employer, CWU human resources executive director Staci Sleigh-Layman instantly recognized the value to the university and other employers.</p><p>“There is real benefit to having our supervisors have this knowledge and competence, and to use it in their areas or responsibility across the campus,” Sleigh-Layman said.</p><p>She is helping to guide the design of specialized industry training for select supervisors, come fall. As the pilot, CWU would use the training as a career development opportunity for employees. Additionally, she said, face-to-face, or hybrid instruction is being considered.</p><p>“This kind of program is the type that would be attractive to many companies and organizations … it’s movable and scalable,” according to Sleigh-Layman.</p><p>A formal Accessibility Studies launch will take place on May 18th on the CWU Ellensburg campus. The date was chosen to coincide with Global Accessibility Awareness Day.</p><p>For more information, or to register for spring quarter, visit the Department of Curriculum, Supervision, and Educational Leadership <a href="">Accessibility Studies website</a> or contact Naomi Petersen at, 509-963-1481.</p><p>Media contact: Dawn Alford, public affairs coordinator, 509-963-1484, <a href=""></a>.</p><p>--February 9, 2017</p></a href="">