CWUNewsNews to feature panel on disabilities depicted in the media, hosted by CWU Accessibility Studies, 02 Mar 2018 16:15:09<p>Every spring, thousands of anime fans attend Sakura-Con at Seattle Convention Center. Presented by the Asia Northwest Cultural Education Association, Sakura-Con is the oldest and most well attended anime convention in the Pacific Northwest.&nbsp; This year, over 20,000 people are expected downtown Seattle&nbsp; March 19-April 1 with many in "cosplay"--dressed as their favorite characters from their fantasy films and series. Many will participate in the first-ever Moi-même-Moitié fashion show in the US.&nbsp; Freeway park will be populated with many photo ops. There are many contests, such as costume, AMV (fan music videos), karaoke, and scavenger hunt.</p><p>Special guests include voice actors and such animators as Shigefumi Shingaki, the animation director for One Piece, and also known for Dragon Ball GT, Samurai 7, Hikaru No Go, Kancolle, and the long-running series, Doraemon. Attendees can expect dazzling displays of classic swordplay and a well-stocked exhibit hall of games and costumes.&nbsp; There will e a masquerade ball and special music guest is OKAMOTO’S, a four-piece rock band from Shinjuku, Tokyo.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Many panels are available with topics about asian culture and history, the techniques of media, and celebrity interviews. Sunday morning, attendees are invited to join the discussion of ways people with disabilities are depicted in media, including anime film, graphic novels, games, and toys. Dr. Naomi Jeffery Petersen, who directs CWU's Accessibility Studies Program will lead the panel. She says the participants will have opportunities to share&nbsp; their&nbsp; perspectives and experience.</p><p>She hopes the conversation will "help us compile a list of examples that advocate for greater awareness of physical, sensory, cognitive, and emotional challenges in everyday life." This will be put to use in another year when the new General Education Program is implemented.&nbsp;</p><p>ASP 187 is one of the many new Freshman Year Special Topics Seminar courses. It's special topic is<strong> Freaks, Victims &amp; Heroes: Portrayals of People with Disabilities in Popular Media and Games.</strong> The 4-credit course is described in the catalog as "Portrayals of degrees of ability (sensorimotor; cognitive). Physical and social barriers to independent and meaningful life for people with disabilities. The role of accessibility competence in culture and careers. Legislation entitling accessibility in public accommodations."</p><p>People with disabilities are a large minority, estimated to be about 20% of the population, and this is increasing as people benefit from better medical care. There is greater awareness thanks to ADA but people with disabilities still experience exclusion due to stigma and ignorance.<br>Popular media has an important role in this, both perpetuating stereotypes and enlightening people to the realities of the experiences of their conditions. A focus on disability awareness highlights cultural differences regarding individual differences and roles that are assigned to people. In this panel we invite participants to share their experiences but also what they recognize as significant depictions of disability in popular media.<br>Disabilities have been exaggerated for dramatic effect, sometimes with a simple association with a known medical condition, e.g. the Hunchback of Notre Dame.&nbsp; In the fantasy genre differences in ability are inherent to the characters, e.g. Powder, Daredeveil, all the Xmen. Any great deviation from the norm renders the character vulnerable to the misunderstandings and malevolence of society at large as well as particular villains, e.g. the Incredibles. It is dismaying to people with disabilities to be reduced to pathetic recipients of charity or who are restricted out of lower expectations (e.g. Finding Nemo) due to conditions that in reality are simply more challenging and complex than most. Awareness of the experiences of people with disabilities is also evident in the fandom of anime and manga. There is even a forum thread that discusses main characters with disabilities:<br>As Lindwasser ( commented, “Some anime that tackle disability do it with nuance and specificity - if you watch Prince of Tennis, for instance, you're going to learn a lot about Guillain-Barré Syndrome. If you watch Gangsta, you're going to learn something about how real people deal with being deaf. Other anime is more vague about it, giving their characters unspecified injuries or heart problems with symptoms that don't quite add up - but these characters can still tell us important things about the social and emotional implications of disability. All of these characters are an important part of their story, sometimes because of how the show handles their disability, and sometimes because they're just really freakin' awesome characters.” A Silent Voice&nbsp; is a pretty deep dive into what accommodations are (or aren't) provided to a deaf character.<br>Recently there have been some inspiring works that illuminate these challenges, such as Mis(h)adra, a graphic novel about an Arab-American student with epilepsy. It is significant because it includes the intersection of cultural differences.&nbsp; This is why the panel is so important: disabilities are common, and their misunderstandings even more so, resulting in limited opportunities for all people. We all benefit if qualified people can engage in careers and commerce, and we all suffer if we are afraid of being different.<br>Some examples are counterproductive, such as Yomi, a demon from Yu Yu Hakusho, who grows additional ears to compensate for blindness, playing into the fantasy that there is some mystical balance to be imposed if one has a deficit, instead of focusing on the resilience, creativity, and realism of more credible heroes like Jun Misugi in Capt Tsubasa who adjusts his role without compromising his commitment after heart problems limit his soccer play.<br>This panel is an opportunity for people with such experiences to voice their perspective. It is also an opportunity to gather lists of resources recommended by people with the authority of their own experience. These resources can then be used for the new academic field of Accessibility Studies, which focuses on environmental readiness for all to participate instead of on individual rehabilitation.&nbsp;<br>The panel will be organized with a very brief orientation to the concept of multiple types of disability (physical, sensory, cognitive, psychiatric) and the history and stigma associated with them, and the role of media to both perpetuate stereotypes and enlighten people to the ideals of maximum participation and autonomy for people of any degree of ability.</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>CWU's Accessibility Studies Professors invited to address Washington Association of District Employees Conference, 28 Feb 2018 11:44:08<p>There are 45 Conservation Districts in Washington State, dedicated to&nbsp;work collaboratively&nbsp; to help people responsibly and efficiently manage their land and conserve natural resources. They provide information and opportunities to make connections, so they all have websites. But are those websites accessible?</p><p>Laura Johnson, Communications Coordinator for the Washington State Conservation Commission, announced that Dr. Naomi Jeffery Petersen, who directs the new Accessibility Studies Program at CWU, has been invited to address website accessibility at their annual conference. Joining her will be Dr. Joshua Welsh of CWU's English Dept. who teaches ASP 435 Accessible Information Design.</p><p>The WADE conference will be held&nbsp; June 11-13, 2018 at Sleeping Lady Mountain Retreat in Leavenworth, WA.&nbsp;;</p><p><img alt="" src="/accessibility-studies/sites/" style="width: 154px; height: 200px; float: right;"></p><p>Drs. Petersen and Welsh will explain the new Washington State Policy 188 which requires all state agencies to designate an accessibility coordinator and draft an accessibliity plan ensuring that information is perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust-- the four components of the internationally adopted WAG (website accessibility guidelines):<em> "Accessible Website Design – Is Your Conservation District Website P.O.U.R.?"</em></p><p>The WAG guidelines ask four questions:</p><p><img alt="UN symbol for accessibility" src="/accessibility-studies/sites/" style="width: 75px; height: 75px; float: left;"></p><ul style="margin-left: 120px;"><li>Is it perceivable?</li><li>is it operable?</li><li>Is it understandable?</li><li>Is it robust?</li></ul><p>At the WADE annual conference,&nbsp; thre are tracks of workshops addressing&nbsp; communication, outrach, and IT in addition to&nbsp; strands on riparian rights, forestry, farming, and finance.&nbsp; For example,&nbsp; &nbsp;"<em>Cultivating Environments for Everyone: Addressing Social Justice in your Programs and Outreach Efforts"&nbsp;</em>will be presented by Dr. Kate Darby of Western Washington University which is introducing a minor degree program in Social and Environmental Justice. Scott Nicolai of the Yakima Nation Fisheries will present "<em>Case Study: Stream and floodplain restoration using woody debris from forest health improvement projects in tributaries of the Yakima River."</em></p><p>Dr. Petersen is also working to provide professional development opportunities for employees. She can be contacted at Dr. Welsh can be reached at;</p></ul style="margin-left: 120px;">New 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="">