CWUNewsNews Freshmen and Transfer Students Sign Up for Accessibility Studies, 10 Jul 2018 14:39:04<p>Accessibility Studies Program Director Dr. Naomi Jeffery Petersen is letting all the incoming freshmen and transfer students know about Accessibility Studies during Discovery Days visits this summer. pre-requisites.<img alt="" src="/accessibility-studies/sites/" style="width: 800px; height: 600px;"><br>Everyone should become an advocate for themselves and others, because disabilities are so prevalent. They can be temporary, they are usually invisible, and they are inevitable.&nbsp;</p><p>The knowledge and skills you develop in the Accessibility Studies Program are personally meaningful and definitely marketable! Only 15 credits, online, and</p> </br>Lt. Gov Habib inspires awareness and acceptance of accessibility issues at CWU 2018 Commencement, 09 Jun 2018 11:30:29<p>Washington State Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib was the keynote speaker at CWU's Commencement ceremony this morning. The child of immigrants, 3-time cancer survivor, blind since age of 8 graduate of Harvard spoke of the importance of imagination to overcome obstacles. His words and his life are an inspiration for people facing exclusion for any reason.<br>This is the driving force behind the CWU Accessibility Studies Program: Imagine an accessible world!</p></br>Fashioning Diversity: CWU Backs Doll Wheelchair Project, 30 May 2018 10:40:46<p><img alt="Doll Wheelchair" src="/accessibility-studies/sites/" style="width: 650px; height: 433px; margin: 3px;"></p><p>The appearance of fashion dolls has changed drastically over the decades since Barbie debuted in March 1959, becoming more diverse and assuming new body types, ethnicities and roles.</p><p>And now, with a fashion doll-size wheelchair created by Lammily Dolls through a Kickstarter campaign sponsored by Central Washington University, they can also be physically disabled, bringing attention to the need for universal design — making products to serve those with disabilities, notes a news release.</p><p>“It was important for us to be involved in the startup of the Lammily wheelchair because it shows that we are supporting the innovation that is progressive socially of identifying how prevalent disabilities are,” said Naomi Petersen, accessibility studies professor at Central, in a news release.</p><p>The university offers the only accessibility studies program in the nation and supported a Kickstarter that developed the only fashion doll-size wheelchair on the market.</p><p>Read the article in its entirety online at the <a href="" target="_blank">Yakima Herald Republic</a>.</p><table align="left" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 100%"><tbody><tr><td><p><strong>CWU Accessibility Studies</strong><br>Central offers a certificate and minor in accessibility studies. With a focus on teaching that all environments should be accessible for all people, the program helps students in diverse career fields — social work, communications, construction, law and justice and human resources — understand compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and how to interact with people who may have different abilities.</p><p>The certificate and the minor can be completed online in as little as 10 weeks during the summer session, or courses can be taken one at a time during the year.</p>Enrollment is underway for summer session. To learn more, visit</td></tr></tbody></table><p>&nbsp;</p></table align="left" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 100%"></br>Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, 17 May 2018 08:25:58<p>Today we celebrate the seventh annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day.</p><p>The target audience of GAAD is the design, development, usability, and related communities who build, shape, fund and influence technology and its use. While people may be interested in the topic of making technology accessible and usable by persons with disabilities, the reality is that they often do not know how or where to start. Awareness comes first.</p><p>Technological advances are an important part of this, with such firms as <a href="">Microsoft</a> leading the effort.&nbsp;</p><p>Last year CWU&nbsp; hosted Diversability Day to launch its new Accessibility Studies Program-- timed to coincide with GAAD. The first of its kind in the country, Accessibility Studies promotes awareness and acceptance of diverse abilities in the practical activities we all do. Students learn the principles of universal design and accessible information in order to recognize unnecessary barriers to full participation.</p><p>Accessibility competence is an important part of every career because people with disabilities are both employees and customers, and anyone at any time can experience a great difference in their physical and mental abilities yet still be able to function otherwise. It doesn't really matter whether the difficulty occurs due to disease, car accidents, combat, genetic mutation, or simply due to a situation. The point of the Accessibility Studies Program&nbsp; is to understand the place and the activities so no one is excluded.</p><p>Sign up now for a class now and become more aware of your rights and your opportunities to make the world more inclusive. All classes are offered this summer:</p><ul><li>ASP 305 Accessibility and User Experience</li><li>ASP 325 Universal Design</li><li>ASP 435 Accessible Information Design</li></ul><p>If you take the first three, you can also take ASP 485 Capstone and complete the certificate.</p><p>If you add 5 more credits you can complete the minor. Those credits can come from your major by identifying classes that have accessibility issues.</p><p>Contact <a href=";body=I%20am%20interested%20in%20the%20Accessibility%20Studies%20Certificate%20or%20Minor.">Dr. Naomi Petersen</a> for more information.</p></a href=";body=I%20am%20interested%20in%20the%20Accessibility%20Studies%20Certificate%20or%20Minor.">CWU Continues to Innovate, Makes Accessibility Accessible, 14 May 2018 11:07:59<p><img alt="Doll sitting in wheelchair with another doll standing next to the wheelchair" src="/accessibility-studies/sites/" style="width: 650px; height: 496px; margin: 3px;">Central Washington University is not new to innovation especially in the field of accessibility. CWU offers the only Accessibility Studies program in the nation and recently supported a Kickstarter that developed the only fashion doll-sized wheelchair on the market.</p><p>Through CWU’s sponsorship, the Lammily wheelchair was made possible. While the toy serves as a playful accessory, it also brings attention to the need for universal design—making products to serve those with disabilities.</p><p>“It was important for us [CWU] to be involved in the startup of the Lammily wheelchair because it shows that we are supporting the innovation that is progressive socially of identifying how prevelent disabilities are,” said Naomi Petersen, CWU accessibility studies professor.</p><p><iframe class="youtube-player" frameborder="0" height="390" longdesc="Accessibility Studies Doll Wheelchair" scrolling="no" src="//" title="YouTube video player" type="text/html" width="100%"></iframe><br>According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 56.7 million people – 19 percent of the population – had a disability in 2010. Petersen explained not only is it important to know that people with disabilities exist, but if you live long enough everyone will be disabled due to old age.</p><p>While other programs focus on the rehabilitation of people with disabilites, CWU is the only program with a focus on teaching that all environments should be accessible for all people. By exporing common everday real-world settings, the Accessibility Studies program exposes the need for universal design in buildings, environments, and products—removing barriers for the disabled.</p><p>Every career field has some aspect of accessibility. The program teaches students in diverse career fields from social work, communications, construction, law and justice, and human resources to understand ADA compliance and how to interact with people who may have different abilities.</p><p>The Lammily wheelchair, although just a toy, helps destigmatize people who require assistance while providing wheelchair-bound children a toy that they can relate to.</p><p>“It may seem like it’s very playful, but that can have a powerful influence on generations to come realizing that this is part of our everyday assistive technology and it should be in every child’s toy box,” said Petersen.</p><p><strong>About Accessibility Studies</strong><br>CWU offers a certificate and minor in Accessibility Studies. Both offerings can be completed online in as little as 10 weeks during the summer session, or courses can be taken one at a time during the year. Enrollment is currently underway for summer session.</p><p>To learn more about CWU Accessibility Studies program visit</p><p>Media Contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,;</p></br></br>CWU Sheds Light on Disabilities with New Toy, 14 May 2018 11:04:16<p><img alt="Toy wheelchair with packaging" src="/accessibility-studies/sites/" style="width: 650px; height: 485px; margin: 3px;">Central Washington University offers the only Accessibility Studies program in the nation. While other programs focus on disability, Central’s focus is on teaching that all environments should be accessible for all people.</p><p>By exploring common everyday real-world settings, students in the Accessibility Studies program expose the need for universal design in buildings, products, and environments for those with disabilities.</p><p>CWU’s latest venture involves the sponsorship of an innovative kickstarter—the Lammily wheelchair—the only fashion doll-sized wheelchair on the market. Although just a toy, the wheelchair has benefits beyond that of entertaining children.</p><p>Naomi Petersen is a CWU Acessibility Studies professor. She said it’s important to realize that not only do people with disabilies exist, they constitute 20 percent of the population.</p><p>“It may seem like it’s very playful, but that can have a powerful influence on generations to come realizing that this is part of our everyday assistive technology and it should be in every child’s toy box," Petersen said.</p><p>Petersen's hope is through the Lammily wheelchair, future generations will be aware of the need for accessibility for all people.</p><p>To learn more about CWU Accessibility Studies program and the Lammily wheelchair, visit their website here.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Published on May 10, 2018 by <a href="" target="_blank">KAPP-TV/KVEW-TV</a></em></p>ASP Capstones Featured at SOURCE, 08 May 2018 18:20:44<p>SOURCE is a university-wide event that showcases all disciplines of research, scholarship, and creative activities by undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff at Central Washington University. Accessibility Studies Program will be a featured panel Thursday May 18 2:30-330PM just before the keynote speaker and SOURCE dinner.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/accessibility-studies/sites/" style="width: 391px; height: 600px; float: right;"></p><p>Dr. Naomi Petersen will moderate the panel, beginning with an overview of the Accessibility Studies Certificate and Minor programs. The Accessibility Studies Program (ASP) provides an interdisciplinary opportunity to learn about the challenges facing people with disabilities and limitations, estimated to be nearly a fifth of the population. A certificate or minor in Accessibility Studies demonstrates competence in recognizing where, when, and how to accommodate such needs.&nbsp; Competence includes facilitating accessible transitions and employment for people with disabilities and limitations, approached from different perspectives of employers, social service agencies,&nbsp;&nbsp; commercial enterprises, and the people requiring accessthemselves. The capstone course requires investigation of a real world context and the design of a solution to an accessibility problem in that context.</p><p>This panel presents several current capstone projects in progress: Investigating the accessibilty of playground equipment in Ellensburg parks; Developing guidelines for accessible documents to be posted on a community college website; and Making artwork and glass blowing in the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA accessible to people with low vision as well as including other techniques to make the museum more accessible in general. Analyzing media for the use of people-first language; Troubleshooting public transportation for adults with autism.&nbsp;</p><p>The projects not only demonstrate the ASP students' competence, they contribute to the development of accessible real world environments. Students will share the practical application of accessibility competence to their career fields.</p><p>Registration is currently open for the summer session which provides the complete Accessibility Studies Program of course.</p>Sakura-Con 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>