CWU News

CWU Director of Disability Services Wins Inaugural RADD Award

Photo of Wendy Holden

CWU Director of Disability Services Wendy Holden

Central Washington University’s Director of Disability Services Wendy Holden recently won the Disability Inclusion Network’s (DIN) Respect, Acceptance and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities (RADD) award in the “manager” category. This year marks the first presentation of the RADD awards, created to celebrate exemplary leadership in disability inclusion in Washington state.

Holden has worked with CWU for 11 years in various disability and access-focused roles. She and her colleague Marshall Sunnes spearheaded the creation of the Central Access Reader, a text-to-speech program for use with mathematics. Holden and Sunnes worked alongside a group of CWU Computer Science students to make math materials more accessible to the blind and other low-vision individuals.

“I’ve really just worked to advocate for students with disabilities, expand our outreach, and educate the campus community about the value of disability as an aspect of diversity,” Holden said. “I serve on a lot of committees to ensure we’re considering accessibility in whatever we do, whether it’s physical access on campus or the accessibility of course materials.”

Holden is currently working on introducing support programs and spaces for neurodiverse students as part of her ongoing commitment to expanding access to higher education for everyone. While she’s grateful to be honored with the inaugural RADD award, she emphasizes that the work being done in CWU Disability Services is very much a team effort.

“I’ve been really fortunate to have good support here at Central, and really awesome people to collaborate with,” Holden said. “Nothing I accomplished was by myself; it was all part of the team, with the support and mentorship of many incredible people.”

Media contact: Rune Torgersen, Department of Public Affairs,, 509-963-1264