West Virginia colleges working together to support students with disabilities


SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Representatives from West Virginia’s public colleges and universities met in South Charleston today to discuss strategies to support students with disabilities. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS) hosted a one-day workshop focusing on policies, communications practices and environmental and learning resources to encourage a campus-wide culture that supports diversity and accessibility.

“Ensuring access for all students is critical to fulfilling our mission of providing high-quality education and training programs to meet the needs of West Virginia’s communities,” James Skidmore, Chancellor of the WVCTCS, said. “Compliance with regulations is merely the baseline. Our goal is to ensure that our campuses exemplify an environment where all students feel welcome, supported and capable of fulfilling their highest potential.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 11 percent of college students have some form of impairment, such as a learning disability, visual handicap, hard of hearing or deafness, speech difficulties, or mobility or other physical disabilities. Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the Commission, said meeting the needs of these students is a priority for West Virginia’s higher education system.

“The Commission’s five-year master plan for higher education, ‘Leading the Way: Access, Success, Impact,’ sets forth a bold vision for expanding higher education opportunities for students of all ages, incomes and backgrounds” Dr. Hill said. “Today’s workshop highlights our campuses’ commitment to increasing diversity, advancing equity through equal access to education and addressing the unique needs of students to support their long-term success.”

Resources presented during today’s workshop can be found below.

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Agenda

 Download a PDF of the workshop agenda »

Welcome

  • Dr. Adam S. Green, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and West Virginia Community and Technical College System
  • James L. Skidmore, Chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System
  • Matt Turner, Executive Vice Chancellor of Administration, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and West Virginia Community and Technical College System

 

Office for Civil Rights presentation

  • Michael Wesley, Equal Opportunity Specialist, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education

 

West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services presentation

  • Douglas Auten, Rehabilitation Services Manager I, CRP/Transition and Education Programs
  • Aaron B. Topping, Senior Manager, Field Specialty Programs
  • Angela Walker, Rehabilitation Program Specialist, Transition and Education Programs

 

Q&A

  • Daniel Crockett, Director of Student and Educational Services, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and West Virginia Community and Technical College System