top of page

Building Partnerships for Accessibility: Highlights from Meeting with VCU ADA Services and AHEAD

A group of individuals gathered at a table. The table is black, and is strewn with papers, notebooks, laptops, tablets, and glass water cups. The individual on the far left has brown skin and wears a yellow and white patterned shirt. The person next to them has light skin, black hair, and wears a white quarter-zip. The person in the middle has olive skin and wears a cream headscarf and glasses, and a yellow and brown checked tunic. The individual on the far right has light skin, ginger hair, and glasses, and wears a gray jacket with a blue collar. The person in the right foreground is turned away, has light skin and brown hair in space buns, and is wearing a white long sleeved shirt.

We are thrilled to share an exciting update with our community! Following a productive meeting with Katy Washington, the President of AHEAD and the ADA Coordinator at VCU, we have gained invaluable support for our initiative to enhance accommodations and foster inclusive higher education. This collaboration marks a significant step towards making important institutional changes that benefit students with disabilities at VCU.

One of the key objectives discussed in the meeting was the need to educate professors and improve adherence to accommodations. Working closely with the Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity (SAEO) office and ASDCC this summer, Katy Washington has committed to assisting us in designing and implementing impactful professor trainings at VCU. These trainings will raise awareness, provide guidance, and promote a better understanding of the diverse needs of students with disabilities among faculty members.

Katy Washington acknowledged the power of student voices in effecting institutional change. She expressed the importance of sharing firsthand experiences with faculty and staff to foster empathy, understanding, and collaboration. In line with this, we are thrilled to announce our upcoming student panel event, where students with disabilities and chronic conditions will have the opportunity to share their stories, challenges, and successes. This event aims to bridge the gap between professors and students, fostering a sense of shared understanding and leveling the playing field.

It is worth noting that student voices hold tremendous power when it comes to driving institutional change. While disability offices play a crucial role in providing support and guidance, the experiences and perspectives shared by students can often have a profound impact on policy development, awareness, and fostering a more inclusive campus environment. We encourage all members of our community, including ASDCC members, individuals from the broader disability community, and community organizations, to actively engage and contribute their voices to this important initiative.

We are delighted to have the support and commitment of the ADA office at VCU, represented by Katy Washington. This partnership marks the beginning of a transformative journey to improve accommodations and foster inclusivity for students with disabilities and chronic conditions. Remember, your voices are powerful catalysts for change, and together, we can create a more equitable and empowering educational experience at VCU.

The logo for innovative inclusion, three individuals posed sitting together on stools. The individual on the left wears a pink tank top and shorts, and has a prosthetic arm. The person in the middle wears a pink short sleeved shirt and biker shorts, and has an afro. The person on the right wears a cropped orange tank top and leggings, and wears shades and holds a walking stick.

bottom of page