Professionalism & Leadership

Lightning Talk: Program Description Abstract

An Exercise in Diversity: Providing Resources to Disabled Faculty and Staff at a Large University

Monday, May 6
5:25 PM - 5:30 PM
Room: Columbus KL (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Background : Although our large academic institution has been well equipped with resources and services for its students with disabilities through its Office of Student Services, there has never been a centralized process to assist faculty and staff members with disabilities who need to know about available disability and accessibility resources on campus and where to find special services. This information gap adversely impacts both recruiting and maintaining employment of faculty and staff with disabilities. A cross-campus committee, the Council for Disability Concerns, chaired by a librarian and including a number of librarians, among other colleagues, decided to address this problem.


Description : The Council for Disability Concerns applied for and received a grant of $7,000 from a campus initiative called Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). These funds were allocated for constructing a website portal to which group members would contribute a wide variety of disability resources and services. The initiative “Success at Work” was created as a PowerPoint slide to outline the initial stage of the project. Such topics as accessibility aids, transportation assistance, and disability affinity groups will be included. The disability resources will be evaluated and updated on a continuous basis. The website, when completed, will be part of the Office of Institutional Equity, under the supervision of the campus director of the Americans with Disability Act. The second phase of the project, provided it can be adequately funded, will include a physical space for disabled individuals to meet.


Conclusion : Since the program "Success at Work" is still a work in progress in its early stages, our plans are to continue to populate the online portal. When a critical mass of relevant resources has been compiled, we expect to evaluate the website resources by means of a survey to our mailing list of over 330 Council members. Subsequently, we will consult with another university unit specifically charged with recruiting diverse faculty members, to measure the outcomes of their recruitment of individuals with disabilities and discover whether the "Success at Work" resources portal has been an effective tool for this purpose.


 

Anna Ercoli Schnitzer

Informationist
Taubman Health Sciences Library
ANN ARBOR, Michigan

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