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UWM ADA Advisory Committee
2007-08 Year End Report
May 16, 2008


The Americans with Disability Act Advisory Committee (ADAAC) met on a regular basis throughout the 2007-2008 academic year. The committee is composed of students, staff, and faculty members from across the university. The Committee maintains a Web page that includes it’s charge, membership, and meeting agenda/minutes (http://www.ada.uwm.edu) so that it’s deliberations are accessible and transparent.

Significant Accomplishments this Past Academic Year (2007-2008):

  • Received periodic reports from Laurie Petersen (Director, SAC) concerning the provision of services by the Student Accessibility Center.
  • Received periodic reports from Stacy McKearn (ADA Coordinator) concerning issues associated with ADA requests from employees.
  • Received periodic reports from Aura Hirschman (Coordinator, Access-Ed Project) concerning development efforts to infuse principles of universal design into the campus environment. One key finding in a recent campus survey found that only 50% of the students with disabilities that completed the survey utilize services through SAC. In addition, the survey found that 23% of the students, who currently do not use SAC services, reported an impairment that could benefit from universal design interventions.
  • Participated in the Campus Benefits Fair (October 2007), for the first time, by staffing a table with a display to highlight disability access issues for faculty and staff.
  • Created an ADA graphic image (identifier) that will be used in periodic information awareness campaigns.
  • Published the first ADA awareness ad in the April 2008 UWM Report.
  • Obtained a vanity URL to facilitate the location of ADA information on the campus web site (changed from: http://www4.uwm.edu/acad_aff/climate/ada/index.cfm to http://ada.uwm.edu.
  • Submitted a funding request to the Director of Human Resources for a small budget for the committee for 2008-2009. This funding request would be used for activities such as printing materials for dissemination at campus events (e.g., benefits fair, employee orientations), creation of a table cover for use at various campus events, purchase of a desktop poster display, and to bring a speaker to campus during the Disability Awareness Event in October 2008.

Current Activities (Summer/Fall 2008)

  • The Committee recognizes a critical need for improving the Web presence of ADA policies and procedures to assist interested individuals in gaining information and being directed to appropriate resources.
  • The Committee has engaged the services of two UWM marketing graduate students who are assisting the Committee in creating a plan for a coordinated information/marketing plan for disseminating about issues of accessibility and accommodations. The current activities involve defining (a) a core message (e.g., Compliance [campus, state, and federal laws and policies], Education [helping key stakeholders understand roles, rights, responsibilities and practical and effective interventions]), (b) strategies for disseminating information to the campus community, and (c) how to tailor our messages to address the unique information needs of various stakeholders (Employee Sector [interviews, employment, accommodation requests], Student Sector [campus visits, admissions, freshman seminars, SAC, VISA, work with professors, how to get help if you struggle], and the Community Sector (campus visitors, reoccuring events on campus such as art, athletics, union, etc., how to request accommodations]).
  • The Committee is planning a series of Disability Awareness Month events that will be part of an October celebration. We will seek groups to sponsor individual events. Our role will be to serve as the umbrella organization to coordinate activities and facilitate advertising. The Committee again plans to participate in the Benefits Fair with a table and information.
  • The Committee has been contacted about a problem that developed in an online course where accessible media was not available to a student who requested it. The issue that will be discussed involves clarifying roles and responsibilities for making digital media accessible.
  • The Committee is engaging in conversations with UITS and the Library regarding Soreson Relay and their upgrade of the video booth in the Union in January. Soreson asked the campus if they would be willing to host an event to raise awareness about the equipment. During discussion, it came to light that the Library also has similar equipment (that had not be upgraded).

Hopefully this brief report provides a adequate glimpse of the activities and accomplishments of the ADAAC during the current academic year. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information or answer any questions.

Respectfully Submitted,

Dave Edyburn
Chair, ADAAC