Story by Maggie Miranda-Birt
Colorado State University is proud to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate people about disability employment and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is #InclusionWorks.
To celebrate, the Office of Equal Opportunity has partnered with the Assistive Technology Resource Center, the Center for Community Partnerships, the Department of Occupational Therapy, the Career Center, Resources for Disabled Students and Ram Events to provide programming for the campus community throughout the month. Below is a list of confirmed events, and an additional event is anticipated. This list of events will be updated if another event is added. Please mark your calendars to attend these informative programs.
Disability: In the Workplace
4-5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 10, in the Lory Student Center, room 226-228
Disability: At Halloween (Is Disability a Halloween Costume?)
4-5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 24, in the Lory Student Center, room 226-228
The Disability Dialogues is a new program sponsored by Resources for Disabled Students with the purpose of providing an accessible and comfortable space to bring disability into the discourse of everyday activities. Each session is free, open to students, employees and faculty members.
The Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA Amendments Act: Information for Supervisors
10:30-11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 11, in the Lory Student Center, room 312
This presentation provides an overview of the ADA and the ADA Amendments Act, protections extended by the Acts, a supervisor’s responsibilities with regard to the Acts, guidance on how to interact with an employee with a disability, and information on the reasonable accommodation process as well as new state legislation regarding requests for accommodations by pregnant employees. Though the target audience is any supervisor at CSU, this free presentation is open to all students, staff and faculty. This event is presented by the Office of Equal Opportunity.
Accommodations for Pregnancy and Employees with Disabilities
2:30-3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 12, in the Lory Student Center, room 372-374
11:00 a.m.-noon, Friday, Oct. 21, in the Lory Student Center, room 308-310
This presentation provides an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, and provides an overview of the accommodation process at CSU, including definitions and terms. This presentation will also provide information on the recently passed Colorado House Bill 16-1438 (commonly referred to as the Colorado Pregnancy Accommodation Bill) relating to accommodations for pregnant employees and how it differs from ADA and ADAAA requirements. This event is presented by the Office of Equal Opportunity, is free, and is open to all students, staff and faculty.
Electronic Curb Cuts: A New Policy with New Requirements
1:30-2:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, in the Lory Student Center, room 304-306
On May 24, CSU enacted a new policy: the Accessibility of Electronic Information and Technologies. As an institute that values diversity and inclusion, the University is committed to supporting an electronic and information technology environment that is accessible to all, including individuals with disabilities. Come learn why creating accessible material and information is important and get the resources and training to assist you with the process. Think about how much business is conducted electronically. What if you couldn’t access that information? Performing your job duties would become extremely difficult. Creating accessible electronic material is vital to creating a culture of inclusion where all users can access and benefit from the electronic information. However, it will generally benefit all users in the end. This event is presented by the Assistive Technology Resource Center, is free, and is open to all students, staff and faculty.
Individuals with Disabilities: Transitioning from Student to Employee
4-5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, in the Career Center Classroom, Lory Student Center, room 120
The primary audience for this free discussion is CSU students and alumni, but it is also open to all staff and faculty. This discussion will include information on available job resources for individuals with disabilities, how and when to self-identify as an individual with a disability in the employment context, differences in obtaining accommodations as a student versus as an employee, and how to request accommodation for a job interview. This discussion will also provide helpful information for students with disabilities applying to the Workforce Recruitment Program. This event is presented by the Career Center in collaboration with the Office of Equal Opportunity. Although the target audience for this session is students, it is free and open to all students, staff and faculty.
What does your cell phone have to do with diversity?
10:30-11:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 18, in the Lory Student Center, room 312
How would your life be different if you couldn’t use your cell phone? Open the door to your classroom? See the writing in your textbooks? People face these kinds of challenges every day when the places and objects in their lives aren’t designed in a way that gives them equivalent access. This session challenges the audience to consider how the places we live, work and play, and the tools we use every day, can be designed in a way that considers all types of people/users. Universal design promotes the accessibility and usability of products, services and environments. This presentation will highlight the 7 Principles of UD, and attendees will understand UD as it applies to an everyday technology – their smartphones. Ideally, attendees will understand that UD is good design, and think about how they can apply the principles in their everyday lives. Bring your smartphone! This event is presented by the Assistive Technology Resource Center, is free and is open to all students, staff and faculty.
Hands-On Assistive Technology Exhibit
Noon-3 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 18, in the Morgan Library main floor lobby
Come learn about the Assistive Technology Resource Center and experience assistive technology that can benefit you or others with whom you work. ATRC staff and Occupational Therapy students will be available for demonstrations and support you as you try out items that help you stay organized, keep up with meeting notes, see your computer screen better, support your reading and writing tasks and use tools that are already built into your computer! This exhibit is presented by the Assistive Technology Resource Center and the Department of Occupational Therapy. It is free and open to all students, staff and faculty.
Breaking Barriers to Employment through the Power of One
3-4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 18, in the Lory Student Center, room 312
Approximately 12 percent of students attending CSU have self-identified as having some type of disability and, most likely, many more remain anonymous. As students come to the close of their academic degree program many typically face a new challenge: how to build a meaningful and prosperous career. This path can be difficult for anyone, but even more so for those with the extra challenge of a disability that presents either a real or perceived barrier to employment. This presentation offers a brief historical overview of the state of employment and people with disabilities in the U.S. and primarily focuses on the opportunity to hear from a panel of individuals who will share their experiences with disability-related obstacles to employment and the steps they took to overcome those obstacles, ultimately leading to employment success. This program is free and open to all students, staff and faculty, and is presented by Cynthia Tate and Deb Spotts of the Center for Community Partnerships and panel members.
Understanding Anxiety in the Workplace and Strategies to Support Health
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19, in the Lory Student Center, room 308-310
Anxiety is becoming one of the most prominent mental health concerns in the United States today, affecting approximately 18 percent of the U.S. population. For individuals with disabilities, the likelihood of having an anxiety disorder or experiencing anxiety at some point in their lives is even greater. During this interactive session, we will discuss how individuals experiencing anxiety can manage the disorder at work by exploring coping strategies that are appropriate for an employment setting. We will also discuss strategies the employer and co-workers can utilize to help alleviate and decrease anxiety-related issues in the workplace. This event is presented by Cindy Sharpe and Sara Freeman, employment consultants at the Center for Community Partnerships. It is free and open to all students, staff and faculty.
Assistive Technology: A Platform for Inclusion
2-3 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19, in the Lory Student Center, room 308-310
Inclusion of diverse populations includes individuals with varied abilities. Over time, there have been great advances in creating environments that are usable by many individuals. Changes in legislation and cultural attitudes towards people with disabilities have supported these changes, recognizing that disability may be something that resides in the environment rather than within the person. When seen this way, barriers can be identified and removed or reduced. Assistive technologies may provide a means to reduce disparities and to level the playing field. AT may include things like screen magnification to enlarge print and images on a screen, speech recognition software to allow a user to speak commands for computer control or to transcribe text without using the keyboard, ergonomic keyboards such as a contoured keyboard, and many more.
Currently, there are approximately 18.5 million individuals in the workforce who have a disability. In the course of one’s life span, it is likely that everyone will experience some kind of disability. Within the work setting, it is important to find ways to promote each person’s desire to participate and engage in the world around them. The Assistive Technology Resource Center on campus provides assessments, trials and training on assistive technology for CSU employees. Learn how the ATRC is fostering a culture of inclusion on campus and the wide variety of AT available to promote participation in work-related tasks. This event is presented by the Assistive Technology Resource Center. It is free and open to all students, staff and faculty
Disability Awareness and Enhancing the Workforce through Inclusive Practice
12:30-1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26, in the Lory Student Center, room 308-310
More than 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. have a disability, and many are productive, capable employees or business owners. Still, many people are left behind and their talents go unrealized. This presentation will include simulated, experiential disability awareness activities and provide insight into how individuals, communities and businesses can best foster full inclusion for all people in the workforce, and in so doing, reinvigorate work environments to the benefit of all. This event is presented by Cynthia Tate of the Center for Community Partnerships and Anna Walker of the Assistive Technology Resource Center. This program is free and open to all students, staff and faculty.