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10:30-11:45am Presentations (Monday)

Access to DOR Services and Higher Education for People with Disabilities    

Rebecca Hoyt

Pike 3

-How to develop a quality transition plan through the school district,

-How students can access pre-vocational services from the Department of Rehabilitation,

-How vocational rehabilitation services can help you prepare for and obtain meaningful employment in the community, and

-How the regional center can help you with your employment goals.

-What the rights of people with disabilities are in higher education under federal and state laws

-How to get reasonable accommodations in higher education settings

-What to do if you are being denied reasonable accommodations”

Tools for creating tactile graphics for STEM subjects    

John Taylor  

Pike 2

Attendees will learn how to create and emboss tactile graphics using the powerful tools of the TactileView tactile graphics software, with an emphasis on creating tactile graphics for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Attendees will also gain a working knowledge of the TactileView software, and how to use its tools to save time while also creating engaging and informative tactiles for their students and clients.

Mental Health Services on Postsecondary Campuses, Panel Discussion

Brandon Owens



The purpose of this panel presentation is to share information about what two geographic regions are doing to provide better support to students with Mental Health Disabilities. Faculty from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg will provide an overview of efforts in the state of Florida to address mental health issues. A Disability Support Services (DSS) Counselor from North Orange Continuing Education (NOCE)/North Orange Regional Consortium (NOCRC) for Adult Education will provide an overview of their efforts to research the needs of students with mental health disabilities, and they will provide a description of proposed implementation strategies to better meet the mental health needs of students. Possible strategies to support students with mental health disabilities involve increasing access to campus and community services, reducing stigma surrounding mental health challenges, and training faculty and staff to respond effectively when intervening to help students with mental health symptoms.


1) Share information about how the State of Florida is addressing mental health issues in postsecondary education.

2) Provide an overview of NOCE/NOCRC’s research on the needs of students with mental health disabilities in the North Orange Region.

3) Discuss possible services and strategies to better address mental health issues on campus.

Learning Outcomes:

Learning outcomes resulting from this discussion include increased familiarity with:

1) How a large state in the United States is addressing mental health needs.

2) How one California Adult Education Program has researched the needs of students with mental health disabilities.

3) Possible strategies and services that postsecondary institutions may implement to address mental health issues on campus.

Target Audience:

Administrators, DSPS directors/coordinators, counselors, instructional faculty and staff.

Description of the presentation

This panel presentation will focus on strategies and services aimed at providing better support to students with mental health disabilities on postsecondary campuses. Presenters include faculty from the University of South Florida and from North Orange Continuing Education. The presentation will include the opportunity for discussion, questions, and answers.”

Peer Mentoring for DSPS Students

Teresa Spoulos        


In Peter Collier’s book, Developing Effective Student Peer Mentoring Programs (2015), there are many benefits in developing a student peer mentoring program. First, mentors can serve as role models by sharing their knowledge and experience with mentees. Next, the mentees gain academic and social support to help them adjust to campus life. Last, there is a positive cost outcome for the campus when students feel connected to the college and are more likely to persist until graduation.

The TRiO – Student Support Services Project for Students with Disabilities at San Diego State University (SDSU) is in its second year of managing a student peer mentoring program. This program is tailored to first time freshmen and transfer students with disabilities. The mentors have attended SDSU, have a disability, and have earned a 3.0 or higher gpa.  Each mentor works with 15 – 20 mentees on time management, study strategies, involvement with campus life, and providing words of encouragement.

The goal of this workshop is to provide Disability Specialists with information about developing and implementing a student peer mentoring program. Attendees will be introduced to strategies in designing a program which includes identifying the audience, the mentor hiring process, marketing the program, and recruiting mentees. Attendees will also learn about the benefits of mentoring, mentor training, and which services and support that mentors provide to mentees.

This workshop is open to all convention participants.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Students in Post-Secondary Educational Settings and Mental Health

Belinda McCleese    

Broadlind 1

In this course, participants will have an opportunity to learn the significance of the impact of mental health issues upon Deaf & Hard of Hearing students in post-secondary settings, gain an understanding of the primary role of family and secondary school settings in identity formation, and gain exposure to the relationship with language deprivation syndrome and Deaf mental health. They will also understand the complexities of Deaf-Hearing identity, learn the emotional aspects of four stages of the Deaf Identity Development Model, and gain an awareness of the effects of stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, stigma, oppression, external oppression, and internalized oppression. The goal is to provide guidelines on how to encourage and support resilience among Deaf & Hard of Hearing students with mental health challenges. 


•Define mental disorder or mental illness.

•Explain the importance of the role of family and schools in identity formation.

•Identify some characteristics of the language deprivation in Deaf & Hard of Hearing children.

•Describe the emotional theme for each stage of Deaf Identity Development Model

•Explain the relationship between resilience and better academic performance.

Speech-to-Text services utilizing Dragon 

Leslie Quiñones       

Broadlind 2

This workshop will cover how to utilize your current interpreting and technology resources to  provide speech-to-text services to students.  Professionals working in the field of disability will learn how using Dragon software and a team of professionals can provide excellent STS services without using a captioning agency.  DSPS counselors, interpreting/STS coordinators, and directors may all be interested in learning about this option.

A Website Accessibility Review of California Community Colleges      

Sean Keegan


Web accessibility testing can help identify potential issues that prevent individuals with disabilities from accessing online information. A website accessibility review of all California Community College (CCC) websites was conducted in 2017 and 2019 to evaluate progress in making college websites more accessible. Approximately 200 public-facing pages from each of the 114 institutions and grant projects in the CCC system were scanned and evaluated against accessibility standards and best practices. Issues from the evaluations found the majority of accessibility issues involved tables, images, form fields, and PDF documents. A separate website accessibility review using a different evaluation platform of over 40,000 public facing website pages at CCCs, identified a similar pattern of errors, including tables, images, form fields, and missing hyperlink text. Conducting accessibility evaluations at a system-level and at a college level can help identify accessibility error patterns and provide insight as to where to focus training and remediation efforts.

Useful Tools for Career Programs 

Rachel Stewart         


The Los Rios Community College WorkAbility III program counselor/coordinator and job developer will be providing information and resources to assist other career-related programs.  This includes sharing information about a staff resource binder developed to help train and support new staff by clarifying standards and expectations for supporting students through employment services.  An overview of the Los Rios WAIII employability boot camp (a 3-day workshop) will also be shared.  A description of collaborative efforts developed by the WAIII program with employers (for internships and job placement) and community service providers (such as independent living centers, disability-related organizations, and America’s job centers) will be provided.  Additionally, we have found that many students have internalized stigma/oppression around their disability, leading to low self-confidence and the inability to portray themselves and their disability in a positive light in interview settings.  In order to address that, we have provided workshops and incorporated information into our curriculum about models of disability, strengths because of one’s disability, disability history, and disability pride. We hope that workshop participants will gather lots of new ideas and information to refresh their career-related programs and improve successful employment outcomes.