Friday, March 26, 2021


Elizabeth Wallace, Jen Knights, Brad Ferrier, Patti Bahr, Bri Swope, Dave Rooney, Megan Meyer, Bailey Anderson, Michael Penniman, Kirk Corey, TM (in spirit)


Elizabeth Wallace: Planning the plan to open Stanley Museum, dance at Gallaudet, knows sign language

Jen Knights: Wild Bills, Social Work

Brad Ferrier: Digital Curator at Library

David Rooney: Student Disability Services

Megan Meyer: Grad College, supports workers, podcast for rare disease, parent of child with mobility challenges

Bailey Anderson: SDS Accommodations, chronic health advocate, dance

Michael Penniman: Graduated, working at CDD – community trainee, SCARE non profit

Bri Swope: Therapeutic Recreation, Adaptive Play, advocate for inclusion

Kirk Corey: Director of Privacy and Policy

Patti Bahr: Iowa’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, funding for Iowa National Summer Transportation Institute for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders (Patti: send Megan Meyer INSTI flier)


Jen: experience yesterday – connected Wild Bill’s coffee shop staff “OCG” to work with biologist to have people with disabilities come to class to put a face to people with disabilities rather than just cells. Class was about Genetic Disorders and Celebrities, Jen attended class where OCG presented. She helped students to ask questions such as: “what do you want people to know about living with Spina Bifida”, “Do people treat you differently because you’re in a wheelchair?”

Class is actually called: Good Genes Gone Bad BIOL: 2120:0001 Megan found the listing and syllabus and we discussed how the wording might change to be more culturally sensitive. Words like “Devastating, Cure (treatment is better), Defect could be changed. Megan and Jen will provide feedback to the biologist.

Bailey:  shared that she also is careful about her wording, for example with anatomy for dancers – she tries to not talk about cure, gender, etc. Could we talk about anatomy without talking about “normalized” bodies?

Dept of Biology has DEI office and we might be able to help with some training. They may be open to some help.

Bri: shared book title ‘Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century.’ Edited by Alice Wong one short story is by Liz More

Bailey: shared book title "Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure" by Eli Clare...great resource with a lot of complexity around the concept of Cure.

Brad: was working on Build Certificate with someone from the Center for Diversity and Enrichment – has fizzled out, Mike Meginnis says another person may be hired at Center for Diversity and Enrichment that could help

Patti: shared that she has autistic woman talk to course on Neurodiversity, but she has graduated. Bri thought that Dina Bishara and Chelsea Markle may be able to speak to the class.

Other places where we might be able to help with education about disability etiquette and accessibility might be:

  • Disability Course in Build – panel, ADA, Employees
  • Supervising at Iowa – supporting employees w/ disabilities
  • Supporting ASD students
  • Accessibility and Accommodation

Bri: Teaches about Universal Design and may be able to partner with Engineering. Students may be able to partner to make a product and then use university entrepreneurial services to market.

In Iowa Now: Kyle Rector received an NSF CAREER award. Jen will put a shout out on our Facebook page.

Ideas for using CDA funding:

Brad: a word about CDA funding – we have about $1600 left that we need to spend this fiscal year – before July. We also have reams of card stock for posters as needed.

Jen: could we use funds to help with pairing students with disabilities with students needing support through Michael Penniman’s company? Brad will check to see about the rules for helping Michael’s students. Michael says that right now, they are revamping and rebranding, so can’t accept donations at this time, but might be ready to accept donations before July.

Agenda Items Reviewed:

Accessibility Action Team (from TM)

The Accessibility Action Team have been asked to provide a summary of our activities to co-leads Erin Barnes and Mike Venzon. This request was unexpected, and many of us thought that the AAT would break out into workgroups based on the goals listed in the Accessibility Action Plan. If you have not been directly involved in this initiative, I invite you to independently review the AAT goals and provide any feedback to Patti and me; we will see that it is forwarded to the respective group leads.

Accessibility Resources (from TM)

Stakeholders from Student Disability Services, the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology, the Center for Teaching, and IT Accessibility are meeting this week to discuss strategies for raising accessibility awareness and capacity among University faculty. The idea is to align efforts to ensure that accessibility information and support is easy for faculty members to find and implement. Areas of focus: digital accessibility, accommodation, AT support, UDL, policy awareness, others.

Ideas: Could we have a sample syllabus statement? Could we provide a statement for faculty to include in their syllabus that welcomes all learners intentionally? The recommended statement could include appropriate language. Maybe we could use information from other faculty – Kyle Rector has a good statement. We could also see if others have statements so faculty can be influenced by peers.

CDA could be involved with training faculty: identify departments that need more help than others. CDA could also make recommendations to DEI units of each college unit. We could also go through overall DEI – we may need to dig to get contacts in each college unit. We could also  celebrate units that are doing a good job:

  • Above and Beyond Award
  • Diversity Catalyst award is coming up soon too

ITS Help Desk (from TM)

I’m working with the ITS Help Desk to develop documentation and guidance to assist help desk staff in understanding and reacting to Help Desk requests involving AT or callers with disabilities. This could also include guidance for callers--for example, inform the Help Desk of any AT you may be using—this will help the desk to better escalate, track, and resolve issues that involve less-familiar AT scenarios.

Kirk: ITS is structured to go to the help desk. Sometimes it’s not clear that something is related to accessibility – I.e. my screen reader doesn’t work with XYZ.

Big Ten Alliance: some other universities have more people in accessibility functions

CDA Leadership and Bylaws (reminder from TM)

A reminder that CDA officer voting is scheduled for May. I urge interested parties to nominate or self-nominate for any positions. Also, a reminder that new attendees can vote after two meetings, so anyone who has joined recently should be prepared to cast a vote—also, if someone were to attend in March and April, they would be eligible to vote in May. As part of the annual voting cadence, it’s also appropriate that we consider any changes that need to be made to our mission and by-laws.

Minutes submitted by Patti Bahr.