Access Is Already in Our Mission: Pitching Universal Design at a Small, Private, Catholic, Liberal Arts College

Author: Marisa Carlson

I am the provider of academic accommodations at a small, catholic, liberal arts college. My office is housed in Academic Affairs, and I provide academic support to any student at risk, not just students with disabilities. Additionally, I am a long-time adjunct in the English department, and I teach first-year seminar to freshmen. I am also the chair of the liberal arts department, and a member of the CARE team, BIT, the Retention Committee, and the Academic Status Committee. But my primary job is in disability support services. This is my third year in the position with disability services, and this is the first year that I have been able to make a special effort at faculty outreach and influence in the larger community. My efforts have been informed by and inspired by much of what I have learned at the last three AHEAD national conferences, which I have been fortunate to attend. It has become clear to me that the best strategy to use for outreach is to promote universal design.