By Katie Ericson, Senior Academic Counselor
Last month Kami, Taylor and I went to Indianapolis, Indiana for the annual national AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability) conference. It was an exciting conference filled with a wealth of knowledge from those who work in Student Disability Services on college campuses all over the country. The sessions varied from Autism and Mental Health, Building Pathways to Careers with Students with Disabilities, Disabilities and Social Justice, Tools to Help Students with Learning Disabilities and many others.
The two days that we were at the conference were filled with networking, dynamic presentations, and some great guest speakers. We each split up for a majority of the presentations to be able to bring back as much information and resources as possible to Texas Tech. It was really neat to meet others who work in Student Disability Offices from across the country at a variety of higher education institutions.
The Opening Plenary was a very exciting and engaging part of the conference for me personally. Gregory Fehribach, a lawyer with The Fehribach Group and the founder of The Disability Project (also a fellow Ball State University alumn) spoke about self-advocacy, and having determination and grit invested in all that you do. That is something that SDS and the TECHniques Center prides itself on with our students and tutors, and I think that it was a great reminder for our field that we continue helping those we work with find that passion and grit in all that they do.
Something else that really stood out to me was how advanced, well staffed and well supported Texas Tech’s Student Disability Services and TECHniques Center are. We are so lucky to work for a department that listens to students, is aware of the latest technologies and ADA recommendations nationwide, and provide students with as much help and resources as possible, both on campus and in the community. I noticed it was very common for Disability Services offices to only have two or three employees, but we are so lucky to have so many more diverse and dynamic employees to help students at Texas Tech!
If you’d like to learn more about our trip and the sessions we attended, feel free to let us know! It was a great trip filled with great conference sessions, delicious food, and lots of exploring Indianapolis!
If you would like to find out more information about this incredible organization, check out AHEAD’s website!