Accessibility Council

Vision

The WSU Vancouver Accessibility Council seeks to provide leadership that will promote and facilitate a campus community in which people with disabilities and those who identify as disabled have equivalent, inclusive and full participation in all campus activities, services and programs. We aim to foster a campus culture that is welcoming and seamless across differences in capacities. In so doing, independence and academic excellence will be promoted as an essential element of diversity.

Values

The WSU Vancouver Accessibility Council is:

  • Appreciative of the variety of individual perspectives that people with disabilities have about disability, identity, culture, and pride.
  • Committed to expanding their knowledge and awareness on issues of access and opportunity for all members of society and the roles individuals and institutions play in developing an institutional culture of disability education and accessible learning.
  • Committed to promoting greater disability awareness, competence, and responsibility while simultaneously ensuring the protection of students’ civil rights by promoting a learning environment free from discrimination and barriers.
  • Dedicated to keeping current regarding changes in disability law and protecting the institution, faculty, and staff from potential litigation through educational opportunities.

Mission

The WSU Vancouver Accessibility Council will:

  • Advocate for the needs and interests of students, faculty and staff with disabilities and those who identify as disabled.
  • Collaborate with departments, individuals, organizations, and partners at WSU Vancouver and throughout the WSU system to promote disability as an integral part of WSU diversity.
  • Empower students, faculty and staff with disabilities to be self-advocates by providing a forum for discussion and support for that advocacy.

Goals

The WSU Vancouver Accessibility Council works to:

  • Encourage proactive funding and effective management of resources for accessible curricular, technology and physical spaces as well as for support and training for faculty and staff.
  • Promote adoption of Universal Design, which considers people with a wide range of characteristics in the design of all educational products, including collaborating with faculty to ensure access to curriculum for all students, and to provide awareness, training and support for faculty, staff and students on Universal Design, uniformity and accessibility.
  • Inspire and promote a familiar, accessible, and consistent physical environment through a process and experience where every person feels engaged.
  • Partner with the campus to ensure information technology is accessible as it is selected, deployed and utilized in the curriculum, student services and business operations of the campus.

Council membership and structure

The WSU Vancouver Accessibility Council consists of an interdisciplinary, cross-campus representation of faculty, staff, administrators, and students. Members of the Accessibility Council serve a minimum of one year and are eligible to serve as chair of the council after the first year of council membership. The Accessibility Council reports to the Director for Equity and Diversity within the Office of the Chancellor.

The Accessibility Council is presided over by co-chairs appointed to two-year terms with alternating annual terms for each chair. Responsibilities of the co-chairs include scheduling council meetings, preparing meeting agenda, presiding over council meetings, consulting regularly with the Director for Equity and Diversity, facilitating dialogue about accessibility with WSU Vancouver administrative and academic leaders, and representing the Accessibility Council at campus events.

Because the focus areas for accessibility improvements are so varied, the Accessibility Council will oversee subcommittees tasked with addressing accessibility focus areas. Members of the subcommittees will generally meet as needed; the Accessibility Council will convene regularly to discuss the progress of the individual subcommittees and review individual accessibility project plans. Subcommittees include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical Facilities Access and Construction
  • Accessible Technology including Web Accessibility
  • Curricular and Universal Design
  • Co-curricular and Event Accessibility

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