A West Virginia University-based center has received an $800,000 grant that will help faculty provide a quality education to students with disabilities.
The three-year award from the U.S. Department of Educations Office of Postsecondary Education will offer professional development, technical assistance and accessibility advice to faculty and administration at WVU , Potomac State College of WVU and WVU Institute of Technology.
Higher Education Access: A Universal Design Demonstrationwill be located at the Center for Excellence in Disabilities at WVU . The projects focus is to ensure that students with disabilities receive an education at the University that is equitable to that of students without disabilities.
The project will use WVU s Extended Learning to provide an online professional development course that is available and free to all WVU administrators and faculty. The course will provide information on universal design in instruction and assistive technology accommodations and will be offered on-site to each campus.
The project will also entail developing a Web Accessibility Board consisting of representatives from Extended Learning and the Office of Information Technology and other key figures who do Web design at WVU . The group will explore the accessibility of WVU online content.
The higher education access project will offer technical assistance to WVU faculty, administrators and students through a toll-free hotline (800-841-8436). Individuals with questions about issues that affect students with disabilities in their classes will be encouraged to call the number. Project staff will also provide technical assistance by developing an e-mail form for the project on the CED Web site ( http://www.cedwvu.org/ ).
Project staff will work with the CED Assistive Technology Clinic to provide quality assistive technology assessments to students with disabilities referred to the clinic by WVU s Office of Disability Services.
Center for Excellence in Disabilities
The CED has worked with consumers and state, local and federal agencies to realize opportunities and tackle challenges for people with developmental and other disabilities of all ages for about 30 years. It is the states only federally designated Center for Excellence in Disabilities, providing resources and support in all 55 counties of the state.