Resources for Disabled Students

Opportunities for Involvement

Committee for Disabled Student Accessibility (CDSA)

The Committee for Disabled Student Accessibility (CDSA) receives .50 cents per semester, per student as part of the CSU student fee allocation. These funds are used to accomplish the goals of:

  • Enhancing/improving accessibility of campus
  • Removing campus wide barriers for students with disabilities.
  • Promoting awareness and education of disability related issues. 

Overview

Responsibility
  • Acts as supplement to university's responsibility for access
    • Allows for all stakeholders (all students) to share in changing the environment
  • Those who benefit most determine how funds spent
    • Allows intention to be turned into action 
  • Helps assess how the university responds to disabled students
    • Provides feedback to RDS for future changes for university
Participation
  • Core (voting) committee members
    • Choose to participate through (self) nomination process
    • Solicit proposals for projects
      • Any unit may submit, including RDS and Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC)
      • The costs of projects whenever possible are shared with other entities, including the university
    • Initiate own projects
    • Determines how funds are spent
  • Participation by other disabled students
    • Use of Email; proposed RDS Channel for portal, etc.
  • Direct leadership opportunities for students with disabilities
    • Empowerment through decision making
Enhancing Accessibility
  • Access mandated by federal law
    • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
      • Section 504 and the ADA civil rights protections
    • Qualified students cannot be discriminated against solely based on their disability from participating in, or benefiting from any program or activity offered by the university
  • The university is basically in compliance with the federal mandates
    • CDSA activities enhance/improve the level of accessibility, both physically as well as attitudinally
  • CDSA represents the interest of over 750 students with a diversity of needs
    • Projects need to include improvements that affect that diversity
  • Access involves both physical as well as attitudinal structures
    • How support is provided is as important as to what is provided

PROJECTS

Physical construction, assistive technology, other types of equipment, and awareness are included in the types of projects undertaken by CDSA.

  • Collaborative activities are encourage
    • Entities may be requested to fund part of the expenses and/or agree to maintain equipment
PHYSICAL CONSTRUCTION
  • Includes installation of automatic doors, curb cuts, accessible seating at Hughes stadium, and ramps
    • Normal university channels can take up to a year and dependent on state funds
    • Smaller projects can be more immediately implemented
      • Example: ramp was needed for a student in a theatre class; it was installed in less than 2 weeks
  • Past survey of access by CDSA used by the university for major improvements
     
ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGY
  • Electronic information is inaccessible to those who are vision impaired, have difficulty with manipulating computers, or simply in reading print
    • Icons are not readable by speech readers
    • Using a computer requires manual dexterity
    • Reading print can be difficult for students with learning disabilities
  • Assistive devices are designed to access computer technology, including hardware and software
    • Example: Braille refreshable keyboard located in Library
  • CDSA works closely with the ATRC to determine what assistive devices may be needed on campus
    • Some assistive technology has been purchased for the library resource rooms located on the first floor 
EQUIPMENT
  • Access to student services cannot be taken for granted by students with disabilities
  • Other equipment is often needed on campus for specific purposes, such as wheelchairs used temporarily disabled students and for providing access through alternative formats
    • CDSA purchased an accessible bus and approved up to $3000 to be used for running the RDS transportation services
    • Devices are often needed for individual student use
      • Example: FM systems for use by students who are hard of hearing
    • Equipment is usually maintained through Resources for Disabled Students (RDS)
AWARENESS
  • Resources for Disabled Students is a primary sponsor of disability awareness programs on campus
    • While awareness is one of the three goals of RDS, the majority of its budget is devoted to providing specific accommodations mandated by law
  • CDSA helps to provide support for disability awareness programs sponsored by RDS
    • CDSA has funded the cost for posters and program brochures and for specific expenses related to awareness activities
      • Example: CDSA funded the costs for a teleconference on universal design in teaching
AVERAGE COST PER PROJECT:
  • Electronic door - $1,500 per door
  • Curb cut - $700 per cut
  • TDD/FM System - $1,000 to $1,500
  • Assistive technology - ranges from $500 to $10,000 depending upon item
  • Accessible bus - approx. $40,000 for vehicle and adaptations
  • Transportation services - $9,000 to $10,000 a year (two semesters)
  • Awareness programming - $5,000 per year

The more expensive items (e.g., accessible bus) came about due to the roll-over ability of the account. Minimal expenditures one year created enough roll-over savings to consider the purchase of the vehicle. Other administrative expenses are minimal for the committee such as copying and supplies. Some administrative costs are shared with RDS.

Projects for 2007-08

  • Transportation - $9,500
  • Improve Nature Center access - $500
  • Support Matt Roloff presentation - $500
  • QPR training materials for Active Minds - $670
  • Ramp for Student center  - $1,940
  • Greg Smith presentation - $3,700
  • Tutoring expenses for Academic Advancement Center - $3,150
  • Total = $19,960

Project 2008-09

  • Support for Alternative Text production - $9,464
  • Eli Clare presentations - $3,000

Possibilities for 2009 and beyond

  • Transportation - $10,000
  • Tutoring - $3,000
  • Replacement for accessible bus - $40,000

Retrofitting an environment is a never ending endeavor. Despite ever-present construction, there may still be inaccessible locations. The rapid advancement of the electronic environment often creates in advertent barriers to some users. CDSA is a vehicle to address some of these barriers. Student input as to how to address the inaccessibility of the campus, whether it be physical access, electronic access, programatic access, or attitudinal access, is vital in order to make this a better place for all students.

Membership

Voting Members: Voting members are solicited through a nomination process and selected by a committee determined by the Director of Resources for Disabled Students (RDS) each year. Active members will be selected based on their expressed/demonstrated interest in issues affecting those with disabilities. Only voting members can determine how funds are expended.

Recruitment of members from the disabled student population is a high priority. All self-identified students with disabilities (through RDS) are emailed at least once each semester to solicit interest.

Associate Members: Membership is also open to all CSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and interested individuals outside the CSU setting (i.e. Fort Collins community). Such members are not allowed to vote at officer elections or hold office but are welcome to attend weekly meetings and provide input and assistance in CDSA projects. Such members are welcome to attend meetings and provide input and assistance with CDSA projects.

Member Responsibilities: All members are required to commit to active participation within the group in accordance with committee goals. Voting Members are required to attend all scheduled meetings, but in the event of legitimate meeting conflicts such as a class or outside interest, voting members may contribute to committee issues through e-mail as an "e-member." Associate Members may attend any scheduled meeting although they may need to take responsibility to keep themselves informed and updated on issues addressed by CDSA.

Member Privileges: Voting Members have the right to introduce, review, and discuss accessibility projects that relate to the purpose of the CDSA and its operation at CSU. Associate members are limited to providing their input on projects.

Meetings

CDSA currently uses email as a means of discussing proposals as scheduled meetings have been difficult to coordinate. For more information about participating or other information about CDSA, contact Rose Kreston, advisor.


 

 

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