Moving beyond Compliance to Foster a Culture of Inclusivity

PHOTO BY CALEB KIMBROUGH (CC BY 2.0)

PHOTO BY CALEB KIMBROUGH (CC BY 2.0)

In their September-October 2015 Academe article, “Increasing Access and Making Practice More Inclusive through Disability Awareness Training,” Carrie E. Rood and Michelle L. Damiani share their experience with creating a training module for new graduate teaching assistants at Syracuse University. They designed the module, called “Disability Awareness and Culture,” in order to educate teaching assistants about the disabilities they might encounter among their undergraduate students and to direct them to resources available to teachers and students.

Rood and Damiani emphasize the importance of moving beyond compliance with legal requirements in order to foster a culture of inclusivity and equality at the university. Participants in the training module, supported by Syracuse University’s Beyond Compliance Coordinating Committee, offered primarily positive feedback. Rood and Damiani see the potential for other colleges and universities to offer similar training opportunities to new teaching assistants in order to “increase access and support for all students, including those with disabilities.”

Articles from the current and past issues of Academe are available online. AAUP members receive a subscription to the magazine, available both by mail and as a downloadable PDF, as a benefit of membership.

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