Dominic Dorsey, director of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s office of Accessible Campus Community and Equitable Student Support (ACCESS), was appointed to chair the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s (IBHE) newly formed Disability Services Advisory Committee. The group will play a vital role in reviewing current policies and practices in serving students with disabilities in Illinois higher education.
“I feel honored and privileged to be afforded the opportunity to serve along my esteemed colleagues from across the state, and to give a voice to issues and a community that, unfortunately, is often an afterthought in diversity and inclusion conversations,” said Dorsey. “As a committee, we fully intend to make the most of this platform by promoting accessibility as a standard, as opposed to compliance and seeking sustainable solutions to systemic issues we all face as practitioners.”
“We are thankful for the wisdom of IBHE Board Chair John Atkinson for valuing and recognizing the need for our presence,” continued Dorsey, “and we are eager to join the existing committees in making a positive impact.”
The advisory committee consists of 18 members, 12 from public universities, four from private colleges and universities, and two from community colleges.
This committee was created in 2004, and its accomplishments to date include such projects as training, conferences, transition support programs, data collection and accessibility awareness programs.
A few specific ideas and projects that Dorsey would like to bring before the IBHE include:
- Transparently displayed essential ability guidelines to assist students in the accommodation process
- Best practices for students with episodic conditions
- A process for accurate numbers reporting of students with dual or multiple diagnoses
Photo: Dominic Dorsey, director of SIUE’s office of Accessible Campus Community and Equitable Student Support (ACCESS) and chair of the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s Disability Services Advisory Committee.