Access conference provides education on disability issues

Published 9:26 am Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ohio University Southern will host the Envision Access Conference: Supporting Students with Disabilities. The Conference will be Friday, March 24 on the campus of OUS, 1804 Liberty Avenue, Ironton.

This is an opportunity for members of the Tri-State region to increase awareness and understanding of trends in addressing the needs of students with disabilities.

Sessions include:

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• Transition Services through Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD)

• Same Path, Different Shoes; The Educational Journey for Students with Autism


• The IEP and Secondary Transition

• Assistive Technology

• Promoting Transition to Postsecondary Education: Creating Opportunities For participants.

The luncheon keynote speaker is Dr. J. W. Smith. He was born blind on March 9, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois.

He attended the public schools in the Chicago and northwest Indiana areas and graduated from Lew Wallace High School in Gary, Indiana in 1976. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Speech Communication from Indiana University in 1982, his Master of Arts degree in Speech Communication from Purdue University in 1985, and his PhD from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1989.

Dr. Smith feels that as a blind African American, it is essential that we expand the term ‘diversity’ and incorporate every effort necessary to create an environment that encourages openness and understanding.

Dr. Smith often refers to non-disabled individuals as TABs, temporarily able-bodied individuals. He firmly believes that our differences can be our strengths and that many people live more for affirmation than bread and that we are each responsible to all for all.

This conference is devoted to the awareness, education and inclusion of all students. It is a goal to create a positive space for the development of community connections, and fostering working relationships with secondary and post-secondary institutions along with community organizations.

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It is $15 for students and $40 for professionals. CEU Credit is available. All participants will receive a certificate of participation.

For more information contact, Robert Pleasant, Coordinator of Diversity & Inclusion,, 740-533-4608 or Teresa McKenzie, M.S. Ed, Accessibility Coordinator,, 740-547-3875.