Achieving On-Campus and Online Access for Students with Disabilities: College and University Strategies and Regulatory Requirements

Event ID:13638

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Webinar Only        $299.00 includes live presentation, slides, and Q&A
CD Only                $349.00 includes recorded presentation, slides, and Q&A
Webinar and CD   $399.00 includes live presentation, CD, slides, and Q&A
Duration: Scheduled for 90 minutes including question and answer session.
Presenter: Dr. James Ottavio Castagnera, Esq., managing director of K&C HR Enterprises and legal counsel at Rider University
Price: $299.00 webinar, $349.00 CD, $399.00 webinar + CD. Each option may be viewed by an unlimited number of attendees in one room using one unique login. CD includes full audio presentation, question and answer session and presentation slides. CD options are subject to a $5.95 handling charge.
Who Should Attend? Administrators, faculty, staff, higher education counsel
Best For: Higher education

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 88 percent of all American colleges and universities enroll students with documented disabilities. Without a doubt, due to the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal and state legislation, together with vastly improved diagnostic, medication and treatment regimes, students with disabilities represent a large and growing presence on our campuses. This poses new challenges for colleges and universities when it comes to the classroom and the Internet and any related adaptive technologies, and achieving full participation in the college experience for their students with disabilities, both on campus and online.

Effectively utilizing technology has almost become a requisite for success in college. Too often, however, students with disabilities face unintended obstacles when it comes to the Internet and other resources most of us take for granted. Included are questions relating to the availability of necessary adaptive technologies and modifications in traditional instructional methods which allow the student with a disability to benefit from an available technology such as Kurzweil reading, Dragon text to speech, etc. Regardless of the reason, the large and growing population of students with disabilities on our campuses in search of a meaningful educational experience presents evolving challenges that track changes in instructional technology, as well as legal expectations. A recent commentary in the Chronicle of Higher Education describes the current higher education environment many students with disabilities are facing. “Most people assume technology expands opportunities for students with disabilities. While the potential exists, it can be realized only if technology is designed and coded with equal access in mind. Despite years of public-awareness campaigns, legal challenges, and advocacy efforts, many commonly used technologies built or purchased by colleges—email systems, learning-management systems, library databases, classroom materials—actually do more to prevent students with disabilities from equal participation than paper-based systems ever did.” (Kyle Shachmut, “A New Obstacle for Students with Disabilities,” 9/12/14. Accessed at

Sound pedagogy, along with risk management and avoidance of unwanted litigation, all require that universities and colleges face these challenges. Please join Dr. James Ottavio Castagnera, legal counsel, Rider University, as he discusses how to better prepare your faculty and staff to recognize and wrestle with these challenges, and describes both the legal requirements to accommodate students with disabilities, and the practical considerations involved.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • An overview of federal disability laws and how they relate to on-campus and online access for your students with disabilities
  • The roles of administrators, professional employees, and faculty in serving students with disabilities and accommodating their needs
  • Setting the proper balance between communication and confidentiality in your university’s services for students with disabilities
  • Determining the appropriate “reasonable accommodation” in ensuring access for your students with disabilities
  • The special challenges of online learning and possible responses
  • The role of adaptive technologies such as Kurzweil reading and Dragon text to speech in your efforts to accommodate your students with disabilities
  • New technologies for sight- and hearing- impaired students
  • Rules and best practices regarding service and emotional-support animals
  • Testing and other assessment issues
  • Model policies and procedures for identifying and accommodating students with disabilities
  • Disciplinary, academic integrity, and academic standing issues


Your conference leader for “Achieving On-Campus and Online Access for Students with Disabilities: College and University Strategies and Regulatory Requirements” is Dr. James Ottavio Castagnera. Dr. Castagnera holds a law degree and a Ph.D. in American studies from Case Western Reserve University. Jim brings more than three decades of experience in higher education to this webinar. Prior to law school he served Case Western Reserve as director of university communication. He went on to teach at the University of Texas-Austin, the Widener University Law School, and at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Business School. For nearly 20 years, he has been Rider University’s associate provost and legal counsel for academic affairs. His diverse duties include risk management, regulatory matters, faculty and student discrimination and disciplinary cases, litigation management, governance and institutional policies, and faculty and student visas. He is the author or co-author of 19 books, including the Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators, revised edition, Peter Lang, 2014. QUALITY COMMITMENT

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