Past Events

Google Accessibility Town Hall
September 27, 2022

Thanks to everyone who attended our Google Accessibility town hall!

The agenda focused on the following Google accessibility solutions:

  • Google Accessibility Features for Diverse Learners Overview and Live Demo – What Tools and Features can be used today in Google Workspace, across ChromeOS, and Google devices
  • Customer Spotlight / End User Highlight
  • Google Cloud Accessibility Features / Other Google Products Accessibility Features, 
  • Keynote: General Google Accessibility Direction and Focus Areas

VHEAP Events: Resources Smackdown and Virtual Innovation Station
March 4, 2022

Thank you to all who were able to attend our reconfigured VHEAP UnConference Events: Resources Smackdown and Virtual Innovation Station! The events were well attended and very well-received.

The resources shared during the events are held in our VHEAP Smackdown Resources <bit.ly/vheapsmackdown> and VHEAP Innovation Station Notes (Word) <bit.ly/vheapvirtualinnovation> documents.


VHEAP Town Hall: Transition Resources for Students with Disabilities
January 12, 2022

Thank you to all who were able to attend the VHEAP Transition Resources for Students with Disabilities Town Hall! And a very special thank you to our panelists!

Claire McTiernan has lived in Northern Virginia her entire life. She graduated from South Lakes High School in Reston, VA, and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English from GMU in Spring 2021. Claire was registered with GMU’s Office of Disability Services throughout her undergraduate career. After she graduated, she got a job in their Mason Autism Support Initiative (MASI) program as a Learning Strategist. As a wheelchair user herself, Claire is passionate about helping other disabled people and making the world a more inclusive, accessible place.

PEATC is Virginia’s federally funded Parent Training and Information Center. We are a statewide nonprofit and serve the whole Commonwealth. We have been the PTI for over 40 years. Our role is to help ensure that families and youth and adults with disabilities have the knowledge and information they need to make informed decisions in order to navigate challenges in early intervention, special education, Medicaid waivers, social security, decision-making options, transition to adulthood and more.  We help them work through the issues and brainstorm solutions. We don’t tell people what to do but provided needed support. We are not attorneys and don’t provide any legal advice.  We also help families and youth build better communication skills and teach skills that help develop and maintain relationships so that even when there are disagreements, the relationship does not deteriorate.  We support youth to become self-determined and learn self-advocacy skills. We also support the professionals who work with youth and families.

Our staff are located throughout Virginia. Most are parents of children with disabilities and we have bilingual staff to serve our Spanish speaking families. We provide one on one assistance over the phone or through e mail, we consult on IEPs, we  hold statewide trainings—most of these are virtual right now but we are starting back up with some in person trainings. One training I’ll highlight is our Transition University. This is a 5-week self-paced online course where families and professionals learn all about the transition years, from Transition IEPs to post-secondary education, vocational rehabilitation and employment, supported decision-making, housing, independent living, and what happens when the student turns 18. It includes a plethora of resources that can be downloaded by participants. We offer it 3 times a year. If anyone is interested, you can let me know and I’ll be sure to send you the flyer. Our next course is in February and we are registering now.

We also provide training on request to organizations serving families and youth. We also develop and disseminate fact sheets and resource documents in the areas I talked about a minute ago. We have a large amount of these and most are on our website at www.peatc.org.  My primary role is to develop the resources I mentioned above, fact sheets, resource documents, trainings, etc. but I also work directly with families providing that one on one assistance, among those “other duties as assigned.” In terms of post-secondary education, our  primary role is to respond to calls or other inquiries we get about accessing disability support offices, understanding accommodations under 504 and the ADA. One of  my colleagues serves on  national transition group (NTACT) which addresses  issues in post-secondary education. PEATC is also a member of the State Council of Higher Education advisory group on Students’ with Disabilities Access to Higher Education. We are a newer member and the group hasn’t meet in a while as a result of COVID.

Jaclyn Camden, M.Ed. is a faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University. She holds a Master’s in School Counseling and has spent over 10 years working with youth and adults with disabilities in preparing for and succeeding in postsecondary education and employment through research, direct support, and program development. Currently, Jaclyn is the Interim Associate Director for the Center on Transition Innovations and the Director of VCU’s inclusive postsecondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, ACE-IT in College. The Center on Transition Innovations (CTI), established by the Virginia Department of Education, serves as the primary source of transition-related information, resources, and demonstration for the Commonwealth. CTI offers rich information and innovative projects, including online courses, training, publications, and demonstration projects, that prepare students for success in postsecondary education. ACE-IT in College is an inclusive higher education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities that provides individualized academic, employment, and campus engagement supports and services at VCU. 

Jenna Arndt is a Transition Specialist with Loudoun County Public Schools, where the mission is empowering all students to make meaningful contributions to the world. In her role as a Transition Specialist, Jenna provides support and professional development to 94 schools (elementary, middle, and high) across the county in the area of transition for students receiving special education services.  She works closely with the transition teachers and job coaches assigned to each high school, as well as the transition teachers and job coaches who work with our Community and Schools Together (CAST) programs and Project SEARCH program.  Currently we have 7 CAST sites and 1 Project SEARCH locations.  We continue to try to grow our CAST locations either in schools or site-based businesses in Loudoun County.  She also works in partnership with VCU on multiple on-going projects. Jenna is an integral part of LCPS’ Unified Sports and Clubs offerings across the division and partners with Special Olympics and other organizations.

CMartin is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor with a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University with over 10 combined years in both Special Education and the State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) systems. The Virginia Division of Rehabilitative Services’ (DRS) mission is to provide individuals with disabilities with opportunities to pursue career pathways, skills development and financial independence through employment. In his current role, Martin has the pleasure of supporting Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) and adult VR transition services for students across the Commonwealth of Virginia. These services are coordinated for individuals and groups of students, in collaboration with local education agencies, to assist the students with exploring, preparing for, and pursuing their post-school transition goals related to postsecondary education, training, and/or employment. Examples of services include (but are not limited to) work readiness skills training, counseling on postsecondary education and training options, work-based learning, job exploration counseling, and instruction in self-advocacy skills. Please visit the DRS Transition Services website here to learn more.

My name is Megan O’Toole Hall, and I work for the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI). Although I have been with the agency for over 11 years, I entered into my current role of Assistant Director of Vocational Rehabilitation about a year ago. DBVI’s mission is to provide services and resources that empower individuals who are blind, low vision or Deafblind to achieve their desired levels of employment, education and personal independence. DBVI serves Virginians who are blind, low vision or Deafblind from birth throughout their lifespan. Some of these services include Vocational Rehabilitation, Education Services, Rehabilitation Teaching and Independent living skills, Low Vision services, and Orientation and Mobility Services as well as a full array of comprehensive services to achieve an individual’s desired level of employment and/or personal independence.

As a Title member under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act, DBVI’ Vocational Rehabilitation Program is committed now, more than ever, to provide comprehensive Pre-Employment Transition Services for Students and Youth with Disabilities. As part of these services, DBVI provides counseling and instruction regarding the 5 required Pre-Employment Transition Services of Job Exploration, Workplace Readiness, Work Based Learning, Counseling on Enrollment opportunities and Self Advocacy. Each individual that DBVI works with develops a unique Individualized Plan for Services, and works with a dedicated Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor to plan for and work toward future employment goals through High School, Post-Secondary training programs (to include Credential Training and College programs) and into the world of work. 

Vici Garber is the Regional Specialist and PluggedInVA Coordinator for Shenandoah Initiative for Adult Education (SHINE). SHINE covers Augusta/ Rockingham / Rockbridge/ Highland/ Bath counties in VA.  She started her career in adult education in 2001 with a focus on employment services. She has previously worked as an independent GED® tutor, an employment specialist, and an ESOL instructor. Through SHINE, she has served as an instructor for GED® classes, Job Readiness, and PluggedInVA.  She has created successful programs that run at Middle River Regional Jail and Shenandoah Valley Social Services. Vici was the 2018 recipient of the VAACE (Virginia Association for Adult and Continuing Education) Teacher of the Year award. 

The resources shared during the event are held in our VHEAP Transition Town Hall Notes Doc (Google) <bit.ly/vheaptransitiontownhall>.

Visit Upcoming Events to stay updated about future VHEAP-related and/or partner events.


VHEAP Brown Bag Session: Web Accessibility (On the Go)
November 10, 2021

Thank you to all who were able to attend the VHEAP Web Accessibility (On the Go) Brown Bag Session

The resources shared during the event are held in our VHEAP Web Accessibility (On the Go) Brown Bag Session Notes (Word) <bit.ly/weba11yonthego>. A copy of the Web Accessibility (On the Go) presentation is available as well.

 

VHEAP Town Hall: Online Proctoring Tools and Assessments
March 18, 2021

Thank you to all who were able to attend the VHEAP Online Proctoring Tools and Assessment Town Hall on March 18th! 

The resources shared during the event are held in our VHEAP/Online Proctoring Tools and Assessments Town Hall Notes Doc (Word) <bit.ly/vheapproctoringtools>

Visit Upcoming Events to stay updated about future VHEAP-related and/or partner events.

 

VHEAP/Microsoft Accessibility Town Hall
March 4, 2021

Thank you to all who were able to attend the VHEAP/Microsoft Accessibility Town Hall on March 4th! We had over 50 higher education accessibility professionals from all across the Commonwealth of Virginia!

There is no recording for this session. However, the resources shared during the event are held in our VHEAP/Microsoft Accessibility Town Hall Notes Doc (Word) <bit.ly/vheapmicrosoft>

Visit Upcoming Events to stay updated about future VHEAP-related and/or partner events.

 

VHEAP/Apple Accessibility Town Hall
October 8, 2020

Thank you to all who were able to attend the VHEAP/Apple Accessibility Town Hall on October 8th! We had over 100 higher education, k-12, and local/state government accessibility professionals from all across the Commonwealth of Virginia!

For logistical reasons, there is no recording for this session. However, all documentation, resources, and proceedings from the event are held in our VHEAP/Apple Accessibility Town Hall Notes Doc (Word) <bit.ly/vheapappletownhall>

Let’s keep the momentum going! Visit Upcoming Events to stay updated about future VHEAP-related and/or partner events.

 

VHEAP Logo Content
August 1, 2020

The VHEAP Logo Contest officially ended on August 1, 2020. Thank you to all of the participants and congratulations to the winning designer! The winning design is below:

Questions or comments about the contest? Feel free to email Mark Nichols (Virginia Tech).

 

VHEAP Town Halls
June/July 2020

More than 50 higher education accessibility professionals participated in VHEAP’s 2020 Town Hall sessions! Both sessions were very informative and engaging. Recordings are archived below for those who were unable to attend:

Disability Support Services Town Hall, July 30th

This town hall, led by Barbara Zunder (UVA), Beth Ann Dickie (ODU) and Valerie Schoolcraft (JMU), focused on reopening our campuses, the impact of COVID-19 on our students with disabilities, and how it will affect the services we will be providing.

Captioning Town Hall, June 25th

This town hall, led by Mark Nichols (VT) and Korey Singleton of (GMU), focused on captioning and highlighting how several universities in Virginia are currently leveraging closed captioning to foster inclusive learning experiences.

 

VHEAP 2020 UnConference
March 6, 2020

Great participation by over 60 attendees, coupled with much information sharing and interaction with colleagues made this event another success. Little did we realize what was waiting for us over the next few weeks as our institutions moved to online learning!

Check out photos from our event in the 2020 UnConference Photo Gallery!

All documentation, notes, and proceedings from the event are held in our Google Doc Collection, VHEAP UnConference 2020: Harnessing the Expertise of the Collective Mind <bit.ly/vheapcon20>

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