Initiating the process
Contact as many students and alumni as possible
Post on social media
Talk with friends and friends of friends
Attend disability-related meetings to meet new people
Talk to others on your campus about the concerns and positives you see.
This is the most important part of the project, as the goal is to showcase real experiences of students and thus reveal the hidden issues of accessibility on campus. As more students tell of having similar experiences, it provides stronger evidence that the problem is pervasive and important, not just a random one-time occurrence.
Give contacted students this survey to provide a streamlined way to gather statements
Spoken statements may be easier for some, others may prefer a different medium.
Ask each person if they would like to remain anonymous or not
It is encouraged that they list their name as it is helpful for people to realize these are real individuals who have had experiences.
A useful formatting website is Canva if you are looking for something simple to use. If you know how to use another software such as Adobe InDesign, then by all means use that. If you don’t have enough time or resources, then just use a word processing application.
Identify issues from statements
This step entails finding issues and themes that students mentioned experiencing. Examples might be poor maintenance of accessible ramps, failure to give needed accommodations to students, lack of resources for new freshmen, a great resource that many don’t know about etc.
Identify as many specific issues as you can.
Every experience is important regardless of whether a student has a positive or negative experience.
Using the themes and issues you identified in Step 4, brainstorm solutions to those problems. Are there simple changes that could be made that would dramatically improve the situation? Even if the changes are complex, they are likely still needed.
When writing recommendations, be as specific as you can
Who is going to do it?
In what time period does it need to happen?
What steps need to be taken to ensure it happens?
The largest recommendation almost always would be to have administrators talk with disabled students about disability issues. Then students can be brought to the table and be heard as members of the school community.
Choose about 5 recommendations that you think are most important/most feasibly implemented and focus on those in your discussions with faculty and administration.
Deliver report to administration and faculty
You should be as transparent as possible with the report. Do not simply give it to one administrator or staff member, but to every single person. In this way, every employee can see what students have experienced. It also empowers individual professors to make small changes in their own classrooms, regardless of official school policies and procedures. If you would like, you may publish your report on this website, or make your own website.
Be sure to remain cordial and show a willingness and desire to work cooperatively in all interactions with administrators and staff.