NDC has been leveraging opportunities to connect people within the community who have shared experiences and seek shared outcomes of #DeafSuccess. Connecting people has been a successful strategy used by NDC to strengthen collaboration, planning, and implementation of practices aimed at improving participation and completion of postsecondary programming for deaf students.

In August, NDC hosted its first work group for disability services providers. This allowed colleagues to connect, share information, and obtain resources to navigate accommodations for students as colleges go back to school, remotely and in person. Eight institutions participated, a combination of public, two-year, four-year, and technical schools.

Participants shared a range of challenges, including:

  • Implementing accommodations for in-person and online settings

  • Navigating mask mandates and alternative accommodations

  • Brainstorming solutions to create access using learning management systems

  • Assisting with an increased need to support faculty accommodation requests.

This work group was a timely and useful response to uncertainties as colleges and technical schools reopened for the Fall semester. Participants used this opportunity to leverage the experiences and expertise of their peers as well as NDC staff. NDC’s help team was also able to provide relevant resources to address participants' immediate needs.

Work groups are intentional opportunities for professionals to work collaboratively to address issues across multiple levels of the system. NDC plans to continue bringing people together to identify solutions, share resources, and implement strategies in a variety of postsecondary settings. Going forward, this Disability Services Professionals group will meet quarterly online.

The next work group meeting will be held on Sept. 30, 12:45 ET/11:45 CT/9:45 PST. If you would like to participate in this work group, please contact Lore Kinast at lore@nationaldeafcenter.org. NDC is also currently running a work group on summer programming opportunities for deaf youth. To join, email Jennifer Higgins, at jennifer@nationadeafcenter.org.