Emory Report
December 7, 2009
Volume 62, Number 13



Emory Report homepage  

December 7, 2009
Providing services and programs for access

Gloria Y. Weaver is director of the Office of Disability Services.

The Office of Disability Services (ODS) ensures that faculty, staff, students and visitors with disabilities are full and equal participants in living, learning and working in the community. Services are important in providing “equity and fairness” for persons with disabilities seeking accommodations at Emory. Just as important is our appreciation and understanding of the many complexities that may arise for persons living with disabilities which require planning, guidance, appropriate support and awareness.

We remain actively engaged in building and maintaining collaborative bridges throughout Emory. Our efforts are guided by compliance with all local, state and federal guidelines and regulations for access.

Some of our critical functions and activities include:
Access: As the administrative unit responsible for coordinating and managing efforts related to accessibility, we are the clearinghouse for resolving Americans with Disabilities Act barriers, both architecturally and attitudinally. One of the greatest challenges in building an accessible campus is being able to act quickly and plan appropriately to provide access to spaces and travel pathways. By receiving alerts to barriers from constituents and complying with our own Barrier Removal/Transition Plan, we continue to advance in our goal of true universal design.

Services to Students and Employees:
One of the primary functions of the office is to design reasonable accommodation plans based upon a documented need. We provide accommodations for a variety of disability categories.

Community Partners: Through the development of critical partnerships with key departments in the University, Oxford campus and Emory Healthcare, ODS continues to rely and build on these relationships in resolving access concerns throughout these communities. The Campus Disability Access Committee meets monthly to strategically plan, advise, disseminate and share information, and resolve access concerns. Other advisory committees include Access: Emory Employees, and Access: Media, Events and Technology. Without these relationships, the reasonable accommodation process and mitiga-tion of access barriers would not be as successful.

Education/Awareness Training: An initiative being revisited this academic year is “The Disability Factor,” a series designed to promote education. The primary goal of the series is to offer awareness training, compliance training, and share critical information about our services and programs. Any group or individual interested in connecting to this series is encouraged to contact us.

Resources: ODS serves as central designee for information regarding disability related matters. We offer a variety of resources relating to compliance matters, technology, parking/transportation, ergonomic evaluations and accessories, alternative text aids and more. ODS seeks to improve the public’s knowledge of types of available provisions.

In order to make certain that we reach our goal of access and participation by providing services and programs for persons with disabilities; all members of the Emory community are encouraged to help create an environment that is welcoming and inclusive. We invite you to call us at 404-727-9877, stop by 110 Administration Building, or e-mail any of the staff if we can come together in any way possible.