Widely recognized as one of the leading universities in the nation in providing services to students with disabilities, Edinboro University will mark 40 years of commitment to excellence in providing access to educational opportunities with a weeklong celebration, Dec. 1-6.
The observance will conclude with a dinner featuring Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability, as the keynote speaker.
The theme of the week, Opening Doors, Building Bridges, emphasizes the human connections vital to Edinboro’s dedication to students and employees with disabilities, said Kimberly Kennedy, director of the Office for Students with Disabilities.
“At Edinboro, we’ve made it our mission to surpass legally mandated minimum standards when providing students access to classrooms, residence halls, and co-curricular and extracurricular activities because we have such a strong commitment to our students and others with disabilities,” Kennedy said. “Edinboro’s commitment reflects a can-do approach, looking toward solutions that impact lives and benefit students. This has always been what’s separated our university and local community from others.”
Each day of the celebration will highlight a different facet of the university’s commitment to excellence. Highlights include:
At the dinner, Dr. Hugo Keim and his wife, Alicia, founders of the ChairScholars Foundation will receive a Distinguished Benefactor Award. Dr. Robert McConnell, former director of the Office for Students with Disabilities, who retired this year after more than 27 years at the University, also will be honored.
Glazer, the keynote speaker, has been president of the National Organization on Disability since 2008 and previously served the organization as executive director of its National EmployAbility Partnership. Under her leadership, the organization has forged many important relationships with leading businesses, allied disability organizations, the military, and philanthropic institutions. She put in place its signature employment demonstrations, Wounded Warrior Careers and Bridges to Business.
The National Organization on Disability, founded in 1982, is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the full participation and contributions of America’s 56 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Today, NOD focuses on increasing employment opportunities for the 79 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities who are not employed.
Edinboro University’s high level of services to students with disabilities traces its roots to 1974, when it was named a “wheelchair campus” by the state Department of Education. Since that time, Edinboro’s continual efforts to expand access have earned it repeated recognition as one of the best universities in the nation for students with disabilities.