This position is responsible for planning, directing, administering, assessing, and evaluating the academic services and programs of AccessibleNU at Northwestern University. This Associate Director of AccessibleNU position is a manager level position within the unit that utilizes independent decision-making skills, takes initiative in day-to-day work, and promptly and effectively addresses problems that arise. This position will provide daily management of the ANU Evanston advising team and will manage a caseload of students, as needed. Daily functions include supervision, ANU suite oversight and scheduling, reviewing documentation, evaluating requests for accommodations, note-taking coordination, and coordinating with campus liaisons to provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations.
Reporting to the Associate Dean of Students/Director of AccessibleNU under the Dean of Students office, the position serves as a campus expert on student related matters regarding accommodations, equal access, and disability. This role provides ongoing leadership to offer services and programs which advance the educational mission of the University and Division of Student Affairs including developing, recommending, and implementing policies and procedures that highlight disability as a form of diversity. This position ensures institutional compliance with federal, state, and local disability regulations and guideline, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and WCAG standards.
Dependent on business needs of the unit, this position qualifies for 1-2 days remote work as supported by current Human Resources institutional policy. Shared office. Nights and weekends will be required intermittently for divisional events and presentations.
About AccessibleNU: The Northwestern University AccessibleNU (ANU) unit is responsible for the academic accommodation determination and coordination process for students with disabilities. ANU aims to identify educational barriers, problem solve to create equitable learning environments, communicate referral options for disability evaluation and academic assistance, and establish best practices for disability inclusion. Northwestern University honors disability as one of the many forms of diversity on our campus and as such, we actively collaborate with faculty, staff, and students to achieve access goals.
Vision: We will be full partners in the student learning experience.
Mission: AccessibleNU supports and empowers students with disabilities by collaborating with the Northwestern community to ensure equal access to fully participate in the academic learning environment.
Creativity: Innovative and forward-thinking solutions to classroom and campus access that are informed by universal design
Collaboration: Work proactively with our campus colleagues to serve as a resource that focuses on creating a welcoming, accessible environment in all aspects of university life
Inclusivity: Partner with the Northwestern community to ensure equal access; inclusion for all is a shared responsibility
Diversity: Disability is one of the many forms of identities that contributes to a thriving campus community
Integrity: Representation of disability in dialogue and decision-making processes across the institution
Student Learning: Using self-advocacy and self-determination skills, support students through their development as they learn to navigate college and beyond
About Student Affairs: Student Affairs at Northwestern University envisions building a just, health, and meaningful student learning experiences by pursuing equity, justice, and belonging. This work happens with all of us as people holding multiple identities. Through the frame of collective impact, we strive to center the voices, experiences, and needs of our most marginalized communities. This calls for both individual and collective responsibility and work that supports universally designed solutions that benefit not just individuals, but the full community. Learn more about the Division of Student Affairs here: https://www.northwestern.edu/studentaffairs/about/strategic-plan/strategic-themes.html
Accommodation Management (40%)
Daily oversight of access services, accommodation management, and maintain case load of students (as needed); responsible for informal appeal for access services.
Determine and provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with disabilities including: conducting intake and information session appointments for students, interpret supplemental and medical documentation including psychological assessments; recording case notes; and data entry.
Collaborate with faculty and staff to allow for the provision of testing and classroom accommodations.
Oversight of peer note-taking services, including liaising with Human Resources for the hiring of peer note-takers.
Identify and clarify with academic program directors, deans, and faculty the practical and technical requirements of students. Provide guidance to directors, deans, and faculty on the implications of modifying policy and/or technical requirements.
Determine program-specific technical and practical requirements that may be modified to allow for the participation of students with disabilities.
With Northwestern University academic program administrators, and as appropriate, with placement supervisors outside of the University, develop student-, program-, and site-specific accommodation plans.
Develop and implement individualized procedures for providing practicum accommodations.
Provide referrals to other University offices as appropriate (e.g., University Health Service, Parking Office, and Counseling and Psychological Services, etc.).
Evaluate the effectiveness of accommodations and/or educational adjustments for students on an ongoing basis.
Co-coordinate and facilitate Case Review for ANU Access Services team.
Supervision Exercised and Received (35%)
Supervise 5-7 professional level staff.
Hire, train, evaluate, supervise, and professionally develop staff in the performance of their duties.
Provide oversight of ANU Suite, including Access Services Team scheduling.
Provide guidance on relevant laws, OCR determinations, and court findings and their application to practice.
General oversight of case load distribution for ANU Access Services Team at the Evanston campus in consult with Program Manager II; recommend updates to distribution regularly.
Ensure quality and consistency of intake meetings, student meetings, case notes, and data entry through regular observations and student file review.
This position reports directly to the Associate Dean of Students and has independent decision-making abilities. Supervision will be given in cases of difficult to determine situations and those that are escalated for a variety of reasons.
AccessibleNU, University, and Community Resource (10%)
Serve as a resource regarding access-related services and accommodations for members of the University community, off-site supervisors, prospective students, parents, and others who interact with the University and serve on committees.
Develop and disseminate educational/informational materials for faculty, staff, and students to promote awareness of needs and capabilities of people with disabilities and the shared obligations to appropriately accommodate students.
Present information to faculty and staff on providing appropriate academic accommodations in compliance with University policy and federal equal access laws.
Provide information about AccessibleNU and receiving accommodations to students through participation in Wildcat Welcome, resource events, and small-group presentations.
Provide in-person support and representation at divisional functions, including team building events, commencement, Dillo Day, knocks and talks, etc.
Special Assignments (10%)
Participates in developing and implementing strategic planning goals, objectives, and assessments.
Performs back-up functions such as front desk duties, test proctoring/coordinating, Chicago office coverage.
Assists the Associate Dean with overall program management.
Identify mechanisms to assess needs of students with disabilities on the Evanston campus on a regular basis and generate potential solutions.
Assist with the development of annual goals and objectives for AccessibleNU.
Regularly collect and report appropriate and meaningful metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of AccessibleNU on the Evanston Campus.
Professional Development (5%)
Attends and presents at local conferences, workshops, training sessions, and/or professional organizational meetings.
Participates in professional development opportunities including active engagement with relevant listservs and groups such as AHEAD.
Stays abreast of current research in the field by reviewing publications, journals, technical information, etc.
Summarizes and synthesizes new information to exchange with colleagues either in a written or an oral manner.
Anticipates future needs and trends of postsecondary disability issues.
Minimum Qualifications:(Education, experience, and any other certifications or clearances)
Master’s degree in higher education administration, rehabilitation counseling, social work, education, psychology, law, or a related field.
5-7 years of experience in comprehensive management and delivery of accommodations and services for students with disabilities in a college/university setting.
Supervisory experience in complex organizations.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Knowledge of ADA Amendments Act, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, Fair Housing Act, WCAG standards, and a range of disabilities and appropriate methods of educational accommodation, as well as creative programmatic adaptations.
Facility with a range of assistive technologies and adaptive equipment and their application.
Highly developed facilitation and communication skills to foster collaborative relationships.
Crisis management skills in complex organizations.
Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)
Professional experience coordinating accommodations for students working in internships, residencies, and other practical settings.
Professional experience working with graduate and professional students in a disability services setting.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Familiarity with Accessible Information Management or other disability-services database.
Work-Life and Wellness: Northwestern offers comprehensive programs and services to help you and your family navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles. We support flexible work arrangements where possible and programs to help you locate and pay for quality, affordable childcare and senior/adult care. Visit us at https://www.northwestern.edu/hr/benefits/work-life/index.html to learn more.
Professional Growth & Development: Northwestern supports employee career development in all circumstances whether your workspace is on campus or at home. If you’re interested in developing your professional potential or continuing your formal education, we offer a variety of tools and resources. Visit us at https://www.northwestern.edu/hr/learning/index.html to learn more.
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