Leading with social justice through a universal design lens, so that everyone is treated like a person, socializes people with differences in the community and sees people for their ability. Inclusivity is the goal that makes sense to that individual in the ways they want to be included, not by making people feel isolated because of their disability and conforming to what society considers normative. It allows people to change the world with their ability while educating the world about their disability.
A person with a disability is not disabled unless their environment produces barriers that does not give them access and opportunity.
Example: If I build a building with a second and third floor, and I do not add an elevator and stairs, an able-bodied person has become disabled to access and opportunity on the second and third floors.
"Progress toward equity is dependent first and foremost on the acknowledgment that ableism exists in schools."
While having an SDS office is critical to ensuring equal access for all students with disabilities, I believe it is just as important for all campus partners to take an active role in promoting and improving disability inclusion across campus for diverse students.
I see diversity as a valuable asset; I hope to support and empower students to find their place in a community that is welcoming and accessible to everyone and that celebrates our many differences.
I hold a Master of Science in Assistive Technology and Human Services. As such, I am interested in exploring how students with disabilities can utilize technology to improve their learning experiences.
I am interested in expanding the effect of inclusion and accessibility beyond the direct work with our students, into the greater Cornell community. To promote a larger understanding of the ways in which we think about equal access from the start, and to shift the ways in which we think about our surroundings. Diversity of perspectives, thoughts, and actions are what drive excellence in all of us.
I serve our students by coordinating note taking services, captioning services, interpreting services, and other auxiliary aids. I facilitate one-on-one trainings about accessibility software that can be used to develop strategies for students to learn in the ways that are best for them. Additionally, I am the Campus Coordinator for the Workforce Recruitment Program, which connects college students and recent graduates with disabilities to internships and permanent jobs in the federal sector.
Educational accessibility is important because it fosters both self-advocacy and a social shift towards overall equity both on-campus and off. I want students to know that I’m a resource and a person who promises to do all I can to make their learning experience meaningful and equitable.
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My role is to provide students that have visual, print-based, or mobility disabilities with accessible formats of their course materials. I also meet one-on-one with students to provide training on new accessibility software programs they may find useful.
I feel being a strong advocate for accessibility is not only to provide students with tools for success, but also to raise awareness of those who are not familiar with concepts such as universal design, and to be an ongoing resource for the community at large.
Andrea (Andi) Dietrich
I provide accessible formats of course materials to students with visual, text, or mobility disabilities.
Campus access is important because every student should have an equal opportunity to learn.
I work with students with temporary mobility concerns to assist them in finding ways to get around campus, including using the CULift service.
I feel it is important for students with both visible and invisible disabilities to feel supported and have equal access to classes, campus programs, and events. Transportation access is an important piece of that puzzle, especially for a campus like Cornell's (which I joke is the only campus where everything is uphill in both directions!).