I have a warm and genuine personality as well as an extensive background in higher education with a particular expertise in the area of disabilities and accessibility. I am also the mom of two talented and successful young adult daughters, and have had the opportunity to experience all the wonders and rigors associated with each and every phase of their lives. The combination of my professional and personal experiences guides my work with students, and those who are supporting them. I help students and their families transition into and navigate the exciting and challenging college or university terrain, with a wisdom that is informed, but not judgmental.
Services with universities
My work as a Disabilities in Higher Education Consultant is focused on helping to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of disability services offices.
In order to assist disability services offices in providing seamless and timely support to the students they serve, in a proactive, rather than reactive manner, and to allow Disability Services staff the downtime they deserve, my consulting services include the following:
Review student documentation
Follow up with students and/or clinicians if additional and/or different information is needed
Provide remote intake interviews to further clarify students’ accommodation needs, to ensure that students understand the expectations of all key players, and to provide information regarding other available campus resources
Share recommendations regarding student accommodations with DSS staff
Research questions related to disabilities and accommodations, as requested
Assist with policy/procedure development, as needed
Provide short-term/temporary remote assistance during emergency situations, such as pregnancy leaves, unexpected illnesses and/or surgeries
Whatever else you can think of that I haven’t!
Services With Students
My work with students and their families always begins with getting to know them. I conduct a thorough review of each student’s disability-related documentation and also implement a personal awareness inventory and college-readiness assessment in order to fully understand the student’s strengths and challenges.
Psycho-educational and neuro-psych reports often contain language that is difficult for most of us to understand. What we really want to know is what does this mean for me (or my child), and what are our next steps? Therefore, I will review student records and provide a plain-language interpretation of psycho-educational assessments, psychological reports, and other documentation. I will also provide a written summary, including recommendations for further review and/or recommended accommodations for the post-secondary environment.
During this part of our work together, I will conduct an interview, complete any necessary records review, and administer appropriate inventory and/or assessment tools, to assess which of the student’s strengths and skills need to be further developed in order to succeed in a traditional higher education setting. Understanding these specific core areas can help students with disabilities recognize the challenges that they may face in college and identify areas in which additional support and development may be needed. A written summary with recommendations will be included in the write-up with the documentation review.
We will meet for six one-hour sessions, in person or via Skype. I will also be available via phone or email for support between sessions, and I will conduct authorized consultation with parents or other support persons, attend meetings if requested, and provide additional assistance. Sessions will focus on helping students (and parents):
Prepare for and adjust to college life.
Navigate the college/university accommodation/support processes.
Manage stress and time.
Manage workload and assignments.
Communicate with professors, advisors, and other college/university personnel.
Become familiar with strategies and resources to help maximize the potential for successful outcomes.
Please note that all services can be provided remotely.
I am an educator and professional ADHD coach with over 30 years’ experience supporting students with disabilities and other learning challenges in a post-secondary environment. My goal is to help students and parents build the level of self-knowledge, self-awareness, and critical skills necessary to prepare them for the challenges inherent in the transition to the post-secondary experience.
My professional experience in higher education includes teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in psychology, providing counseling services to students, and working with students and families during their transition to the post-secondary environment.
Soon after earning my Doctor of Education (Ed.D) in Counseling and Educational Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1992, I began my tenure as Assistant Dean/Director of Student Disability Services at Western New England University. In my 21 years at the institution, I helped to develop policies, procedures, and documentation guidelines that are critical to the organization and delivery of disability-related services on the Western New England University campus.
I stewarded many legal, ethical, and practical initiatives to help the University remain compliant regarding accessibility issues (specifically, the ADAAA and Section 504) and to ensure access and inclusion to students with disabilities. I have extensive experience in reviewing and interpreting confidential psycho-educational evaluations to determine students’ eligibility for services and prescribe appropriate academic, facilities, and housing accommodations. In addition, I have developed, coordinated, and implemented annual faculty and staff workshops and seminars on disability laws and supporting students with disabilities in the post-secondary setting.
Knowledge, with respect to assistive technology, legal issues, support strategies, accommodations, and accessibility, guides my work. I am also deeply motivated by my passionate belief that education should enable and empower all community members to live and work in an environment sensitive to diversity.
Parents, students, and high school professionals are all essential to the successful transition from high school to college for all students—especially those with disabilities. To help each of these participants in the process understand his or her role in the student’s transition, I have designed a series of trainings and workshops. In these sessions, I provide information about service options at the post-secondary level, outline expectations, and student responsibilities. I also address some of the critical differences between high school and college, with respect to expectations, legal responsibilities, and accommodations. Having this knowledge will allow parents and relevant high school professionals to better guide students through this transition by helping them set their own realistic goals and acquire the skills they will need to pursue them.
“Achieve a More Successful Transition to College for Students with Disabilities"
This is an overview of legal precedents, students’ rights and responsibilities, student success factors, the college environment and managing the change in expectations, and obtaining the appropriate accommodations.
(Can be arranged as an in-service or online option for parents and/or professionals)
“How to Assist your Student in Meeting the Challenges of a Post-Secondary Education”
This is a hands-on training that helps parents anticipate some of the challenges that their child may encounter during the transition to the post-secondary environment, and how to help them navigate and learn from these experiences instead of doing what comes naturally—rushing in to help them.
(Can be arranged as an in-service or online option for parents)
To learn more about my services, and to discuss fees, and how to get started, please contact me by filling out the following information: