Staff Contribute to National Publication

Mary Lee Vance

Mary Lee Vance

Purdue Calumet staff members contribute to national publication

HAMMOND, Ind. — A recently published book that provides guidance to higher education professionals about facilitating appropriate educational environments for students with disabilities has a distinct Purdue University Calumet influence.

The university’s director of academic advising, Mary Lee Vance, a Hammond resident, served as lead editor of the book, Beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act: Inclusive Policy and Practice for Higher Education. Published by NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the publication is a primer and quick reference guide for college and university professionals who work with students with disabilities.

Additionally, three other Purdue Calumet staff members wrote book chapters: Director of Student Success and Transition Dhanfu Elston of Schererville, Writing Center Director Karen Bishop Morris of Hammond and Graduate Aide Jacquelyn Bustos of Portage.  

The book contains information that is transferable to campuses interested in building a learning environment that provides universal access and full inclusion to students with both apparent and hidden disabilities.

Vance was researching disability services best practices during 2010 when she discovered the NASPA publication, ADA and Disability Issues, was last updated in 1994.

“With all that had changed with the ADA between 1990 and 2010, I proposed editing a newer publication, which (was) accepted,” Vance said.

She added, “Too often, departments and professionals work in isolation rather than collaboratively to increase retention of students with disabilities, many of whom have not self-identified.” 

Elston, Morris and Bustos were selected as contributors to the book, according to Vance, because they recognize the value and demonstrate a commitment to building permanent, social change for working with students who have disabilities.

“Their contributions to the field are more cutting edge and future driven than what you will read in other ADA publications, mostly because they go beyond ADA compliance,” Vance said. “They are change agents who seek to reduce (rather than overcome) barriers to student learning.”