IDEALS: 15 Ways to Support Disability Inclusion

The Division of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity is proud of Mizzou’s long history of inclusion of people with disabilities! Mizzou seeks to create an environment that is inclusive and welcoming for faculty, staff, and students with disabilities, and you can help by participating in any of these activities.

Members of the Accessibility and ADA staff interact with people who use wheelchairs in the Shack of the MU Student Center.

This post originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of IDENTIFY.

Story by Amber Cheek, Director of Accessibility and ADA Coordinator
Photo by Ryan Gavin

1. Learn about Mizzou’s long history of inclusion for people with disabilities with our timeline: bit.ly/MUDisabilityHistory.

2. Request a customized training on disability awareness, accommodations or accessibility for your office or department: bit.ly/MUDisabilityTraining

3. Visit the Disability Center’s “The Future is Accessible” Campaign to learn more at disabilitycenter.missouri.edu.  

4. Learn about the offices supporting people with disabilities at Mizzou:

  • Office of Accessibility and ADA: Provides faculty and staff reasonable accommodations and accessibility and ADA guidance.
  • Adaptive Computing Technology (ACT) Center: Provides accessible technology services and support for students, faculty and staff. 
  • Disability Center: Ensures access for students with disabilities where they learn, live, eat, and engage.

5. Learn about the accessible features of campus by searching the campus accessibility map: accessibilitymap.missouri.edu.

6. Learn about recent accessibility improvements on campus and advocate for continued improvements: bit.ly/MUAccessibilityImprovements.

7. Donate to the Accessibility Fund to help support critical accessibility projects on campus, including automatic doors, ramps, and accessible restrooms: bit.ly/AccessibilityFund.

8. Request an accessibility evaluation or training to determine how accessible it is, receive suggestions for improvement, and advice on funding sources for accessibility projects: bit.ly/MUDisabilityTraining.

9. Visit the Job Accommodation Network to learn about types of disabilities and accommodations in the workplace: askjan.org.

10. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or advocate. If you have a disability and need accommodations, request what you need. If you don’t have a disability, spread the word about how we work collaboratively with faculty, staff and supervisors to provide reasonable accommodations. With assistance from IDE, 95% of accommodations are provided at no cost to departments. Learn more: ada.missouri.edu

11. Self-identify to aid disability inclusion. Because disability is another form of diversity, everyone is invited to self-identify as a person with a disability through myHR (myhr.umsystem.edu) by clicking on “Personal Details.” You will help us advocate for a greater investment in programs supporting disability recruitment, inclusion, accessibility, and accommodations. When you self-identify, you will not be asked for any specific info about your disability. Responses are for statistical trend analysis and aggregate reporting only; disability status is confidential and kept completely separate from your personnel/employment data. Your disability self-identification data is never provided to supervisors, managers, or employment decision makers. 

12. If you are a supervisor, talk about accommodations and the resources available to faculty and staff with disabilities at a staff meeting. For example: “We are a disability friendly workplace. If you ever find that a disability or medical problem is affecting your work, please come to me and we’ll work to find an accommodation.”

13. Report an accessibility barrier to help pinpoint urgent issues and future improvements: bit.ly/MUBarrier

14. Join the accessibility listserv to be notified about accessibility barriers and improvements. Email Mohamed Shahin at shahinm@missouri.edu to join. 

15. Nominate a colleague for a Lee Henson Access Mizzou Award: bit.ly/HensonAward.