On April 28, 2021, a panel, Critical Conversation: Discussion of Disability in Higher Education. The purpose of the panel was to highlight voices and experiences of allies, students, and administrators at both TCNJ and Mercer County Community College. The panelists included several professionals in the field, see below, and some students:
Victoria E. Swift is the Student Life Coordinator for the Career and Community Studies (CCS) Program at TCNJ; a post-secondary program for young adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/D). She is responsible for supporting students in their residential and campus community experiences. She works alongside other campus departments to develop and implement curriculum and programming surrounding functional life skills. She also recruits, provides training, and offers on-going support to all CCS Student Life Mentors who support CCS students within their TCNJ housing.
Victoria is also an adjunct professor in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Special Education, Language, and Literacy departments, teaching Feminist Disability Studies, Intro to Sexuality Studies, and Creating and Sustaining Classroom Communities.
Victoria is a proud TCNJ Alumna having received her Bachelor of Science in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (2014) and her Master of Arts in Special Education (2015). She is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Rutgers University, pursuing her Doctoral Degree in Education (Ed.D.) in Education, Culture, and Society.
Arlene Stinson has an MS in Special Education from Ferkauf Graduate school, Yeshiva University. I have collaborated, for the past twenty-five years plus, with students, families and faculty in High Education to facilitate successful student transitions, accessibility, and success. I am currently employed by Mercer County Community College.
Meghan Sellet is currently the Director of the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). As the Director of ARC, Meghan collaborates with members of the TCNJ community to facilitate access and promote disability as a piece of human diversity. Prior to coming to work at TCNJ, Meghan served as an Access Consultant at The University of Arizona’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) for seven years. She also spent a year working with the Penn State Ability Athletics program (an intercollegiate adapted athletics program) as an advisor to student athletes. Meghan received her Master’s degree in Counselor Education (with a concentration in Rehabilitation Counseling) from Penn State University and her B.S. degree in Rehabilitation Services from Wright State University in Dayton, OH. During Meghan’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs, she was a student employee in the disability support services offices at both Wright State and Penn State Universities doing one:one personal care for students, test proctoring and office assistant work. When not at TCNJ, Meghan enjoys spending time with family.
We had some technical difficulty with the recording for the panel. Some of the missed questions addressed as part of the panel are listed below:
- Meghan, how many students are connected to the Accessibility Resource Center at TCNJ?
- Panelists, can you please briefly talk about your TCNJ experience? To one of the student panelists: As a freshman what has been your experience so far? How was the transition? How do you communicate with faculty about your needs?
- Meghan, what would you say regarding the overall accessibility of the TCNJ campus? What are some current campus initiatives that speak to the critical nature of access as a priority within our campus community?)
- What are professors doing in their classes to accommodate students with disabilities? (Answered by Arlene, Professor Swift, and several of the student panelists.)
To view a recording of the Zoom conversation, click here: Video portion of Panel Discussion.
All who attended this insightful panel learned a great deal, and we are planning to continue the conversation moving forward. Thanks to Jaclyn, for leading off this critical conversation and highlighting the work that still needs to be done.