July 30, 2018: 'Front-Line Customer Service: Creating an Inclusive & Supportive Environment for Differently-Abled Students'

by Michelle Saport  |   

All UAA faculty and staff members are invited to participate in the upcoming webinar "Front-Line Customer Service: Creating an Inclusive & Supportive Environment for Differently-Abled Students" on Monday, July 30, from 9-10 a.m. in UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307. If you would like to join the webinar from your desk, please contact Katie Walter at kalley1@alaska.edu or (907) 786-6108.

Overview Students and other customers with disability face unique challenges in navigating our campuses and processes. Front-line staff who provide direct service to these students also have unique challenges when it comes to delivering excellent customer service while affirming and supporting independence and inclusion. There are actions we can take to prepare for various scenarios, and there are methods we can employ based on a more in-depth knowledge of the type of challenges a person may live with and ways that we can modify or enhance our methods and materials to allow for easier access. This webinar will explore some of the basics of working with students with a disability or differently-abled students such as the use of "people first" language and the etiquette of discussing a student's accommodation needs. It will also identify some specific strategies to support people with physical, neurological, cognitive, and psychological disabilities. Finally, we will look at ways to prepare for predictable needs and ways to respond in the moment, especially when dealing with a student who is upset or angry.

Objectives

  • Learn about disability or differently-abled etiquette and some of the ways we inadvertently limit inclusion
  • Discuss strategies for modifying materials and practices to increase inclusion for all
  • Define the major categories of disability: physical, neurological, cognitive, and psychological and discuss customer support strategies specific to each of these
  • Demonstrate some of the ways we can quickly and effectively work with customers who are angry or upset or who need the next level of support in moving through a difficult situation

Presenter information Bitsy Cohn is the past Director of Credit for Prior Learning, for the Colorado Community College System. Prior to this she worked for 22 years at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Colo., as the Director of Learning Opportunity Center Services. She holds a BA in English and an MS in Organizational Leadership with a specialization in Online Teaching and Learning. Over the course of a 27-year career she has gained expertise in community college student affairs, customer service, conflict management, post-secondary disability services, at-risk retention strategies and credit for prior learning assessment. Since retiring from the Colorado Community College System, Bitsy has been working as a higher education consultant through her business Cohn Solutions Group, LLC.

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