Metropolitan State University's Center for Accessibility Resources (CAR) has created a presentation, "Supporting Post-Traditional Students in the Digital Age," that will be presented at the National AHEAD conference in Orlando, Florida, the week of July 17, 2017.

The presentation, says Kristin Jorenby, director of Metropolitan State's CAR, explores opportunities and strategies to support students with disabilities using a multi-focal lens that incorporates viewpoints related to post-traditional age, highly diverse, urban students at a four-year university. Conference attendees will examine ways to connect with internal and external resources, create balance between compliance and advocacy, and find similarities with traditional age students.

Through their shared experiences, conference participants will highlight strategies for outreach to both internal and external resources that can support students with a wide array of disabilities and experiences. Maximizing access to resources is not only critical for student success and retention, but also helps to build a common awareness and ownership of shared responsibility as an institution and society to create environments that are accessible to all.

Jorenby says they will explore how building relationships with internal offices such as TRIO, Veterans Services, Student Counseling Services and the Center for Academic Excellence can help students be successful and build retention rates. Other topics for discussion include building relationships with external partners such as Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Veterans Administration, partner two-year institutions and other community resources that may contribute to student success and retention.

"We will also discuss similarities between traditional and post-traditional students and how we, as professionals, can create synergies in our service delivery to all types of students we encounter," Jorenby explains. "Metropolitan State University is an urban university and our students often have challenges with resources such as transportation, food and housing security, and access to technology. These challenges combined with disabilities are often experienced by our students no matter their age. We will share how we have worked to be a bridge for student access through provision of loaned technology, our food bank and other student services.

"Lastly, we will review the importance of maintaining the delicate balance between compliance with existing laws and developing the self-advocacy skills of our students. Working in one arena or the other fails to provide the best service to our institutions and our students. We will be discussing steps we have taken to help create this balance within our institution and ask for input from attendees regarding strategies they have found helpful as well."

For more information on this conference, check out the AHEAD 2017 Registration Info or contact Jorenby at 651-793-1540 or kristin.jorenby@metrostate.edu.