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LSA Disability Navigator Pilot Program
Fostering a model of equity and justice, the LSA Faculty & Staff Disability Navigator pilot program was created to identify and address any lapses in the workplace that impact LSA employees with disabilities. A key aspiration is to design this program in a way that can be replicated in other colleges and schools within the University of Michigan. In fact, a general survey across higher education reveals this may be the first program of its kind, focusing explicitly on the needs of employees with disabilities.
The program has been given a three year window to:
Address culture and climate as it relates to LSA employees with disabilities;
Propagate pathways to ADA accommodations for LSA employees with disabilities;
Identify and address needs for increased digital accessibility;
Meet needs for increased accessibility within the physical environment;
Build and raise the profile of LSA’s disability community; and
Address additional issues related to disability equity within LSA.
In addition, a chief focal point for the Disability Navigators is to determine the appropriateness of the centralization of services and support, when centralization is most applicable, and how best to do so.
What We Are Doing
To accomplish the above objectives, the Disability Navigators will carry out a systematic inquiry to ascertain the pertinent pressure points adversely impacting LSA’s employees with disabilities in the workplace. This process began with a 90 day listening tour, in which they conducted over 60 interviews with associate deans, chief administrators, and various units, in addition to a myriad of stakeholders from the disability community both inside and outside of LSA, to properly understand the scope, magnitude, and starting point of their work.
Under the leadership and supervision of Chief People Officer, Karla Renée Williams, the Disability Navigators program sits at the intersection of the LSA office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Human Resources. The Disability Navigators consist of Lloyd Shelton and Jessica McCuaig, two highly motivated professionals, both living with disabilities, each offering unique and complementary skill sets. Going forward, they will go about the work of dividing the various aspects of this undertaking, whilst providing LSA with their expertise in the form of education, consultation, and leadership while continuing to support one another in their particular foci. The chief ambition of this project is to ensure that LSA has a sustainable and robust suite of disability services and resources for employees with disabilities.
We recognize the talents and gifts that employees with disabilities bring to the College of LSA, and we understand it is important to foster workplaces which value these employees and know how to support them. We believe disability disclosure should be a constructive and affirming experience. We know accommodations enable people to do their best work, so the process to access accommodations should be transparent and easy to navigate.
We believe accessibility and disability inclusion must be centered within diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. To progress in these areas, we imagine a shared understanding of accessibility and disability inclusion, a collective commitment to the underlying values, clear accountability for outcomes, and provision of education and assistive resources will be paramount. We know accessible spaces and experiences benefit everyone. We trust that when we know better as a community and have the tools we need to do this work, we’ll do better at creating accessible and inclusive environments.
As employees with disabilities, we value the opportunity to build community among LSA employees with disabilities and to raise the profile of our collective contributions and concerns. We understand not everyone with a disability in LSA will want to identify as a part of this community and that is okay. We want to ensure employees with disabilities know they are welcome and have access to a support network if they need it. We also believe it is important that the broader LSA community knows we are here, understands our diversity, and appreciates how we enhance U-M’s institutional fabric.
We approach this work holistically, considering how our culture, physical and digital spaces, processes, and individuals can shape positive experiences of access and disability within the College of LSA and beyond.
LSA Disability Navigator Materials
Contact the LSA Disability Navigators
Scheduled in-person and virtual appointments are available by request. Drop-in appointments are not being offered at this time.
Complete the Disability Navigators Meeting Request Form
Primary Office: 555 S. Forest Avenue, Suite 306, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Secondary Office: LSA Chemistry Building, 930 N. University Avenue, Suite 1547, Ann Arbor, MI 48109