University-wide Accessibility Workshops
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) awarded Fordham a grant through the new “Enhancing Supports and Services for Students with Disabilities for Postsecondary Success (SWDPS)” program.
These grants will allow the University to provide accessibility workshops to faculty, students, and staff. The University partnered with Dr. Auriel Watson, an expert in educational leadership and Barbara Kestenbaum, an expert in the field of special education who has been a champion for individuals with disabilities for over 40 years, to conduct these workshops.
The Office of Human Resources Management and the Accessibility Committee wants to thank the Office of Government Relations and Urban Affairs for its support in obtaining this grant.
Dr. Auriel Watson - Facilitator
Dr. Watson is an educational consultant supporting K-12 school leaders and teachers in New York and New Jersey. In addition to leadership and instructional coaching, she conducts school evaluation visits nationwide. Dr. Watson began her career as a middle school English and Special Education Teacher while working as the Director of Special Education and English Language Learner. After obtaining her doctoral degree, she served as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at a turnaround middle school in the South Bronx. She later served as the school principal of the same school. She successfully led that team through a school turnaround. She received a full state renewal (good standing) from the State University of New York (SUNY).
In addition, she served as a High School Assistant Principal and a High School Principal. While working as a high school Assistant Principal and completing her school building (SBL) and school district leader (SDL) licenses, she received an offer to lead a high school in Harlem, New York. Dr. Watson led her high school team through the school renewal process and received a five-year renewal through SUNY. In the same school year, 100% of her graduating class also received 100% college acceptances from three or more colleges of their choice. Dr. Watson holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, a dual Master's Degree in General and Special Education, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Curriculum and Instruction). She is also a New York State certified teacher with teaching licenses in general and special education grades 5-9, School Building (SBL), and District Leader License (SDL).
Barbara Kestenbaum - Facilitator
Barbara Kestenbaum is an expert in the field of special education and has been a champion for individuals with disabilities for over 40 years. She currently works as an adjunct professor and educational consultant, providing training and assisting schools in planning initiatives to improve their programs and the outcomes for their students. During the course of her career, Barbara has served in roles such as Principal, Director of Special Education Services, Professional Development Specialist, Curriculum Director, and Classroom Teacher. Her responsibilities have included all aspects of instructional leadership, supervision, and staff development with an emphasis on providing appropriate programs for students of all ages.
Barbara has graduate degrees and certifications in special education, general education, and school administration. She has been providing professional development to individual schools, school districts, and teaching at the college level for over 20 years throughout the New York metropolitan area and has developed a proven expertise in designing effective instructional strategies.
Barbara’s passion has always been in the areas of inclusion, curriculum design/implementation, research-based instructional practices for students with special needs and providing accommodations and access to instruction for individuals with disabilities. She prides herself on being as comfortable working directly with students or coaching teachers on-site, as she is addressing groups on best practices in education.
Human Resources sent registration emails to students, faculty, and staff for each workshop. There are multiple sessions for some of the topics. Workshops are held via Zoom and are interactive with breakout rooms for additional participation.
- Supporting Digital Accessibility Requests for Student Accommodations
- An Inclusion Toolkit for Managers and Recruiters
- Strategies for Creating an Inclusive Work Environment
- Disability Awareness: Conscious Strategies for Combating Unconscious Bias