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Faculty honored for supporting accessibility

September 20, 2016

Accessibility support earns faculty recognition.

Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Karen Dace, left, and Chancellor Nasser Paydar, standing right, presented the first Advocate for Equity in Accessibility Awards last week to Sheryl Allen, front row, left; Robert Yost, back row, center; and Pamella Shaw, front row, right. | LIZ KAYE / IU COMMUNICATIONS

Three faculty credited for exceptional support for students with disabilities were honored by Chancellor Nasser Paydar and Karen Dace, the vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, with the first Advocate for Equity in Accessibility Awards during IUPUI's annual Diversity Soiree last week in ceremonies at the OneAmerica building.

The awards were given for "going above and beyond every expectation in the support of students with disabilities at IUPUI," said Dace. The honorees were:

  • Sheryl Allen, former dean of students for the School of Medicine
  • Pamella Shaw, associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion in the School of Dentistry
  • Robert Yost, professor in the School of Science

In addition to receiving plaques during the reception, a larger plaque celebrating the award will be mounted in a hallway in Joseph T. Taylor Hall.

"The placement of the plaque is significant because it is the location of multiple diversity-related student services offices," Dace said, pointing to Adaptive Educational Services, the Multicultural Center and the LGBTQ+ Center.

Taylor Hall is appropriate for another reason, too, Dace added: The man for whom the building is named was a staunch advocate of such services.

"Joseph Taylor was the first dean of the School of Liberal Arts, but he was also the father of a daughter with special needs and a staunch supporter of students served by AES," the vice chancellor said. "Each year, the names of the Advocate for Equity in Accessibility Award will be added to the plaque so that they may be celebrated for years to come."

The award will play an important role in campus efforts to be inclusive, Dace noted.

"We want to ensure that our students with disabilities enjoy all of the benefits of campus life possible," she said, noting that everyone on campus can play a part.

"Working closely with the professionals in Adaptive Educational Services, these advocates work behind the scenes to remove obstacles so that students with disabilities receive the appropriate accommodations in order to succeed," Dace said.

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