CSUN has helped make disability resources more transparent, accessible and fiscally responsible since the university’s last campuswide audit, according to officials with the Disability Resources and Educational Services program, or DRES.
The school has not been audited since 2003, said Jodi Johnson, director of DRES. External and internal audits are done at the CSU level, and campuses are picked at random each year
The school’s committee for disability issues was not meeting frequently enough, there was not enough web access and equipment was not being managed adequately, according to a report by University Auditor Larry Mandel.
In response to the report, the school listed its corrective actions on all three issues in a letter from Jolene Koester, former president of CSUN.
Transparency and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance
The first problem mentioned in the 2003 audit was that the Campus-Wide Disabilities Issues Board was not meeting regularly. The board had not met in over a year, according to the 2003 audit summary.
The Campus-Wide Disabilities Issues Board, CWDIB, is a CSUN committee created to secure that proper access is available throughout the campus for people with disabilities.
The board is in charge of evaluating current campus policies and procedures based upon the CSU memorandum that corresponds to the needs of students with disabilities required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Johnson sits on the board and gives frequent updates so that the CSU memorandum requirements are enforced. The ADA coordinator, Lauren Nile, director of the Office of Equity and Diversity, is in charge of maintaining that the board meets twice a year, Johnson said.
Nile must also make sure that requests made from faculty and staff for any type of disability accommodations needed are assessed.
“I’ve given (the board members) an update on the number of requests for disability-related accommodations we have received from faculty and staff from the last meeting that involves accessibility issues.
“(It’s) an update for me, an update for Jodi Johnson, an update for someone from NCOD, new business, old business and questions, and that’s pretty much it,” Nile said.
The second issue found was that DRES had not created a Web-accessibility policy to allow students access to DRES programs and services online.
Creating an Accessibility/Acceptable Technology Initiative department addressed that issue, Johnson said.
As accessibility needs and requirements change, the CWDIB helps keep the school in compliance for all means of physical and virtual program access.
New ADA requirements are based on the CSU Memorandum published in 2010, which states: As of May 15, all CSU websites must be fully accessible to students; and, as of Fall 2012, instructional materials and websites for all course offerings must be accessible to students.
The last issue in the audit was that they had not established systems to track assistive equipment purchased by endowment funds.
“We are now tracking that. We have a whole system that tracks that in a database,” Johnson said. “And we have home-use permits for anyone that takes equipment out of the office for any reason – even to another classroom.”
A representative from each of the following campus divisions sits on the CWDIB: Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES), National Center on Deafness (NCOD), Kinesiology, University Library, University Corporation, Information Technology, President’s Office, Human Resource Services, Career Center, Physical Plant Management, Facilities Planning, Student Health Center, Student Affairs, Public Safety, Faculty Senate Office and Student Representatives.