Candidate: Jennifer Townsend
Jennifer Townsend has been working in Disability Support Service since 2008. Jennifer Townsend started as an Office Assistant in Disability Support Service and now as the Program Assistant. Yakima Valley College DSS office is a one-person office. Responsible for talking to new students about what their disability are and how we can help them meet their educational goals. Setting up accommodations etc. ergo chairs into class rooms, monitors, obtaining e-textbooks and Braille textbooks, software accessibility and proctoring of all testing. Attending weekly with my supervisor and our DSS counselor to go over new applicants or talking about current students that need additional accommodations. This has been the most rewarding position I have had in my working career, to help students with disabilities, to see them achieve their educational goals. Have been an active WAPED member for over 13 years now. I am running for the position of 2-year representative so that I can actively contribute to our organization, and encourage collegiality, problem-solving, and sharing of ideas across all sectors of post-secondary disability support.
Candidate: Wendy Holden
I am the Director of Disability Services at Central Washington University and I have been working in this field, in a variety of roles for roughly 10 years. I have experience working in accessible material production and have presented widely about strategies and resources for creating accessible STEM content. I do a great deal of outreach in my current role and like to remind the campus community that disability is an aspect of diversity, not a defect. WAPED has been an outstanding resource for me personally, and I want to do my part so that others can benefit from the collective wisdom of our community. I believe that WAPED should be an inclusive space where we incorporate accessibility best practices to encourage full participation by all members. I appreciate the weekly online Zoom meetings that have started this past year and would like to continue to explore new ways of engaging and connecting with each other virtually, although I definitely look forward being able to gather in person someday soon!
Candidate: Heather Ruiter
Thank you for this opportunity to serve our WAPED family. WAPED has been my guiding light for these past 7 years, and I am excited and honored to give back to an organization has been so instrumental in this work.
I have been an Accommodation Specialist at UW Tacoma since May 2013, and have served as the President of the International People Working with Disabilities Caucus since 2016. I have extensive experience as a volunteer, including complex event planning, and look forward to using those skills in my work with WAPED.
Candidate: Brad Elmendorf
As the Direct Access Specialist, I oversee the Direct Access arm in the Disability Resources for Students Office at the University of Washington, which includes student intake, emergent/short-turnaround accommodations, and outreach. I also work one-on-one with students whose accommodation requests require a reimagining of university policies and procedures. With 8 years of experience, a MA from Duke University and a master’s of clinical social work from NYU, my work is uniquely rooted in a social-justice and inclusion model – noting environmental and societal barriers commonly define one’s disability. I have lectured nationally on the subject matter at AHEAD, Duke Law, Columbia University and the like.
In 2019, I co-founded the Diversity Task Force at UW and have been a definitive change agent towards inclusive policies supporting students with disabilities and their intersectional identities. I have spent the majority of my professional career working within the field of disability, coming from a student development, advocacy, and accommodation-towards-equity perspective. I have seen and understand the value WAPED brings to our community and desire to rebuild a stronger connection between our office and the organization. When I’m not at work, you can find me climbing in the alpine with my miniature schnauzer Ella.
Candidate: Alice LeFlore
I’ve been the Disability Resources for Students coordinator at UW Bothell for four years, and working in higher education since 2013. Being the one of our university’s 1.5 FT staff in student disability services, I’ve had opportunities to learn and take responsibility for a variety of roles, including managing our alternative testing center, supporting adaptive equipment users, access planning one-on-one with students, and working on implementation and policy with faculty and staff across our campus and UW’s tri-campus DRS team. After four years I remain as inspired and overwhelmed by the extent and complexity of the demands and possibilities in this work as I was on my first day, and along with my mentor Rosa Liu (UWB’s Assistant Director for DRS and Veterans Services), WAPED has been a huge source of information, ideas, and support. I’m volunteering now for the board as a way to give back and be more involved in this community.
Candidate: Bryan Fauth
My name is Bryan Fauth and I’m the Assistant Director of Student Advising & Support Services, Disability Support Services at Cascadia College. Prior to working at Cascadia, I spent seven years at California State University, East bay (CSUEB) where I remain a Program Advisor to the College Link Program. I was fortunate to have been given this opportunity at CSUEB early on in my professional career and quickly realized my passion for supporting disabled students in higher education.
My current role allows me to advocate for access, universal design, and inclusion on a daily basis. It can be a very rewarding experience to collaborate with students, staff, and faculty to ensure Cascadia is providing students with an inclusive experience but it also comes with its obstacles. WAPED has been a tremendous organization as I navigate through those obstacles and I’m grateful for the professional development support it provides. It would be an honor to serve on the board and give back to WAPED. Thank you for everyone’s time and consideration.
Candidate: Marisa Hackett
Marisa is currently the Director of the Disability Resource Center at Bellevue College and has worked in disability services at several other community and technical colleges in the state. She has served on the DSSC board for the last three years and has also served on a no profit board in the past. She also is Disabled and part of disability community and has been working in disability in one way or another since 2005.
Marisa has previous experience with planning events is excited to share that with WAPED. Marisa is passionate about social justice work and plans to bring that passion to the WAPED board.