Parents As Allies: How Do We Do It?


Thursday, November 8


2:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.


Martha R. Smith


During the summer of 2018 Disability Access Services (DAS) at OSU piloted a new DAS parent orientation sessions. OSU has multiple new student (freshman) orientation sessions throughout the summer. We have regular open house hours during these orientations for DAS students to get registered, attend student orientations, get information, etc. This year we decided to offer parent information/orientation sessions as well. The sessions were to occur while the student was meeting with their DAS advisor, the parent(s) would have an opportunity for a session with the DAS director.

Goals of the Parent orientation:

  • Basic understanding of the differences between k-12 and higher education
  • Understand the DAS accommodation process
  • Help parents understand how to appropriately support their student
  • This session will share the information and handouts we used for the parent orientation.

Discuss the feedback we received from the parents. Discuss lessons learned and plans for future DAS parent orientations and have an open discussion with participants regarding how they engage parents as allies.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn about the OSU DAS parent orientation
  • Gain ideas for how to engage parents as allies

Presentation Materials

Presenter Bio(s)

Martha R. Smith

Martha R. Smith, Director Disability Access Services at Oregon State University. Martha has been working with and getting to know, in depth, the ADA since its birth in 1990. She has worked with access and disability rights issues in multiple settings. Martha has a deep understanding of the nuances and complexities of working with issues of access, universal design and the ADA and how to come out on the other side with win-win resolutions.