On April 15, 2011, the Beyond Compliance Coordinating Committee of Syracuse University awarded five members of the SU community the 2011 Beyond Compliance Award, in recognition of their continuing efforts in building an inclusive, respectful community and climate on the SU campus.
Maryann Barker, Office Coordinator for the Department of Cultural Foundations of Education, was cited for frequently going beyond her job duties in assisting students with disabilities. Students United for Visual Access Today, a student organization on campus, which nominated Barker, particularly lauded her efforts to orient students who are blind and visually impaired to the Huntington Building and key offices in the department. She also assists students with completing paperwork for course registration and other academic procedures, which have not yet been made accessible.
Cyndy Colavita, Office Manager at the Center on Human Policy, has also served as Advisor to the Self Advocacy Network, a group of adults with disabilities, since 1986. She devotes time, energy and personal resources to collaborating with the Network and helping to ensure that the group is an active presence in local events such as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade as well as statewide self-advocacy endeavors. She was praised by her nominators for her high and sustained level of commitment over more than two decades, and on her blending of “civil rights idealism” and “take action mentality.” As her nominators pointed out, “she isn’t just about giving people their rights or advocating for their rights but rather she shows people how to gain their rights themselves.”
Bea González, Dean of University College, was nominated for her active support for the Access program, a partnership for continuing inclusive education between Onondaga Community Living, University College and Syracuse University’s School of Education. She has worked tirelessly to interface this program with various facets of university life, such that students receive appropriate support and guidance in choosing classes, ease in accessing parking, library and other services, and due recognition upon completing courses. She was praised for being “more than willing to look outside the box in making the college experience as inclusive as possible for students with disabilities.”
Nick Nosko, Information Technology Analyst with Library Information Technology Services, was lauded for taking initiative to improve adaptive technology and hardware accessibility for students with disabilities. When informed of student concerns, he has on a number of occasions answered inquiries, initiated research, engaged in collaborative problem solving, and adapted library computers for better access.
Steve Simon, Director of Disability Services, was honored for his long commitment to creating a disability services office that moves beyond compliance. Simon has displayed a commitment to making sure all parts of campus life are accessible. For example, Simon has coordinated with Syracuse Stage to add visual description services so that individuals who are blind and visually impaired have access to what is going on onstage. Nominators also lauded how Simon frequently takes direct and decisive action in dealing with issues when they arise.