PAWs - Promoting Awareness and Wellness

Ashford University is proud to show you our PAWs. That is, our Promoting Awareness and Wellness initiative! Every month, we'll highlight different causes and opportunities that reflect the values of the University. You'll also learn ways that you can participate or be more involved.

October 2010

Disability Employment Awareness Month
In keeping with Ashford University's mission, which includes the principles of access and innovation, we are committed to learning about and understanding the diverse needs of learners. As a demonstration of our commitment to supporting students with disabilities, the University has established the Office of Student Access and Wellness. This office provides support and accommodation to students with disabilities by fostering equal opportunities to student success through accessible educational programs, disability-related advocacy, faculty and staff education, and an enhanced awareness of individual abilities and contributions.

Did you know?
Federal and State legislation that provides protection for students in college and university settings, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, are civil rights legislations. The intent of these laws is to afford access and prevent discrimination on behalf of students with documented disabilities.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 applies to organizations that receive Federal financial assistance, and prohibits these organizations from discriminating against an individual because of a disability. Section 504 also requires the organizations to take certain positive actions to "level the playing field" for people with disabilities.

Signed into law in 1990, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guarantees equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. On September 25, 2008, Congress passed amendments to the ADA that clarified and reiterated who is covered by the law's civil rights protections. In an effort to restore the spirit of the law, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 revises the definition of disability to more broadly encompass impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities.

2010 marks the 20 year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Click here to view President Obama's public service announcement regarding this historic event.

Student Success - Candy Scatchell
When Candy Scatchell, 55, of Melrose Park, Illinois, graduated with an Associate's degree from a community college in May 2007, advisors told her she couldn't be a teacher because her disability (cerebral palsy) was a liability. She was crushed, but never gave up.

Today, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination, and disabled students have greater access to pursuing higher education.
In May 2009, Scatchell wheeled herself up the ramp at Ashford University's Clinton, Iowa, campus to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree diploma, which she earned online. On July 28, she began her Master of Arts in Education degree program, also online. She still wants to be a teacher.

Who is Candy Scatchell? For more than 30 years, Scatchell has worked for Morton College, the second oldest community college in Illinois. Currently, she is an office manager with a penchant for tutoring. She is also a proclaimed advocate for special needs children and believes children open up to her because she can relate to their challenges. "They say I am an inspiration to them and their parents. I love them and they love me back."

About graduation: "Earning a degree online is harder than a traditional setting, and you have to be committed. Ashford University cares about student success. In addition to academics, they encouraged me with faith, compassion, and love. The campus is very Ivy League and it was an honor to don the cap and gown in such a beautiful setting."

Her motivation: "I've always been bound and determined. We have a special needs population that needs to be served."

Quote: "I'm not handicapped. I'm handi-capable."

Do you have questions about the differences between K-12 and University services?
To see an overview of legislation for students with disabilities and to better understand the differences between K-12 and post secondary settings, click here.

More Information
Find information and resources for people with disabilities at

President Obama's ADA Anniversary PSA. (2010, July 26). YouTube. Video retrieved from

ADA Home Page. (n.d.). Retrieved September 15, 2010 from the US Department of Justice website,

Office for Civil Rights: Questions and Answers. (2009, March 27). Retrieved September 15, 2010 from the US Department of Education website,

The ADA Amendments Act of 2008. (2008, September 25). Retrieved September 15, 2010 from the United States Access Board website,


October 2010