Earlier this month I presented at the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) conference in Boston, MA. Higher education professionals work tirelessly to support students with disabilities and are more enthusiast each year about integrating coach skills into their work.

This year’s keynote speaker was Haben Girma, J. D., a leading advocate for people with disabilities. Haben is a woman of color and the first Deaf-blind person to graduate from Harvard Law School. She has faced and overcome life challenges with ingenuity, tenacity and grace. Haben is also a speaker, consultant, salsa dancer and a surfer!

I thought about our coach training schools and the lack of accessibility for students with disabilities as I listened to her story. People with disabilities are marginalized every day and the issue of disability-related power and privilege, or the lack thereof, eludes most of us as individuals and as coach trainers. So I am wondering…

  • How can we make our coach training programs more accessible to individuals with disabilities?
  • What do we need to know about our students’ challenges?
  • What will it take to provide training to students in need of assistive technology, interpreters, multi-media formats for optimal learning and extended time on assignments?
  • How does your perspective and world-view shape your training and delivery methods?
  • What else can we do as coach trainers to meet our students where they are, to provide quality coach training to every person interested in becoming a coach?

I invite you to consider these questions and share your experiences and suggestions with the ACTO Board in service of all ACTO schools.

Wishing you all the best,

Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, President