Emily Shryock, assistant director of services for students with disabilities, has been building awareness around accessibility on UT’s campus since she arrived in 2010. She works individually with students and develops campus-wide training for staff and faculty members.
“We always joke that around here there is no typical day,” she says. “I have about 150 students that I work with directly throughout the semester, and then I also coordinate our outreach and training. So, I do a lot of presentations and coordinating trainings across campus.”
Shryock oversees the disABILITY Advocate Training program, which is available for all UT students, staffers and faculty members, and she hopes to broaden the scope of disability education and action around accessibility across the Forty Acres.
The program began in 2011, and several thousand people have completed its courses. The disABILITY Advocate Training program offers a one-hour course, typically popular among students, a 90-minute course aimed at instructors and a two-hour foundation training program for staff members.
“The goal is to create a more accessible, inclusive and welcoming environment for people with disabilities. We are providing not only facts and knowledge about disability, but we’re also giving people very specific skills and concrete tools that they can take with them back to their various roles and create more accessible spaces,” she says.