Engaging student workers to advance inclusion for students with disabilities


Scheduled at 11:15am in WB IV on Wednesday, November 15 (2017).



  • Nazely Kurkjian, Coordinator of Disability, Diversity & Nontraditional Student Services, SUNY System Administration
  • Craig Levins, District Director, Disability Services, Broward College

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


Presenters will share efforts taken to advance supports for students with disabilities by leveraging student employees. Practical examples discussed will include peer-to-peer supports and training, alt format production, assistive technology assessment, and other solutions to aid Disability Services offices and enhance overall student engagement.


While the work of an AT Specialist cannot be replaced, AT programs can be enhanced by leveraging student employees. Student employees are particularly helpful in investigating new and inventive strategies to strengthen the overall goals of Campus Disability Services Offices. Further, it is critical to engage future contributors to the workforce, with or without disabilities, to recognize accessibility barriers and core accessibility principles.

Presenters will share an overview of efforts taken to advance supports for students with disabilities by including peer support in AT programs, and will bring practical examples from campuses throughout the State University of New York system and Broward College that have embedded student employees into their programs. Areas such as peer-to-peer training and support, alternate accessible format production, AT assessment, and social media solutions will all be discussed to aid Disability Services offices and enhance overall student engagement.


  1. Importance of student engagement
  2. Gain insight into job descriptions and projects for student employees
  3. Benefits of using student employees to investigate and facilitate meaningful access

Disability Areas

Topic Areas

Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Other, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Nazely Kurkjian

Nazely Kurkjian is the Coordinator of Disability, Diversity & Nontraditional Student Services within the Office of University Life at SUNY System Administration. Prior to her role at SUNY, Nazely was the Adaptive Technology Specialist in the Services for Students with Disabilities Office at Binghamton University. Nazely serves as the System liaison to the Campus Disability Services Offices across SUNY. She actively participates in state level and system-wide committees and outreach activities to advance accessibility and inclusion for individuals with disabilities at postsecondary institutions. Nazely has presented at numerous conferences including the SUNY Technology Conference, SUNY Diversity Conference, SUNY Conference on Instruction and Technology, Eastern New York Association of College and Research Libraries Conference, and the New York State Disability Services Council Conferences. Nazely earned her Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Binghamton University and Master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration at Binghamton University.?

Craig Levins

Craig Levins has been the District Director of Disability Services at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida since July of this year. Prior to this role, he was the Director of Accessibility Resources at the State University of New York at Oneonta, where he spent 19 years of his career. Craig earned a B.A. in psychology from Elmira College, a M.A. in counseling psychology from Antioch University, and holds an assistive technology applications certificate from the California State University at Northridge. Craig previously served on the public policy committee for AHEAD and on the executive board of the New York State Disability Services Council, who recently awarded him with their 2017 Assistive Technology Award for his work with a student-centered approach toward assistive technology.