New Director of Student Accessibility Services Comes With Expertise and Experience
Julie Rasmuson arrived at York College in January 2022 as a Student Accessibility Specialist. Her list of qualifications was substantial: consultant on various state, federal, and nonprofit grant projects in the realm of diversity, equity, and inclusion focusing on the areas of disability in education and employment; developer and programming facilitator for Pennsylvania’s Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Office of Developmental Programming, Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Early Intervention and state-wide Intermediate Units, and Customized Employment partners; and board member with Autism York for 16 years, serving as President for the past six.
Rasmuson also completed coursework in special education at East Carolina University and at Weber State University before earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix. “My degree path was not a traditional one,” she said. “My career and degree trajectory changed after I had my children, both of whom have disabilities.”
It did not take long for Julie’s work to be noticed on campus; she was named Director of Student Accessibility in April 2022. Now, she is being recognized nationally through her service on the committee reviewing and updating the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS).
Comprised of over 40 collaborating professional associations representing over 115,000 professionals in higher education, CAS has developed 48 sets of functional area standards and guidelines, including standards for Disability Resources and Services. In addition, CAS also has developed three cross-functional frameworks for higher education programs and services. These frameworks are “an approach for addressing emerging, evolving, and ongoing issues or topics from a multi- and inter-disciplinary perspective through teams of higher education professionals from different fields or functional areas.”
“CAS Standards are the compass that guides our work in the Student Accessibility Services Division, and are the accepted standards of the Association on Higher Education on Disability (AHEAD), of which York College is a member,” said Rasmuson. “I was chosen as a member of AHEAD as a disability expert to work on a committee with other professionals from higher education disability services and resources to review and update the Disability Service and Resource Section of the Standards. Our charge is to ensure that the update meets the institutional needs of a variety of higher education formats – state, private, online, specialized, various-sized institutions – as well as adheres to both accessibility and inclusion best practices, adhering to the laws and regulations that we must follow in our field.
“I will be recognized by name as part of the Disability Service and Resource review committee, along with my title of York College of Pennsylvania Student Accessibility Services, in the upcoming print and online version of this nationally accepted set of higher education standards. It is wonderful that I and York College will be a part of shaping the policy for higher education accessibility and inclusion. This aligns with our strategic plan and shows that York College is a leader in the higher education field, offering a welcoming and inclusive environment that is supportive of students with accessibility needs.”