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Exploring a More Accessible STA

By Dawn Berkeley, Director of Educational Technology

Exploring a More Accessible STA

Form A students recently presented to the Governing Board about their work on enhancing physical mobility across the St. Albans campus.

As part of the school’s ongoing work in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion, DEI Director Rev. Kristin Elliott, Director of Educational Technology Dawn Berkeley, and the DEI team developed programming focused on disability awareness. The team wanted to provide students with an experience and platform to engage an authentic audience, where they would use their voice in order to advocate for social change.

As part of this initiative, Upper School Head Librarian Dennis Seese facilitated a historical study of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Collaborating with the esteemed members of the U.S. Access Board, a federal agency specializing in creating design criteria for various environments, the students gained valuable insights. To ensure an authentic perspective, our DEI team reached out to civil and disability rights advocate and champion, the late Judith Heumann, who advised us to connect with the Access Board. Thanks to their support, we had the privilege of hosting a member of their team, who shared their personal experiences as a motorized wheelchair user.

Over the course of a month, Form A students immersed themselves in this transformative work, using the SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats) Analysis framework to assess our facilities, identifying areas for improvement. They even repurposed potential challenges as “troubleshooting” opportunities, brainstorming innovative solutions.

We extend our gratitude to Dennis Seese, the incredible members of the Access Board, and the dedicated Form A teachers for their invaluable contributions to this project.
Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.