2004 Focus Award Recipients

Faculty: Dr. James D. McGlothlin

Dr. James D. McGlothlin is an Associate Professor of Industrial Hygiene and Ergonomics in the School of Health Sciences. He specializes in research in ergonomics and industrial hygiene engineering controls. Dr. McGlothlin was the driving force behind a video wheelchair project that identified many accessibility issues on campus. He stated that improving accessibility requires teaching, teamwork, and technology. His team added wireless transmission of video and biosensory data from a wheelchair, which the team demonstrated at the 2004 Focus Award reception with the help of Scott Kempf, a previous year's Focus Award winner. Dr. McGlothlin's research was funded in part by the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which assists people who are paralyzed.

Staff: Paula J. (Micka) Pugh

Mrs. Paula J. Pugh, formerly Paula J. Micka, is the former Assistant Dean in Adaptive Programs, now known as the Disability Resource Center, within the Office of the Dean of Students. During her tenure at Purdue, Mrs. Pugh had a major role in the production of Removing Barriers. This booklet provided the faculty with guidelines for teaching students with disabilities. The main focus was to provide students with access to programs, services, and activities while they attend Purdue University. Mrs. Pugh also redesigned the instructor letters, highlighting the responsibilities of the instructor, the student, and the Office of the Dean of Students. Mrs. Pugh presented numerous workshops around campus to make staff aware of the need for accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Mrs. Pugh was active on many disability-related committees, including ADA People and Technology, Advisory Council on Disability Issues, Housing Accommodations Committee, and Parking Accessibility Review Committee.

Student: Kathleen Kisselburgh

Ms. Kathleen Kisselburgh attended Purdue as a returning adult student with a lifelong hearing impairment. She was accompanied on campus by her companion dog, Whisper. Ms. Kisselburgh was recognized as being an active participant in her classes who provided challenging, real-life examples in class that clarified discussion sessions, helping her classmates more clearly understand abstract ideas. Ms. Kisselburgh was engaged with the surrounding community. Since 1999, she was an active member of "Caring Paws," an off-campus volunteer group that brought animal assistants into therapeutic settings for children and adults with physical, emotional, and psychological disabilities. She established a program at the Wabash Center for Adults in which pet partner teams, certified by a national organization, the Delta Society, worked with therapists to bring animal assistance into sessions with disabled clients. Ms. Kisselburgh and Whisper made regular visits to Wabash Valley Hospital to provide social interaction through pet partner work. In addition, Ms. Kisselburgh was involved with Canine Companions for Independence, Paws with a Cause, and the Greater Lafayette Disabilities Coalition. Tragically, Ms. Kisselburgh and Whisper were severely injured in an automobile accident in August 2003. She died several days following the accident. Whisper was returned to her trainer in Michigan.

Organization: Tactile Access to Education for Visually Impaired Students (TAEVIS)

Tactile Access to Education for Visually Impaired Students (TAEVIS) was established at Purdue University in 1996 to provide Braille materials in two chemistry classes for students who are blind. TAEVIS employees used computer graphics, special paper, and a heat system to produce tactile drawings similar to print illustrations, which is very useful in the fields of math, engineering, and science. In the absence of official standards for Braille diagrams, TAEVIS illustrators developed and refined a set of internal standards with an emphasis on reserving the scientific integrity of technical drawings. These standards, documented in the TAEVIS Tactile Diagram Manual, have earned widespread recognition and are being used by members of the National Braille Association. In 2007, TAEVIS and Adaptive Programs merged to become the Disability Resource Center. The Disability Resource Center is nationally recognized for its expertise in document conversion and has won attention for their uses of Braille and specifically developed tactile diagrams. It utilizes a variety of alternative formats to provide academic accommodations to students who are blind, visually impaired, or have other print disabilities. Innovative applications for tactile diagrams, technical Braille, and electronic text are opening new opportunities in math, engineering, and science.