UNCW Disability Center Director Chris Stone Elected to AHEAD Board of Directors

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

UNCW Disability Center Director Chris Stone has been elected as a director-at-large on the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Board of Directors.

AHEAD is an international, multicultural organization of disability service providers, advocates and disability researchers committed to full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities.

“I was incredibly proud to have been nominated by colleagues I regard as experts in their own right,” said Stone, who will begin his term in July. “That they and others in my profession felt I could represent them and their interests is humbling. I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to serve them well for the next three years.”

Stone has been involved with AHEAD for nearly 20 years, first joining the association while pursuing his master’s degree at St. Ambrose University. In 2016, Stone served as co-chair of programs for the AHEAD conference in Indianapolis. In 2017, he was nominated to serve as treasurer of NCAHEAD, the organization’s North Carolina affiliate. He currently serves on a work group examining the AHEAD assessment tools, which are available for campuses and departments seeking to evaluate their efforts on behalf of students with disabilities.

“Students – just as all individuals with disabilities – are the sum of their parts and not only their disability,” said Stone. “This means considering the entire person when assisting them academically, socially and developmentally, and requires collaboration within the association and at our institutions.”

By participating on the AHEAD board, Stone shares the responsibility to promote inclusivity within the disability field as well as assist in establishing guidance for members when engaging with their campus communities.

“With my position on the AHEAD Board of Directors, UNCW is in a position to keep disability as diversity in the forefront, where individuals with disability are viewed as neither heroic nor tragic figures but rather ordinary people dealing with what may be at time extraordinary circumstances, worthy of inclusion and opportunity to benefit and thrive from their experiences,” Stone said.

Promoting a diverse and inclusive culture is among the priorities outlined in the university’s Strategic Plan.

AHEAD has approximately 3,000 members representing 50 states and more than10 countries. The association has partnerships with 37 regional affiliates and numerous professional organizations. Its core values are aligned toward diversity, equity, respect and inclusivity of individuals with disability.

-- Venita Jenkins