DSS Existing & Emerging Technologies Committee

The DSS Existing & Emerging Technologies Committee was formed in the fall of 2013. This committee is charged with ensuring accessibility for existing and emerging technologies utilized by the institution and coordinating accessibility to comply with the university's obligation to provide equal access to all technology based services, activities and information.
The DSS Existing & Emerging Technologies Committee meets quarterly and is composed of professionals who are positioned to create an awareness of the university’s responsibility to make choices and develop policies which will create an accessible environment for all students.

DSS Existing & Emerging Technologies Committee Members
“The DSS Existing & Emerging Technologies Committee (EETC) is a multidisciplinary team that provides opportunities for campus leaders to learn about the importance of accessibility and the role their decisions play in guaranteeing access for all.  UAB is committed to ensuring equal access for faculty, staff, and students.  The EETC puts us closer to that goal.  It is cultivating an environment of awareness, information-sharing, and policy-making for the accessibility of both existing and emerging technologies utilized at UAB.”

– Dr. Suzanne Austin, Vice Provost for Student and Faculty Success

“The EETC is the one campus-wide committee that represents all student areas ranging from teaching faculty to purchasing agents, all focusing on the availability of content as it pertains to the Rehabilitation Act and Americans with Disabilities Legislation.  Where else can you hear a physician and an IT specialist discuss how to make streaming videos accessible, or a Board of Trustees-level attorney providing summaries of recent litigation and how our campus procedures are or are not affected?  The value to our campus is immeasurable.”

– Dr. Tracee Synco, Director for Retention Initiatives and Academic Engagement

“The Disability Support Services Existing and Emerging Technologies Committee (EETC) is creating a more inclusive environment for the UAB community.  Bringing together representatives from all areas of campus to gain a better understanding of the tools available to help ensure accessibility is crucial.   The conversations and subsequent actions of the EETC have created a safe place to discuss our weaknesses and build upon them to make UAB a better place for everyone.  It is hard to imagine that we didn’t have such a group a few short months ago.”

– Mr. Andy Marsch, Assistant Vice President for Student Life, ADA/504  Compliance Officer


Dr. Suzanne Austin – Vice Provost for Student and Faculty Success
Cary Wahlheim – Office of Counsel for the University of Alabama System
Disability Support Services Allison Solomon, Director
Carter Naftel, Assistive Technology Specialist
Procurement/ Purchasing Melissa Capps Loats, Procurement Contract Manager
Provost Office Tracee Synco, Executive Director for Retention Initiatives
Lee Smith, Executive Director for Institutional Effectiveness & Analysis
E-Learning Lisa Reburn, Director of Professional Studies and Sponsored Programs
Technology David Yother, Director for Academic Technology
ADA Compliance Officer Andy Marsch, Assistant Vice President for Student Life
Faculty Senate Rep Chad Epps, Associate Professor, Physician Assistant Studies
Sterne Library Dana Hettich, General Reference Librarian
Lister Hill Library Pat Higginbottom, Associate Professor
Human Resources Sherri Moultrie, Aware Coordinator, Employee Relations
SOM Student Services Laura Kezar, Physiatrist
Internal Communications/Relations Eric Martin, Director
Media Relations Jim Bakken, Director of Media Relations
Assessment/Accreditation Gregg Janowski, Assoc Provost-Assessment & Accreditation


In July, DSS co-presented with Cary Wahlheim from the Office of Counsel at the 2014 AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability) Conference in Sacramento, CA. The presentation provided training for other universities on the process for establishing an EETC at their institution.


If you have any questions regarding the DSS Existing & Emerging Technologies Committee please email Dr. Suzanne Austin or Cary Wahlheim.