The "Best Practice Guidelines" were originally prepared and printed in 1996 by the Maryland Disability and Higher Education Network (MDDHEN), a group of disability support service providers from colleges and universities in the state of Maryland and the Metro Washington area. The guidelines reflect the diverse backgrounds, settings and experiences of these professionals. The interest in putting these experiences into written form began as the result of a request from the Nationís Capital Area Disability Support Services Coalition (NCADSSC) that MDDHEN act as a special interest group for the state of Maryland in formulating those policies and procedures which would best meet the needs of the postsecondary student with disabilities.
Recognizing the need to update the materials, MDDHEN decided in June 2001 to publish the resources in webpage format, thus allowing for more dynamic interchange and growth of the project. Workgroups were established and the process of defining and refining best practice recommendations through a process of small and large group discussions, posting to a draft website, dissemination and exchange by e-mail to all members for feedback and input, and further refining of the material by the editors.
MDDHEN serves its members as an informal forum for the exchange of information and ideas. MDDHEN offers the "Guidelines" as a resource or starting-point for disability support service providers. The work represented here is not meant to be exhaustive. Some of these suggestions may not work practically or philosophically in a given situation or institution. In many cases, the most important use for these ideas may be as a tool for generating campus-specific discussion as each institution formulates or renews its own policies and procedures.
MDDHEN members find that networking, discussing, debating and brainstorming is of great value in struggling with the great diversity of issues and questions that constantly arise. As MDDHEN develops its thoughts around the issues contained in these guidelines, the body of work continues to grow and improve. The spirit of sharing inspires this work. It is in no way intended to be seen as a legal document or as a definitive work.
MDDHEN membership includes representatives from the following colleges and universities:
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