Social Justice Statement

We updated our social justice statement to the following: The West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities (WVU CED) is committed to social justice. Our staff concur with that commitment and work hard to foster a diverse and nurturing environment based upon open communication, mutual respect, and non-discrimination. The WVU CED does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, disability, veteran status, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, color or national origin.

A Framework for Understanding Poverty Training

Participants learned to help those who work with students or adults from poverty. Compared to the national average (13.5%), a significantly higher percentage of West Virginians (17.9%) fall below the income poverty line, according to complete 2015 information from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey. Topics covered in this training included the role of language-from formal to casual registers, identifying the resources of an individual, patterns in case studies, story structure, the importance of relationship building and the hidden rules of each economic class.

Cultural and Linguistic Competence Self-Assessment

This assessment was administered in order to evaluate the Center’s current strengths and areas for growth related to cultural and linguistic competence. Our five year recommendations include:

  1. Raising staff awareness of the Center Advisory Committee (CAC) existence, role, and influence on Center activities.
  2. Improving cultural and linguistic competency on branded materials.
  3. Increasing the CED’s cultural community reach through active dissemination.
  4. Increasing cultural and linguistic competency of CED personnel (including staff, CAC, trainees, and volunteers)
  5. Hiring and retaining diverse staff.

Raising Public Awareness of Center Advisory Committee (CAC)

We are currently working with the CAC to expand their webpage dedicated to who they are and what they do (

WVU Diversity Week

We submitted a proposal to highlight the Cultural and Linguistic Competence Self-Assessment and provide useful anecdotes to other organizations wishing to learn more about their cultural and linguistic competence, how to create a shared vision, and how to implement a plan of action to support cultural and linguistic competency.

Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Annual Conference

We will present a poster highlighting our experience conducting the Cultural and Linguistic Competence Assessment for Disability Organizations including results, challenges, and next steps.

We presented at the 2017 and 2018 AUCD conferences:

Speak “We” First: Developing a Center-wide Language Access Plan (LAP)

Read the full LAP (PDF)

Read the Text Only Version of LAP (DOC)

Cultivating Change: Implementing and Responding to a Center-wide Cultural and Linguistic Competence Assessment

Assess the WVU CED's current strengths and areas for growth related to cultural and linguistic competence.

Read the Full Cultivating Change Poster (PDF)

Read the Text Only Version of Cultivating Change Poster (PDF)