Institute on Disabilities at Temple University


Ensuring Higher Education Opportunities for ALL

NOTE: This program was funded from October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2012.

Infusing "Disability as Diversity" into Human Resources at Temple University and Beyond

Temple University's Human Resources (HR) Department provides training to all new staff hired at the University. In addition, ongoing training focuses on valuing and embracing diversity as part of its staff development activities. Conveying the message that disability is part of diversity was an important focus of this project's work with key HR staff.

Goal 1 of Ensuring Higher Education Opportunity for All stated that "Human Resources at Temple University will present disability as part of diversity training when orienting all new faculty and staff."

Changes Suggested and Accomplished in HR


After attending the 3 1/2 hour New Hire Orientation, project staff worked with key HR staff to ensure the accessibility of all visual media used during the training, including PowerPoint slides and video segments. The following changes were suggested and have been incorporated into the Temple University standard New Hire Orientation PowerPoint materials:

  • Better contrast between text and background
  • Use of Sans Serif and larger typeface for greater legibility at a distance
  • Captioning of all video elements
  • Photos of students and staff with disabilities as part of the diversity of the Temple University community
  • Bullets and trainer notes highlighting disability as diversity throughout the training

The New Hire Orientation PowerPoint went through several iterations, as seen below. With the last, and current, PowerPoint slide, note the cleaner design, the greater contrast between background and text, the addition of a photograph of a student with a disability, and a statement on diversity which emphasizes Temple's population of students with disabilities. These changes emphasize Temple's commitment to diversity, and echo the message that "disability is an important aspect of diversity."

Human Resources Orientation PowerPoint BEFORE Working with Ensuring Higher Education for All Project

Human Resources Orientation PowerPoint AFTER Working with Ensuring Higher Education for All Project

Project staff also worked with Human Resources to develop a 90-minute, interactive presentation for their ongoing program "Diversity Goes to the Movies." The series, which is open to any Temple staff, faculty or student, uses short clips from popular movies and documentaries to encourage conversation about diversity and cross-cultural contact. Previous movies and documentaries have included "Do The Right Thing," "Crash" and the Frontline documentary "A Class Divided," which chronicles Jane Elliott's famous "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" experiment. The new workshop uses clips from the popular Fox television series "Glee," and asks the audience to consider how various characters in the series portray or embody disability in ways that are open to both pity/ridicule and inclusion messages.


Getting the Word Out to Other Colleges and Universities

Funded by U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education.

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service