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Accessibility Task Force

The AATF included a collection of University stakeholders who assisted and advised VU Facilities in promoting and achieving inclusivity and accessibility at the institution’s built environment.

AATF Charge

  1. The AATF, facilitated by VU Facilities and an external consultant, discussed and determined criteria by which accessibility improvements should be considered and prioritized.  As examples, should every classroom be fully accessible; should all buildings have ‘front door’ accessible entries; how to determine which restrooms should be accessible; to what degree does extraordinary cost impact consideration for any proposed improvement, etc.
  2. The external consultant, directed by the VU Facilities team, created an accessibility improvement plan. This plan was vetted by the AATF, discussing alignment with the proposed criteria and if improvements should be re-prioritized.  Prioritization was based not only on objective data, but with consistency with Vanderbilt’s commitment to inclusivity, diversity and equity.
  3. AATF advised and worked with VU Facilities, VU Information Technology and others to develop and employ technologies and strategies for how this data can be disseminated in pro-active ways so that it offers value to the community.  Examples include mapping; applications; intuitive web sites; etc.
  4. The AATF’s assignment lasted approximately one-year.  At the conclusion of the above objectives and tasks, willing participants of the AATF remain a resource for VU Facilities as may be required to offer advice on general and/or specific accessibility issues.

AATF Membership


Melissa Ahler, Risk & Insurance Management;

Sandra Barnes, assistant vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusivity;

Vanessa Beasley, dean of the Ingram Commons;

Jesse Bennett, undergraduate student (Disability Awareness Partnership);

Katharine Brooks, Evans Family Executive Director, Career Center;

Carin Brown, professional masters student, Peabody;

Wen-Yuan Chen (Lily), graduate student

Stacy Clifford-Simplican, senior lecturer, women’s & gender studies;

Dan Cornfield, professor, sociology;

Lindsey Fox, GIS coordinator, Peabody library;

Michael Goldfarb, professor, mechanical engineering;

Jenny Gustafson, program coordinator, Next Steps at Vanderbilt;

John Haendel, associate director, IT Service Delivery;

Patricia Helland, associate dean, dean of students;

Anita Jenious, director, equal opportunity, affirmative action, & disability services;

Katherine Kobrich, undergraduate student (Disability Awareness Partnership);

Eric Kopstain, vice chancellor for administration;

Lanier Langdale, undergraduate student (Vanderbilt Student Government representative);

Kevin Leander, associate professor for teaching and learning;

Nariko Lee, undergraduate student;

Kelly Longenecker, professional masters student;

Jenny Mandeville, content and marketing specialist, communications;

Mike Perez (chair), associate vice chancellor & chief facilities officer;

Mark Petty (project manager), assistant vice chancellor for plant operations;

W. Frank Robinson, assistant professor, associate director Center for Latin American Studies, assistant professor of history;

Ruza Shellaway, deputy general counsel;

Corwin Thomas, major, VUPS;

Melissa Thomas-Hunt, vice provost for inclusive excellence, professor of management;

Emily Voorde, professional masters student;

Robert Waits, university landscape architect;

Briana Watkins, undergraduate student, VSG community building, outreach & diversity committee chair;

Stephanie Zundel, undergraduate student.


Aimi Hamraie, assistant professor of medicine, health and society and american studies.


Huey Brantley, director, facilities information services;

John Giampaolo, sr. director, academic IT service delivery;

Keith Loiseau, university architect.



Aug 28, 2017: New task force to aid in development of accessibility and inclusion strategies for land use planning initiative