UW-Madison: Ceremony to dedicate new McBurney Disability Resource Center at UW-Madison

CONTACT: Cathy Trueba, [email protected], 608-263-5174

MADISON – Two acclaimed alumni from the University of Wisconsin-Madison will be on hand when the new McBurney Disability Resource Center is dedicated in a grand opening ceremony from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, at the center, located at 702 W. Johnson St.

Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano (’90 JD LAW), vice president of programs for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, and Greg Rice (’77 BBA BUS), CEO and managing partner of Executive Management Inc., will speak as part of the dedication ceremony. Also speaking will be Cathy Trueba, director of the center, Provost Paul M. DeLuca Jr. and Meagan Minister, a junior applying to the School of Social Work and a McBurney Center student employee.

Since 1977, the McBurney Disability Resource Center has advocated for and assisted students, families and the UW-Madison campus community in navigating the academic challenges and practical concerns faced by people with disabilities. The center was founded more than a decade before the Americans With Disabilities Act was passed to require equal access to education for people with disabilities.

In January, the McBurney Center moved into its new home – part of the University Square Building – and its unique design and features provide students with a greater variety of services than ever before. “It is uncommon for a disability program to be able to design program space from the ground up,” Trueba says. “The care and quality of the McBurney design underscores the campus commitment to students with disabilities. The message of inclusion inherent in the center being located at the front door to campus along with the Office of Admissions and Recruitment reinforces the reputation the University of Wisconsin-Madison enjoys in offering national leadership in serving this student population.”

Cordano, who as a member of the deaf community used the center’s services while completing her law degree, has built a career with experience in government, higher education and health care. She is vice president of programs for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, a nonprofit health and human services organization that serving the greater St. Paul, Minn., area since 1906. From 1990-2000 she served as assistant attorney general for Minnesota. From 2000-08, she worked at the University of Minnesota, first as director of disability services in the Office of Disability Services, and then as assistant dean at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. She also served as vice president of Park Nicollet Health Services in St. Louis Park, Minn., and interim president of the Center for Healthcare Innovation at Allina Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis.

Greg Rice is CEO and managing partner of Executive Management Inc. Rice is a former student of James Graaskamp, whose lessons and high expectations guided him as project developer on the McBurney Center.

The McBurney Center is part of the Division of Student Life. It is a welcoming community and resource for students with ADHD; deafness or hearing loss; learning disabilities; low vision and blindness; mobility, psychiatric or health-related disabilities; and traumatic brain injury.

Because the new center was created in a previously undeveloped space, it could be designed from scratch to serve a broad population of people with disabilities. The center includes ideas gleaned from independent living centers in Milwaukee and Chicago that have been incorporated in the physical layout, color choices, wayfinding elements and furniture selections in the new McBurney home.

Those attending the private grand opening will have the chance to tour the center and see how these elements are employed.

New opportunities and benefits the 702 W. Johnson St. location offers students with disabilities and the campus community include:

– After-hours access for students to the McBurney Adaptive Technology Lab located within the McBurney suite.

– Dedicated office space on the McBurney main corridor for the Accessibility Advocates student organization and the McBurney Speakers Bureau peer education program. Student members will have access after hours to the Student Activities Office and to the James Graaskamp Conference Room for evening and weekend events.

– The James Graaskamp Conference Room, also located on the McBurney main corridor. The space is dedicated to Professor James Graaskamp, a giant of UW-Madison’s real estate program and one of the primary campus leaders who promoted the creation of the Center and its dedication to Michael McBurney (’60 BA, ’63 JD). The James Graaskamp Conference Room seats up to 20 guests and has enhanced audio/visual capabilities for accessible training and event hosting.

– Readily available, accessible parking and a Madison Metro Paratransit stop on Lake Street near the front entrance.

– Proximity to campus partners located in the Student Services Tower (333 East Campus Mall), including University Health Services and Counseling and Consultation Services, Office of Student Financial Aid, Office of the Bursar, Student Activity Center and the Office of the Registrar.

Visit http://www.mcburney.wisc.edu for more information.