Derek Coates, PhD

Derek Coates

Manager, Program Access Compliance

Derek Coates is the campus Manager of Disability Program Access and lead on the campuswide program access Self-Assessment. He has Master’s Degrees in Sociology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and the California State University, at Fullerton. In 2003, Dr. Coates received his Ph. D in Sociology from Wayne State University and was hired as an Ed Roberts Postdoctoral Fellow in Disability Studies at U.C. Berkeley as part of a National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research grant. Dr. Coates began his career at U.C. Berkeley in 2004 when he was hired as the campus Disability Resolution Officer, resolving and investigating allegations of discrimination on the basis of disability filed by students and serving as the campuswide primary point of contact for disability-related program and physical access issues. In 2010, Dr. Coates was hired as the Discrimination Complaint Resolution Coordinator for the Central Human Resources unit, tasked with resolving and investigating allegations of discrimination on all protected classes (except Title IX) filed by U.C. Berkeley employees. In 2014, Dr. Coates was appointed to be the campus Interim Disability Compliance Officer reporting to Associate Chancellor Linda Williams )Ret.). In 2018, Dr. Coates began reporting to an esteemed colleague ADA Coordinator and Section 504 Compliance Officer Ella Callow.

In 2006, Chancellor Birgeneau awarded Dr. Coates a Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award as a member of the "WebAccess" team that collaboratively conducted outreach to web builders and designers campuswide by hosting technical website accessibility clinics. In 2008, Dr. Coates was awarded a U.C. Berkeley Institute for Leadership and Development (BILD) grant to create the Disabled Staff Resource Network, a pre-cursor to the current Alliance for Disability Access (ADA) staff organization for allies of and employees with disabilities. In 2017, Privacy Officer Lisa Ho successfully nominated Dr. Coates to the Chancellors Outstanding Staff Achievement Award committee for a SPOT award in special recognition of his leadership in producing a disability awareness screening on Asian suicide and mental health. In 2018, Deputy Associate Chancellor/Chief Operating Officer Wanda Ellison Crockett awarded Dr. Coates a second Staff Appreciation and Recognition SPOT award for service to the Graduate Division and the Parking and Transportation unit.

Dr. Coates was awarded a 2018 Chancellor’s Outstanding Achievement Award by Chancellor Carol Christ.

You were not admitted to the university because you are disabled, you were admitted because you successfully competed against your peers and were determined well worth having the opportunity to earn an advanced degree from the top Public university in the United States.

– Derek Coates 2017.