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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Upcoming documentary film on disability and sexuality

Please circulate widely: official announcement from grassroots disability
justice performance project on upcoming documentary film

Sins Invalid: An Unshamed to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility (aka
"Sins") is a San Francisco/Bay Area based performance project that
incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of
color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been
historically marginalized.  For the last five years, our performance work
has explored themes of sexuality, embodiment, and the disabled body to
sold-out audiences.

Sins – The Film
We have reached nearly 4,000 people through live Sins Invalid
performances.  But we've consistently heard from people who can't make it
to the Bay Area that want to experience Sins.  We're proud to say that in
conjunction with the Aepoch Fund we've almost finished making a 41-minute
film that reflects our groundbreaking performance work and weaves
interviews of artists and co/founders alongside unreleased performance
footage to serve as an entryway into the absurdly taboo topic of sexuality
and disability.

With this film, we can magnify our message that ALL people and communities
are beautiful and valuable.  Imagine how many more lives and communities
would change if people engaged in that simple message!  And, we still need
you to premiere this film!!  Visit us at

What We Have and What We Need
We're in the final stages of production.  We are committed to completing
the film – so committed in fact that we are donating personal resources to
move it forward.  You know how artists stretch a dollar to make $100 worth
of creativity happen.  We're stretching but your partnership will premiere
this film!

We are raising $15,000 through the online platform Kickstarter.  It will
help us reach out to new communities – but there's a catch.  Kickstarter is
an all or nothing platform – so we will receive the funds only if we raise
the entire amount.

Your contribution will help lead us through the end stages of film
production – sound editing and creating music, correcting the color,
adjusting the titles, beginning the distribution launch.

Please share in the truth that beauty always recognizes itself.  Be a part
of completing a groundbreaking film on disability and sexuality. Visit us

What people say…
The world of enforced and embodied norms constricts all of us, regardless
of where we identify on the spectrums of sexuality, gender, or ability.  In
this project, people with disabilities are engaging in the wholeness of our
bodies and our sexualities.  Visit us at  When people
experience our shows they are deeply impacted:

"I am moved beyond words, moved to an emotional state that I can't quite
explain. Thank you for making this space possible!"- audience member 2011

"You are brilliant and beautiful and help me remember that so am I.  Thank
you." - audience member 2011

"What makes Sins Invalid so powerful is that it thoroughly succeeds
artistically and erotically, separate from the impact of its political
message. Sins Invalid challenges its audience to think about sexuality,
beauty, and disability in new and expanded ways. But Sins Invalid is also,
quite simply, a hot, arousing, sexually charged evening of
thought-provoking, imaginative sexual entertainment that only happens to be
entirely by and about people with disabilities." - David Steinberg, SFGate

"One of the most powerful shows I have been to ever.  The creativity and
expression and depth literally took my breath away." - audience member 2009

"Sins Invalid's work is a vibrant necessity in this age of bland
complacency. The art that is presented brings the intersectionality of
race, gender, class, and ability and throws it in your face, forcing the
viewer to come to terms with how these realities are not so different and
yet so different for those with disabilities. And this is beautifully done
with the erotic and the body." - Phem Magazine

"Mesmerizing, thought provoking and hypnotic, erotic and humorously joyful,
sad, hopeful intense and rebellious." - audience member 2008

Brooke Willock
MA Candidate
San Francisco State University
Department of Women and Gender Studies

6th International Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability

6th International Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD)
Applications are now open! Deadline March 1, 2012

MIUSA's Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) will bring
together approximately 30 women leaders with disabilities from
approximately 30 different countries, to strengthen leadership skills,
create new visions and build international networks of support for
inclusive international development programming.
During the three-week program, participants will take part in workshops,
seminars and discussions, conduct on-site visits, and participate in
team-building activities, to explore challenges and exchange strategies
for increasing leadership opportunities and participation of women and
girls with disabilities in international development programs.
The WILD program will include interactive workshops, site visits and
practical activities on priority issues for women with disabilities,
*       National and International Policies and Legislation, including
the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Disability Policy
*       Educational rights and opportunities including specialized and
inclusive schools, policy and legal rights, services and accommodations
for accessibility
*       Leadership for economic empowerment, including higher education,
training models, supported employment, microenterprise, private sector
partnerships, career mentorship, skill-building, employment policy, and
career development.
*       Health and family issues including parenting, health care,
HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and violence prevention
*       Using the media
*       Coalition building
*       Organizational development and sustainability, including funding
resources and strategies, and fostering partnerships with community
organizations and businesses
*       Goals and action plans to promote collaborative relationships
with other organizations for the inclusion of women and girls with
disabilities in international development programs.
*       Inclusive international development, including exchanging
strategies for inclusion with representatives from U.S-based
international development organizations and/or human rights
*       Cultural and team-building experiences
*       Mentorship and networking
For more information or to download an application go to:

The official languages of WILD are English, Arabic, Spanish and American
Sign Language (ASL). Participants must have at least conversational
ability in English and/or be familiar with ASL.

L. Scott Lissner, Ohio State University ADA Coordinator, Office Of
Diversity And Inclusion
 Associate, John Glenn School of Public Affairs
 Lecturer, Knowlton School of Architecture, Moritz College of Law &
Disability Studies
 President Elect, Association on Higher Education And Disability
 Chair, ADA-OHIO
 Appointed,  Ohio Governor's Council For People With Disabilities,
State HAVA Committee &
 Columbus Advisory Council on Disability Issues

(614) 292-6207(v); (614) 688-8605(tty) (614) 688-3665(fax);
291 W. Lane Ave
<> ,
Columbus, OH 43210-1266

[USA] Proposed HR 1173 would repeal CLASS Act

HR 1173
<>  is
expected to reach the floor of the House of Representatives soon.
THOMAS provides the following summary of the bill:
       Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011 -
Repeals provisions of the Public Health Service Act enacted under the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (entitled the Community
Living Assistance Services and Supports Act or the CLASS Act) which
establish a national, voluntary insurance program for purchasing
community living assistance services and supports in order to provide
individuals with functional limitations with tools that will allow them
to maintain their personal and financial independence and live in the
Currently there are an estimated 10 million Americans who need long-term
services including personal care.  Given our steadily rising average age
this number is rising.  For Americans with Disabilities, long-term care
is a critical tool for independent living but most cannot afford
coverage. "CLASS Act", the Community Living Assistance Services and
Supports Act  (a program under The Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act) was enacted to  enable millions of people to buy affordable
long-term care insurance to provide home and community based care.
CLASS ACT has the potential to allow people with disabilities to
continue to live and work in their communities rather than move into
nursing homes and other institutions.  Home care generally costs less
than institutional care; the national average cost of a private room in
a nursing home is $70,000 per year while a home health care worker earns
$25 an hour.  An estimated third of federal and state Medicaid expenses
($111 billion in 2009) is on long-term care.

       Read the full text of the proposed bill and follow its status by
visiting THOMAS
<>  If
you have an opinion you can share it with the sponsors listed there or
your own representative.

       Read The AAPD's Position at:

L. Scott Lissner, University ADA Coordinator
Office Of Diversity and Inclusion
281 W. Lane Ave
Columbus, OH 43210-1266

(614) 292-6207(v); (614) 688-8605(tty)
(614) 688-3665(fax); Http:// <>

ASAN Invites Autistic Students to Participate in Leadership Training

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network with the help of the Mitsubishi Electric American Foundation is launching a new program for Autistic college students. In August 2012, ASAN will be inviting 13-18 Autistic students to participate in the Autism Campus Inclusion leadership training.

Drawing from the powerful Navigating College handbook and the Empowering Autistic Leaders booklet scheduled for release in early 2012, participants will learn valuable skills to effect systems change in their individual campuses and increase their own skills in self-advocacy and self-help.

This is an exciting move forward for ASAN and we hope it can be an exciting move forward for you. If you are a current college undergraduate student who identifies on the Autism Spectrum, including Autistic Disorder, Asperger's Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, with a strong interest in the Disability Rights and Autistic Rights movements, we invite you to apply for this leadership training. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a higher education institute or college in the United States (including the District of Columbia), with at least one year left after completion of the leadership training.

If you have any more questions or comments, please direct them to Melody Latimer at

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your advocacy,

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Apply Now!

Alice Sheppard NYC event announcement

“Showing Spine,
The Future of Disability Studies presents

“Showing Spine,” A Lecture/Performance by Alice Sheppard with a response by Chris Baswell
James Room, 4th Floor Barnard Hall
February 9, 6-8pm

your back into it.  Show some spine.  Embodying metaphor in a disabled
dancing body.  Spine comes either from the Latin or Old French words for
 “thorn,” “prickle,” or, yes, “spine.”  Botanically speaking, it is,
“[a] stiff, sharp-pointed process produced or growing from the wood of a
 plant, consisting of a hardened or irregularly developed branch,
petiole, stipule, or other part; a thorn; a similar process developed on
 fruits or leaves.”  Anatomically, it is, “[o]ne or other of several
sharp-pointed slender processes of various bones.”  Eventually, the
dictionary slides down to “any natural formation having a slender
sharp-pointed form” (OED: subscription only).

Before you get to the definition or, more accurately, the list of
usages for the word for the backbone of vertebrates, the dictionary
descriptions stress not the rigidity of the backbone itself – though
rigidizing and stabilizing are some of what a backbone does – but the
relationship between the outgrowths, the thorny processes, and the word
itself. I'm caught here. Intrigued.

Alice Sheppard, has been a musician and professor of medieval literature; she grew up in England and moved to the United States in 1991.  Alice came to dance late in life; she began to explore movement in response
to a dare from disabled dancer Homer Avila.  She soon discovered that
dance was a passion.  Alice made her
professional debut in New York with Infinity Dance Theater as a
wheelchair dancer.  She loves to explore a wide variety of dance forms;
she is particularly interested in work that challenges conventional
understandings of the relationship between dance and disability.  She
joined the AXIS Dance Company in 2006.

A clip of Alice Sheppard in performance with the AXIS Dance Company can be viewed at  Alice is the dancer who begins the performance at the upper right of the screen.  Another performance can be viewed at

Conference For African-Americans Who Stutter April 27-28, 2012, NY NY

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to pass on to you this announcement from my colleague Eloise Tyler. I hope that some of you can support her important work.



Hi Devva,

Hope all is well.  The Clara Cantrell Clemmons Assistance Center is having its first conference for African-Americans who are challenged with the speech disability of stuttering. This is a nationally focused conference, the first of its kind focusing on how stutter effects the overall quality of life of African-Americans who stutter. It is imperative that this information is distributed and I am therefore asking you and SDS to help. I am also seeking support and looking for conference speakers/participants.

Who should attend this conference?
African-American men and women who stutter
Healthcare providers
Human Service Providers
Social Workers
Speech Pathologists
Journalists and others who desire to gain insight on this often misunderstood disability

See attachments for the conference particulars.

I am also in need of a media arts team who will be willing to tape sessions. The center is financially challenged and volunteers and in-kind donations of services and good are needed and will be greatly appreciated.

Eloise Tyler
African-American Women Who Stutter Project
The Clara Cantrell Clemmons Assistance Center, Inc.
P.O. Box 160
New York, NY 10116
Phone: (718) 777-4397
Toll Free: 1-888-766-1414
Fax: (718) 777-2170

Here is the text of the attached flyer:

 Having Our Voices Heard
A Conference For African-Americans Who Stutter
April 27-28, 2012 * Friday-Saturday * 8:00 A.M.  5:00 P.M.
State University of New York
Empire State College Metropolitan Center
325 Hudson St. (Hudson & Van Dam Streets), New York, NY 10013
(Entrance on Van Dam Street)
Having Our Voices Heard: A Conference For African-Americans Who Stutter is a component of African-American Women Who Stutter Project. This much needed national focused, groundbreaking conference is the first of its kind, focusing on how stuttering effects the overall quality of life of African-Americans who stutter.
The conference will provide African-Americans who stutter the opportunity to come together with the concerned-community of clergy, educators, healthcare providers, human service providers, psychologists, social workers, sociologists, speech pathologists, and others who desire to gain insight on this often misunderstood speech disorder, also breaking the society silence, especially in the African-American community.
African-American Women Who Stutter Project is an initiative of The Clara Cantrell Clemmons Assistance Center. It is designed to bring awareness of African-American women who stutter, to show how stuttering effects their overall quality of life. This project will encompass the gathering, documentation and dissemination of information on African-American women who stutter.
The Clara Cantrell Clemmons Assistance Center, Inc. established in 1993 is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of African-Americans, with a special focus on African-American women. Since its inception the center has provided a variety of services to men, women and children. The founder and CEO is an African-American woman who stutters.
Conference Particulars
Registration Fee: $100.00 * One Day: $75.00 Deadline: April 12, 2012
After April 12th and on site: $125.00 * One Day: $90.00
Contact: Eloise Tyler * (718) 777-4397 * Toll Free: 1-888-766-1414
The Clara Cantrell Clemmons Assistance Center, Inc.
P.O. Box 160 * New York, New York 10116 * Phone: (718) 777-4397 * Fax: (718) 777-2170
E-Mail: * Website:

Contact Information:

Devva Kasnitz, PhD
President, Society for Disability Studies,
Devvaco Consulting/New Focus Partnerships
Coordinator, Disability Research Interest Group, Society for Medical Anthropology
Fellow, Society for Applied Anthropology
Committee on Minority Issues in Anthropology, American Anthropological Association
Listserv Manager, NAPA-OT Interest Group


Mailing Address:
1614 D St
Eureka, CA 95501
Voice: 707-443-1973
Cell Phone: 510-206-5767

CCLVI Scholarship Announcement

CCLVI Scholarship Announcement

The Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI) will award
three scholarships in the amount of $3,000 each to full-time entering

undergraduate and graduate college students who are low vision, maintain
a strong GPA and are involved in their school/local community.

Application materials must be received by March 15th.  Scholarship
monies will be awarded for the 2012 - 2013 academic year.

To read the scholarship guidelines and complete an on-line application,
please visit: and click on the "Scholarship' link

Applications will be available to submit on-line until March 15th at
11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time.  Questions may be directed to CCLVI at
(800) 733-2258.

We look forward to receiving your application materials!

Voices of the ADA Generation at University of Buffalo

Voices of the ADA Generation at UB  is the result of a collaborative
project by  the Center for Disability Studies, The Office of
Accessibility Resources and the Teaching and Learning Center at the
University of Buffalo. Based on the national Voices of the ADA
Generation initiative developed by Stacey Milbern and Ari Ne'eman this
video project focuses on the first generation of college students at the
University of Buffalo educated after the passage of the 1990 Americans
with Disability Act and gives voice to their perspective on the college

L. Scott Lissner, University ADA Coordinator
Office Of Diversity and Inclusion

281 W. Lane Ave
Columbus, OH 43210-1266

(614) 292-6207(v); (614) 688-8605(tty)
(614) 688-3665(fax); Http:// <>

Bethany Steven’s fascinating interview on Telling Our Disability Stories

Don’t miss Bethany Steven’s fascinating interview on Telling Our
Disability Stories.

In the podcast available on iTunes she talks with the host, Anthony
Tusler, about her latest research in trainability. It is the
phenomenon of able-bodied people passing as disabled. We have a wide
ranging conversation touching on disability identity, sexuality,
politics, and her recent marriage.

Bethany Stevens is a professor and researcher in disability leadership
and sexuality. In 2011 she was awarded the Irving K. Zola award for an
emerging scholar in Disability Studies by the Society for Disability
Studies. Her paper, “Interrogating Transability: A Catalyst to View
Disability as Body Art,” explores able-bodied people passing as

To listen or download the podcast just search for “disability stories”
or “Tusler” on the iTunes store. Telling Our Disability Stories is a
monthly podcast sponsored by the Accessible Technology

Sandie Yi

Graduate Assistant
Bodies of Work: A Network of Disability Arts and Culture

Ph D Student, Disability Studies and Human Development
University of Illinois at Chicago
Personal Artist's Website:

The latest lists of doctoral dissertations pertaining to disabilities studies

January 31, 2012


The latest lists of doctoral dissertations pertaining to disabilities studies can be found at the following URL:

These dissertations were harvested from the June, 2011 issues of _Dissertation Abstracts_.

Please share this information with your colleagues and students.This is a free service intended to promote the use of this valuable and underused scholarly resources.

Your feedback is always welcome.

Jonathon Erlen, Ph.D.

History of Medicine Librarian

Health Sciences Library System

University of Pittsburgh


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Margaret Price at Haverford College

Philadelphia-area folks:

Margaret Price, author of *Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability
and Academic Life,* is coming to Haverford College. Please join us for her
talk, and bring your friends!

Margaret Price, Assoc. Professor of English, Spelman College
*"Ways to Move: Disability and the Kairotic Space of the Classroom"*
Thursday, Feb. 9 at 4:30, tea at 4:15
Sharpless Auditorium, Haverford College

For more information, contact me at

Kristin Lindgren
Haverford College

New Essay on Disability and the Haunted House

Hi All,
There's an interesting online essay just published in The Hastings Report by U of Minnesota grad student Emily Smith Beitiks, who writes from a DS perspective: "The Ghosts of Institutionalization at Pennhurst's Haunted Asylum"


In the woods of Spring City, Pennsylvania, lies Pennhurst, a school for people with developmental and physical disabilities from 1908 to 1987. Like many institutions, Pennhurst eventually became a place of abuse and neglect. Pennhurst was finally shut down, and the residents were relocated into group homes. Two years ago, a group well educated about Pennhurst's past formed the Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to making Pennhurst into a national museum. Standing in the way of PM&PA's vision was a businessman named Richard Chakejian, who purchased Pennhurst from the state for $2 million and has now converted it to a haunted house. The result is a bizarre hybrid of history and legend, and of criminality and commercialism, that simultaneously evokes and erases Pennhurst's troubled past.


Cathy Kudlick
Professor of History
UC Davis, USA

Monday, January 23, 2012

More information What Can A Body Do? Investigating Disability in Contemporary Art

For more information, visit

Amanda Cachia

What Can A Body Do? Investigating Disability in Contemporary Art

The Graduate Program in Visual & Critical Studies & the President’s Diversity Steering Group at
California College of the Arts, San Francisco present:

What Can A Body Do? Investigating Disability in Contemporary Art
Friday February 17, 2012

Carmen Papalia Blind Field Shuttle (walking tour)
4-5pm, on the CCA San Francisco campus (meet at 1111 8th St)
followed by
Round Table Discussion, 7-9pm, Florence and Leo B. Helzel Boardroom, San Francisco campus
with Georgina Kleege, Carmen Papalia, Ann Millett-Gallant, Katherine Sherwood, Tobin Siebers,
Laura Swanson, Sunaura Taylor and Rosemarie Garland Thomson.

Moderated by MA Visual & Critical Studies candidate Amanda Cachia.

Support for Blind Field Shuttle and What Can A Body Do? Investigating Disability in Contemporary
Art is provided by Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Grant Program, the California College
of the Arts President’s Diversity Steering Group and the Department of Visual and Critical Studies.
ASL Interpreters will be available at the event.

The Blind Field Shuttle (walking tour) is a non-visual shuttle service in which Portland-based artist
Carmen Papalia transports groups of people to and from given locations: tourist spots, art
galleries, restaurants and so on, from his vantage point as one with a visual impairment. As a
special feature of the round table discussion What Can A Body Do? Investigating Disability in
Contemporary Art, Papalia will be leading a shuttle around the CCA San Francisco campus and
nearby streets on Friday February 17 from 4-5pm.  During the performance of the Blind Field
Shuttle, participants will form a line behind Papalia—each person grabbing the right shoulder of
the person in front of them. Papalia then serves as a tour guide, leading the group and passing
useful information to the person behind him/her. Participants are asked to keep their eyes closed
for the duration of the walking tour—an element that requires an exchange of trust between
Papalia and the participant. The trip culminates in a group discussion regarding the experience. As
participants traverse familiar landscapes non-visually, they become aware of their sensory
perceptions and the many ways in which one can experience and explore space.

For the first time, the Department of Visual & Critical Studies and the President’s Diversity Steering
Group will present a one night round table discussion in order to explore the dominant paradigms
at the intersection of disability & contemporary art. How can reductive representations of the
disabled body, ranging from the freak, cripple, deformed, grotesque and the monster, as seen in
Western artistic and curatorial discourses, be de-stabilized? How can the contemporary art world
begin to shift these negative perceptions and meanings of the disabled body in order to make
room for its more nuanced, complex representation across diverse artistic fields? What are some
new methodologies and strategies being employed by artists today in conveying a new visual and
textual language around the association between visual representation and identity? Disability
studies and feminist scholar Rosemarie Garland-Thomson states: “there is a critical gap between
disabled figures as fashioned corporeal others whose bodies carry social meaning and actual
people with atypical bodies in real-world social relations.”  If what is at stake is that
“representation informs the identity – and often the fate – of real people with extraordinary bodies”
what alternative frameworks can be employed by scholars, curators and artists in order to fill this
gap and determine a new fate for the disabled figure in contemporary art and in life? Eight
scholars, curators and artists will explore these questions collectively in an animated discussion
through interaction with a live audience.

Biographies for participants:

Amanda Cachia is from Sydney, Australia and is currently completing her Masters in Visual &
Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Her thesis is entitled What
Can A Body Do? Inscribing and Adjusting a Disabled Experience in Contemporary Art focusing on
the work of artists Laura Swanson and Corban Walker. Cachia recently held the position of
Director/Curator of the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada (2007-2010), where
she curated numerous traveling exhibitions containing the work of Canadian, American and
international artists. She received a combined Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Creative Arts from the
University of Wollongong, Australia in 1999, followed by a Masters in Creative Curating from
Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2001. She recently curated Medusa’s Mirror: Fears,
Spells & Other Transfixed Positions for Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland, that included 8 artists
challenging the able-bodied gaze on the disabled subject and is the Chair of the Dwarf Artists
Coalition attached to Little People of America.

Dr. Georgina Kleege joined the English department at the University of California, Berkeley in 2003
where in addition to teaching creative writing classes she teaches courses on representations of
disability in literature, and disability memoir.  Her collection of personal essays, Sight Unseen
(1999) is a classic in the field of disability studies.  Essays include an autobiographical account of
Kleege’s own blindness, and cultural critique of depictions of blindness in literature, film, and
language.  Many of these essays are required reading for students in disability studies, as well as
visual culture, education, public health, psychology, philosophy and ophthalmology.  Blind Rage:
Letters to Helen Keller (2006) transcends the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction to re-
imagine the life and legacy of this celebrated disability icon.  Kleege’s current work is concerned
with blindness and visual art: how blindness is represented in art, how blindness affects the lives
of visual artists, how museums can make visual art accessible to people who are blind and visually
impaired.  She has lectured and served as consultant to art institutions around the world including
the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London.

Dr. Ann Millett-Gallant is a lecturer for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she
teaches art history and liberal studies courses.  Her research, like her teaching, crosses the
disciplines of art history and disability studies.  Her first book, The Disabled Body in Contemporary
Art, (2010) analyzes the work of disabled artists and on the representation of disability in visual
culture.  She has published a number of journal articles, as well as several art and film reviews.  She
is also an amateur artist who enjoys painting, drawing, and collage.

Carmen Papalia is an artist, writer, and publisher. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from
Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC and is currently working towards his Master of Fine Arts in
Art and Social Practice at Portland State University. He co-founded the Memewar Arts & Publishing
Society -- a Vancouver based not for profit organization which is responsible for three main
projects: Memewar Magazine, Short Line Reading Series, and the publishing imprint MemePress.
Papalia has had work published in a number of publications, such as subTERRAIN, West Coast Line,
and Disability Studies Quarterly.

Katherine Sherwood’s acclaimed mixed-media paintings gracefully investigate the point at which
the essential aspects of art, medicine, and disability intersect.  Her works juxtapose abstracted
medical images, such as cerebral angiograms of the artist’s brain, with fluid renderings of ancient
patterns; the paintings thus explore and reveal, with a most unusual palette, the strange nature of
our time and current visual culture.  Sherwood’s work was exhibited in the 2000 Whitney Biennial
and at Yerba Buena Art Center in 2003. Sherwood has had solo exhibitions recently at Gallery
Paule Anglim in San Francisco, Locks Gallery in Philadelphia, Cole Pratt Gallery in New Orleans,
Hemphill Gallery in Washington DC and Michael Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles. The interdisciplinary
relevance of her work has led to her recent participation in “Visionary Anatomies” at the National
Academy of Science in Washington DC, “Inside Out Loud: Visualizing Women’s Health in
Contemporary Art” at the Kemper Museum in St. Louis and “Human Being” at the Chicago Cultural
Center.  She co-curated the exhibition “Blind at the Museum” at the Berkeley Art Museum, and
organized an accompanying conference at UC Berkeley, where she is also a professor in the Art
Department.  Sherwood was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship 2005-2006 and a Joan
Mitchell Foundation grant 2006-2007.

Tobin Siebers is V. L. Parrington Collegiate Professor of English and Art and Design at the
University of Michigan. He is the author of thirteen books, including The Body Aesthetic: From Fine
Art to Body Modification (Michigan 2000), Disability Theory (Michigan 2008), and Disability
Aesthetics (Michigan, 2010). Recent essays have appeared in American Literary History, Cultural
Critique, Michigan Quarterly Review, and PMLA.

Laura Swanson was born in 1978 in Minneapolis, MN. She received her MFA in Digital + Media
from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011 and BFA in Design & Technology from the San
Francisco Art Institute in 2008. Her work has been exhibited within the United States at the RISD
Museum of Art, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and Camera Club of New York, and
internationally at Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video in Berlin, Germany, the Media Arts Gallery
in Warsaw, Poland, and in South Korea at the KyungHee University Museum of Art in Seoul and Jeju
Museum of Contemporary Art in Jeju. Her awards include a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship and the John
Renna Art Scholarship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives and works in Brooklyn,
New York.

Sunaura Taylor is an artist, writer and activist living in Oakland, CA. Her artworks have been
exhibited at venues across the country, including the CUE Art Foundation, the Smithsonian
Institution and the Berkeley Art Museum. She is the recipient of many awards including a Sacatar
Foundation Fellowship, a Wynn Newhouse Award, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2008), and an
Animals and Culture Grant (2010). Her published work includes many articles and she is currently
working on a book on animal rights and disability studies, forthcoming from Feminist Press. Taylor
worked with philosopher Judith Butler on Astra Taylor’s film Examined Life (Zeitgeist 2008). Taylor
is also an artist contributor to Rebecca Solnit’s book, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas. She
graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in the department of Art Practice with her
MFA in May, 2008.

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson is Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory
University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her fields of study are feminist theory, American literature, and
disability studies. Her scholarly and professional activities are devoted to developing the field of
disability studies in the humanities and in women's studies. She is the author of Staring: How We
Look (Oxford UP, 2009), Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Physical Disability in American Literature
and Culture (Columbia UP, 1997); editor of Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body
(NYU Press, 1996), and co-editor of Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities (MLA Press, 2002).
She is currently writing a book called Cure or Kill: The Cultural Logic of Euthanasia, which traces
eugenic thought through American literature.

Mountain Heart


I don't know if there are any bluegrass fans on this list, as I don't think
the topic has ever come up, but I just heard the band Mountain Heart and
was hugely impressed.  They downplay it, but their awesome banjo player
Barry Abernathy (in a band of stunning virtuosi) is a congenital amputee,
with only 1.5 fingers on his left hand.  He does things I didn't imagine

Here's a sample:


Alex Lubet, Ph. D.
Morse Alumni/Graduate & Professional Distinguished Teaching Professor
Music/Jewish Studies/American Studies
Founding Head, Division of Creative Studies and Media (School of Music)
Head, Interdisciplinary Graduate Group in Disability Studies
Board Member, Society for Disability Studies
School of Music
Ferguson Hall 100
2106 4th St. S
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455
612 624-7840
612 624-8001 (fax)

Hebrew College invites applications for the Korman Chair in Inclusive Jewish Education

 Hebrew College invites applications for the Korman Chair in
Inclusive Jewish Education.  This endowed professor provides academic
and entrepreneurial leadership, vision, and scholarship for our Center
for Inclusive Jewish Education and serves as a core faculty member of
our Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education. The Korman Chair will
teach and mentor graduate students, build and sustain partnerships with
academic and community-based organizations dedicated to enhancing the
quality of Jewish education for diverse learners including children with
special needs, and innovate professional development systems and

       The ideal candidate will have these qualifications:
*       PhD, EdD, or equivalent degree
*       Demonstrated academic leadership skills
*       Excellence in  teaching at the graduate level, including
experience with on-line and distance learning technologies
*       Experience in research, service, and/or advocacy for children
with special needs and inclusive education
*       Experience with formal or informal education of children with
disabilities in the Jewish community

       Specific areas of expertise may vary but could include:
*       Jewish education
*       Interdisciplinary teamwork for assessment and intervention
*       Family engagement and parent support
*       Differentiated curriculum & instruction
*       Early childhood education
*       New technologies and social media platforms for learning and
*       Positive youth development
*       Community partnerships for education excellence and

       Hebrew College is a vibrant, growing, and transforming
institution of Jewish learning located in the Boston area.  It embraces
a pluralistic community passionately committed to learning, creativity,
and communal responsibility.  In addition to the Shoolman Graduate
School of Jewish Education, the College includes the Rabbinical School
and School of Jewish Music, all aspiring toward  greater inclusivity.
Faculty, students and programs represent a global network of learners.
For additional information visit .

       Interested candidates should forward a CV and letter including a
statement on teaching and leadership philosophies as well as what you
find compelling about teaching at Hebrew College to:

       Rabbi Dr Michael Shire
       Dean and Professor of Jewish Education
       160 Herrick Road
       Newton, MA 02459 USA

       Applications will be reviewed beginning January 30 and continue
until the position is filled.

       Hebrew College is an equal-opportunity employer.

L. Scott Lissner, Ohio State University ADA Coordinator, Office Of
Diversity And Inclusion
 Associate, John Glenn School of Public Affairs
 Lecturer, Knowlton School of Architecture, Moritz College of Law &
Disability Studies
 President Elect, Association on Higher Education And Disability
 Chair, ADA-OHIO
 Appointed,  Ohio Governor's Council For People With Disabilities,
State HAVA Committee &
 Columbus Advisory Council on Disability Issues

(614) 292-6207(v); (614) 688-8605(tty) (614) 688-3665(fax);
291 W. Lane Ave
<> ,
Columbus, OH 43210-1266

Call for Papers of the Religion and Disability Studies Group for the American Academy of Religion 2012 Annual Meeting

Call for Papers of the Religion and Disability Studies Group  for the American Academy of Religion 2012 Annual Meeting

American Academy of Religion 2012 Annual Meeting November 17-20, 2012 Chicago, Illinois

Submission date: March 8

The Religion and Disability Studies group invites proposals in all areas related to disability and religion. We are particularly interested in: 1) engaging disability studies theorists and activists in religious studies and religious communities 2) exploring intersections between religion, disability, literature, and art 3) expanding disability theology beyond theologies of metaphorical bodies, toward theologies of embodiment 4) engaging with Darla Schumm and Michael Stoltzfus, eds. Disability and Religious Diversity and Disability in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) 5) exploring, in a joint session with Religion and Ecology, intersections of environmental crisis and disability: social/religious refiguring of disability in light of the Anthropocene; relationship between environmental health, toxics, and disability; critical race/class implications of how bodies are affected by environmental risk.

Disability/Culture symposium, University of Michigan, January 31st to February 2nd 2012

Join us in our fifth annual arts-based research symposium at the University of Michigan:
Disability/Culture, January 31st to February 2nd 2012

Symposium Program (all events in the Duderstadt Video Performance Studio on North Campus, unless otherwise stated. Events marked ?open? are open to the public, just walk in. If you want to participate in other workshops, please email the symposium director,, so she can send you relevant information or readings)

Tuesday, January 31st

11-12: Slow Start/Hang Out: Lisa Steichmann/Petra Kuppers (both UofM): Under the Echo/Spherical, artist's books and sound art. Informal artist talk and poetry reading, Slusser Gallery, Art and Design Building, North Campus (open)

ON MAIN CAMPUS, not part of the symposium, but very conveniently aligned: 12.30-2: Tobin Siebers (UofM):  The Mad Women Project: Disability and the Aesthetics of Human Disqualification, Institute for the Humanities.

2.30 Symposium Opening and Welcome

3-4 Sue Cheesman (Dance Education, University of Waikato, Aotearoa/New Zealand): movement workshop (open)

4-5: Disability Culture video interviews (in studio, one-on-one)

6-6.30 Studio visit with Sadashi Inuzuka (Art and Design ceramics studio, across the street from the Duderstadt, open)

6.40-8.15: Roundtable: what is/are disability culture(s)?
Presentations by Jennifer Eisenhauer (Art Education, The Ohio State University), Yulia Arakelyan and Erik Ferguson (Independent Artists, Portland, OR), discussion with Melanie Yergeau (UofM) and symposium fellows, open

Wednesday, February 1st

10-11.30 Margaret Ames (Theatre, Aberystwyth University, Wales, and Cyrff Ystwyth dance company): performance workshop

11.45-12.45 Neil Marcus (independent artist, Berkeley, CA): Special Effects, followed by Olimpias Somatics/Expression taster workshop (Petra Kuppers, UofM) open

1.00-2.00 lunch

2-3 Ariel Osterweis (Dance Department, Wayne State University) and Aimee Meredith Cox (African and African American Studies, Fordham University): Embodied Translations: A Movement Workshop

3.30-4.30 Pam Block (Cultural Anthropology, Occupational Therapy, SUNY Stonybrook): accessible self-defense workshop, open

4.45-5.45: Cheryl Kaplan Zachariah (independent theatre artist, Chicago): performative debriefing

Thursday, February 2nd:

10-1: time to devise a short performance piece for the afternoon. We?ll make it work together, no leader: the process is the product. We will break every 45 mins or so to check in about physical/emotional/cognitive/o
ther access: what are our boundary spaces, where are balances of pressure and creativity?

2.30:  UM Initiative on Disability Studies Spring Conference (open)
- Performance by the whole group
- Solo performance by Yulia Arakelyan
- Presentation by Sadashi Inuzuka (UofM), on his work in disability settings in Japan, and on his professional journey as a blind sculptor
- Video Screenings: introduced segments from work by Touch Compass Dance Company, Aotearoa/New Zealand; by Cyrff Ystwyth, theatre work with developmentally disabled artists; by The Olimpias: The Journey to the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, a video shot during the 2011 arts-based research symposium)
Q+A with audience

4.30-5.30: Poster Session, Central Collaboration Area (open)
Poster presentations by members of the university and the wider local community

Supported by UMInDS, Art and Design, English, Social Work, and the Global Scholars Program; Spherical supported by Institute for Research on Women and Gender


Petra Kuppers
Associate Professor
English, Art and Design, Theatre, Women's Studies
University of Michigan
435 S. State Street, 3187 Angell Hall, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003
mobile: 734-239-2634
Artistic Director of The Olimpias,

New books!
Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape, on Olimpias practices (Palgrave, August 2011,
Somatic Engagement, an edited collection of artists on the poetics, politics and publics of embodiment (Chain Links, October 2011,

Felicia Kornbluh on Jacobus tenBroek at Berkeley Monday 1/ 30

>     *Spring 2012 SPEAKER SERIES *
>     *DATE:*Monday, January 30, 2012
>     *TIME:*12:45p.m. - 2:00 p.m. with alight lunch served at 12:15p
>     *SPEAKER:* *Felicia Kornbluh, *Associate Professor of History,
>     University of Vermont
>     *TITLE:* *"Disability, Civil Rights, and the Law: Jacobus tenBroek,
>     Howard Jay Graham, and the New Politics of Equality in the Middle
>     Twentieth Century"* **
> In 1953, when the Supreme Court asked for reargument of /Brown v.
> Board/, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund turned to a blind
> professor from the Speech Department at UC-Berkeley and a deaf
> librarian.To answer the critical question of the original meaning of the
> Fourteenth Amendment, Thurgood Marshall and company built upon the work
> of Jacobus tenBroek and Howard Jay Graham.TenBroek, who taught at
> Berkeley for nearly three decades, co-authored an essay in 1949 that
> predicted and promoted the role of the equal protection clause in
> postwar social movements.He led the National Federation of the Blind
> (NFB), the first national organization of and for blind people.Graham
> never held a position in a university.But he was the nation's leading
> authority on the history of the Fourteenth Amendment.He wrote a
> substantial portion of the NAACP's final brief in /Brown/.
> This paper argues that the NAACP's second brief in /Brown /was a
> remarkable document, which reflected tenBroek's and Graham's approach to
> constitutional history.It poses the question: What may have been gained
> and lost in the Court's decision to abandon tenBroek's and Graham's
> approach in favor of the living constitutionalism and reliance upon
> social-psychological evidence for which Justice Warren's Opinion in
> /Brown /is known?It explores the role of disability in tenBroek's and
> Graham's ideas.
>       Copies of this paper are available in the Center Library and
> online at

Beauty is a Verb named one of the ALA's Notable Books of 2012

*Beauty is a Verb:  The New Poetry of Disability* (Cinco Puntos Press), has
been named one of the American Library Assocations Notable Books of 2012.

Press release:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Film Release - "Institutions: Close Them!"

New Film Release
Institutions: Close Them!

Institutions: Close Them! is a film production inspired by members of People First of New Hampshire to help send the message that all institutions must be closed.

Featured in the film are five members of People First of New Hampshire who had lived at Laconia State School and Training Center in Laconia, New Hampshire.  These five individuals; Frank, Roberta, Linda, Annabelle, and Joanne share their stories past and present to encourage movement toward community living.

People First of New Hampshire is preparing a toolkit to accompany this film to help other states close their institutions.  This will be available soon.   Laconia was the first state institution in the United States to close in 1991.

Please watch this powerful film and get involved in our cause.

Institutions: Close Them! ~ A Production of People First of New Hampshire
Institutions: Close Them! ~ A Production of
People First of New Hampshire

About Institutions: Close Them!

Institutions: Close Them! is the #1 goal for People First of New Hampshire which is a non-profit organization directed by citizen self-advocates in our state who experience disabilities. We have and will plan to work with states across the nation to close institutions.

Members of People First of New Hampshire who once lived at Laconia State School and Training Center have shared their stories of great hardship yet have moved rightfully forward with dignity as member citizens within our communities.  Their stories of inspiration have led the board of directors to demand that all institutions be closed.  To this end, a goal to help close institutions began in 2009.  For additional information, please visit our webpage dedicated to Institutions: Close Them!

New Film: "The Surrogate" on Mark O'Brien & Sexual Surrogates

Polio survivor's new film explores sexual surrogacy
Posted by Naomi Pfefferman

Nine years before Mark O'Brien died, the 36-year-old poet and journalist, who was also a polio survivor living in an iron lung, decided he wanted to lose his virginity. Until then, he'd always been ashamed of his sexuality, which he believed served no purpose save to mortify him when he became aroused during bed baths. So, like any true writer, he recorded his thoughts: "I rationalized that somebody who was not an attendant . would be horrified at seeing my pale, thin body with its bent spine, bent neck, washboard ribcage and hipbones protruding like outriggers," O'Brien wrote in an article titled "On Seeing a Sexual Surrogate."

O'Brien died of complications from bronchitis in 1999, but five years after his death, another polio survivor, filmmaker Ben Lewin, chanced to read that essay and was inspired to turn it into a film. The result is "The Surrogate," premiering in dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23. The film spotlights how O'Brien (played by John Hawkes) hired a professional surrogate, Cheryl Cohen Greene (Helen Hunt), with the counsel of his priest (William H. Macy). Along the way, the poet and the surrogate forge an unexpectedly close relationship, as O'Brien battles Catholic guilt and Cohen Greene, who is married to a Jew, converts to Judaism.

Lewin, who lives in Santa Monica and is married and the father of three children, ages 12 to 26, came across O'Brien's article at a turning point in his own life. By 2006, he said, his television career had waned and, feeling "desperate" about providing for his family, he made a living selling high-end watches. But he continued to write and was penning a sitcom, about a man who trades his disabled person's parking placard for sex, when he came across O'Brien's article. "I was as affected by it emotionally as anything I've ever read," Lewin, 65, said at home recently. Lewin, who wears a brace on his left leg, was sitting at his dining room table, his crutches next to him.

Like O'Brien, Lewin contracted polio at age 6 and spent time in an iron lung: "I have no memories of being able-bodied," he said. "Just a tummy ache the night I became sick, and fragmented memories of being on a gurney.  So there was that personal level of, 'OK, Mark and I had been through some common experience,' but where I really embraced his story was when I realized it was about everyone's fear of sex. Mark, perhaps without knowing it, had expressed a kind of universal journey."

Filmmaker Ben Lewin

The filmmaker also shares a kind of caustic wit with the late O'Brien, a disability activist who wrote articles with titles like "Lifestyles of the Blind and Paralyzed."

As Lewin did research for the film, he tracked down the writer Susan Fernbach, who was O'Brien's life partner for several years. He also viewed Jessica Yu's Oscar-winning 1996 short documentary, "Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien," in which O'Brien speaks of his triumphs and frustrations while encased from the neck down in the massive iron lung, where he spent most hours of every day.

"Initially I thought, it would be easy to translate Mark's [surrogate] article into a movie - and then it wasn't," Lewin said. "The problem was, the article was very sexually explicit, and while rereading my first draft, I thought, 'I'm not sure I can deal with all of these erections and ejaculations - how can we deal with this?' But then, as I expanded the character of the priest, I found that the 'gory' details could come out in the confessional."

Another turning point came when Lewin met Cohen Greene, who explained that a sexual surrogate (now called a "surrogate partner") works with sex therapists to help clients suffering sexual dysfunction, using methods such as sensual touch and often intercourse, with verbal feedback.

"You could see that there was something special between her and Mark," Lewin said.  "She had never worked with someone that disabled, or who had sent her poetry, and I had a feeling that the relationship had gone beyond merely the mechanical aspects of how you have sex. So I developed the idea that it became a journey for both of them, and Cheryl was comfortable with that. I showed her the script before I sent it anywhere else."

Lewin's own polio hit during the global epidemic of the early 1950s, just three years after his parents, Polish Holocaust survivors, immigrated to Melbourne, Australia. After attending a school for the disabled, he mainstreamed and eventually became a criminal attorney before officials in the budding Australian film industry sent him to film school in London in 1971.  Lewin went on to make films in England, Australia and France, and then moved to Los Angeles to follow his Hollywood dream, directing series such as "Ally McBeal" and "Touched by an Angel" in the 1990s.

Lewin also made a series of public service announcements about people with disabilities, which was "like 'coming out' for me, in a way," he said. He was startled, however, when a woman who had cared for him when he had polio turned up as a consultant on one of his films. "It was quite a traumatic encounter," he said. "I don't know how the mind works, but we immediately stopped the shoot and called for the psychiatrist. . I was processing things I hadn't thought about in a while."

On the set of "The Surrogate" in Los Angeles, Lewin's concern was how to depict sex and disability without being exploitative. "One thing I was determined not to do was to have any kind of fantasy sequence where Mark imagined himself as able-bodied," he said.

Hunt worked closely with Cohen Greene to get the surrogate sessions right: "A lot had to do with the physical parts of it," said Cohen Greene, now vice president of the International Professional Surrogates Association. "With clothes on, I showed her the kind of touch I used; she focused intently on my movements."

In the film, Hunt appears fully nude in several sequences, in order to bring a realistic quality to the surrogate sessions, Lewin said.  She initially had concerns about how those sequences would be shot: "I told her they'd be done just like the rest of the movie - in a fairly banal, direct way, with no fancy lights or music," Lewin said. "Sex scenes can be very awkward," he added. "The crew tends to become very solemn, and the first time Helen took off her clothes, they were all on best behavior."

The scene in question was to show Cohen Greene immersing in a mikveh during her conversion to Judaism, and everyone was silent as Hunt disrobed. Then Rhea Perlman ("Taxi"), who plays the mikveh attendant, blurted out, "Wow, what a body." "That not only added levity, it made a difference for the rest of the shoot," Lewin said.

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs through Jan. 29.

Posted by:

Lawrence Carter-Long
Public Affairs Specialist
National Council on Disability
1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850
Washington, DC 20004
202-272-2112 Voice
202-603-9209 Cell
202-272-2074 TTY
202-272-2022 Fax

Get regular updates via NCD's Facebook page:
Follow NCD on Twitter:
Sign up for regular email updates at:

Project: Documentary About Police Brutality of PWD's

Leroy Moore of Krip Hop Nation is looking for support to help fund a new documentary inform people about and hopefully eliminate police brutality against people with disabilities.

Details here:

I'm beyond tired of reading stories about abuse of PWD's in my news feed.

Please show 'em some love.

Best to all,

Lawrence Carter-Long
Public Affairs Specialist
National Council on Disability
1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850
Washington, DC 20004
202-272-2112 Voice
202-603-9209 Cell
202-272-2074 TTY
202-272-2022 Fax

Get regular updates via NCD's Facebook page:
Follow NCD on Twitter:
Sign up for regular email updates at:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Dear all,

Sins Invalid ( Sins Invalid is a performance project on disability and
sexuality that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities,
centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as
communities who have been historically marginalized from social discourse)
is creating a film and needs your supports.

In order to finish the film, they need 15,000 dollars which they are
raising through Kickstarter:

Also by being their backers through the kickstarter, you'll receive various
'gratitude' from them.

Sins Invalid impacted disabled people's lives by re-defining disability,
sexuality, and beauty through arts and political education.
and their message can reach out more through this film.

Please spread words.


Call for Abstracts: Disability Studies--Critical Issues and Future Developments

Call for Abstracts: Disability Studies: Critical Issues and Future

Edited by Matthew Wappett and Katrina Arndt

We are co-editing a collection of essays for  a book that provides an
overview of the history and sociocultural context for the development of
Disability Studies as a relevant and accepted field of scholarly inquiry,
and then presents key essays that explore developing/current issues within
the field of Disability Studies.  Our intent is to provide a retrospective
and prospective look at the field of Disability Studies and provide space
for the exploration of future directions in Disability Studies scholarship.
We anticipate that this text will be useful in introductory disability
studies courses and specialized sociology, psychology, education, history,
English, and other related social science and humanities disciplines that
intersect with disability studies and issues of corporeal/embodied identity

The book will be arranged thematically with short retrospective essays by
leading scholars in Disability Studies; these retrospective essays will be
paired with new, forward-thinking work by emerging authors and scholars in
Disability Studies and related fields.  We are interested in a wide
representation of authors including global perspectives and from other
fields of study that intersect with Disability Studies.

We currently are looking for essays that examine issues in the following

•       Feminist perspectives on disability
•       The geography of disability
•       The intersection of disability, race, and poverty
•       Embodiment and disability
•       Historical and political discourses that inform contemporary
disability theory

The timeline for completion of this project in 2012 is as follows:

•       Abstract submissions – January 27
•       Responses to all inquires – February 10
•       First drafts due – April 30
•       Feedback to authors – May 31
•       Final draft due – July 31

If you are interested in contributing please contact us via email at and (please include both of us in your
reply).  Include an abstract of no more than 500 words describing your essay
and how it addresses one of the themes of this text.

Friday, January 13, 2012

New publication: Postcolonial Fiction and Disability

Dear all,

I'm very pleased to announce the publication of my book, Postcolonial
Fiction and Disability: Exceptional Children, Metaphor and Materiality.
Details are on the Palgrave Macmillan website
) and it's also
available on Amazon.

I hope it's of interest to list members!

Best wishes,


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Disability Writing Workshop

I'm preparing for a disability writing workshop I'll be leading at the Loft
Literary Center, and I'm looking for more readings.  Do you have any
recommendations?  Which writers have inspired or influenced you, which works
gave you "permission" to write what you write?  Were there some essays on
writing and identity, by disabled or non-disabled writers, that helped you?
The workshop will cover both prose and poetry, and also look into bias in
publishing, selling or not selling the disability card when pursuing grants
and fellowships, and the challenges of reading in public.


John Lee Clark
Twitter: @johnleeclark

New Virtual Employment Center

Center on Disability Studies Awarded $425,000 Signature Employment Grant *

Dr. Steven Brown, Dr. Megan Conway and Mr. Thomas Conway of the Center on
Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii have been awarded a $425,000
Signature Employment Grant by the Kessler Foundation to develop
"EmployAble", a model virtual reality employment orientation and support
center using Second Life as a platform to provide training, networking,
mentoring and employment resources for people with disabilities and
employers. One group that the project will target, Veterans with Traumatic
Brain Injury, often have difficulty finding and maintaining employment due
to the complex nature of their disabilities. EmployAble is the first such
center of its kind, and will serve as a model for future centers aimed at
increasing the employment rate of persons with disabilities. Look for
future notices as we develop the project!

*Megan A. Conway, Ph.D.*

*Assistant Professor, Center on Disability Studies
Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa
1776 University Avenue, UA 4-7, Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: 808-956-6166 Fax: 808-956-7878 Email:

Event: CCDS Research Forum: David Doat

Evolution and Human Uniqueness

David Doat
Catholic University of Lille, France

Date: Wednesday 1 February 2012
Time: 2.15pm–3.45pm
Place: Eden 109, Liverpool Hope University

David Doat, CCDS Visiting Scholar, works at the intersection of the philosophy of nature and ethical thought. He wonders what makes us human(e) and hypothesises that the most “vulnerable” among our human community have nonetheless played, and continue to play, an important role in our historical collective and personal discovering of humanity. The seminar will consider empirical data that demonstrates that some prehistoric communities of Neanderthals organized their lives so that disabled persons were not marginalised but accepted as central figures. Why was there not abandonment in accordance with the harsh law of evolution? Does the scepticism of scientists on this subject evidence how difficult it is for them to face the apparent contradiction of straightforward Darwinian Theory? To consider these and other such questions, join us at the next CCDS Research Forum.

To publicise this event, please display the attached notice in your office/institution.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. David Bolt
Director, Centre for Culture & Disability Studies
Editor, Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies
Lecturer and Recognised Researcher, Education
Telephone: 0151 291 3346
Office: EDEN 128
Postal address: Graduate School, Faculty of Education, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, L16 9JD.

Monday, January 9, 2012

CFP: Women and Rhetoric: Influence, Inspiration, and Inclusion (Disability Studies papers welcome!)

Hi everyone,

I know it's short notice but any proposals regarding rhetoric and/or disability studies are more than welcome!

CFP:  Women and Rhetoric:  Influence, Inspiration, and Inclusion
Federation Rhetoric Symposium:  April 20th 2012
Texas Woman's University Denton, TX

The Federation Rhetoric Symposium is now accepting proposals for papers and panels from faculty,
graduate and undergraduate students, and independent scholars investigating the ways women have
impacted the study of rhetoric.

Proposals related to this year's symposium theme are especially welcomed, but proposals for
papers in other areas of rhetoric are also invited. Those areas include, but are not limited to:
Rhetorical Theory, Rhetorical History, Discourse Analysis, Gender and Minority Studies,
Genre Analysis, Composition Theory, Communication Studies, English Studies, Journalism,
History, Film Studies, Digital Rhetoric, New Media Studies, Political Science, Critical
Theory, Philosophy, ESL, Pop Culture, Rhetoric of Mass Media, Literary Studies, Rhetoric
and Technology, Computers and Writing, Basic Writing, Writing Center Theory & Practice,
and Disability Rhetoric

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please send a 250-350 word abstract to or visit our website at
A prize for most outstanding graduate student paper will be awarded!

Courtney Patrick, MA-Literature
Texas Woman's University
PhD Student/Graduate Teaching Assistant
CFO 127
Fall Hours:  T/Th 11:30-1pm or by appt.

"It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors."  -Oscar Wilde

January 15 deadline for scholarships / MARCH 1 DEADLINE to REGISTER: 2012 International Faculty Development Seminar in France, Disability in Situation: French Notions of Disability and Difference

Wonderful Opportunity!


Interested in a new CIEE Faculty Seminar on "Disability in Situation: French Notions of Disability and Difference" (<> Due date to apply is March 1, 2012 but there is a January 15 due date if you want to apply for a $1000-$1500 fellowship towards participation in the seminar. After reading about the seminar, click on "Application" information and then Ping Faculty Development Fellowship to learn more.


Online Lecture on French Notions of Disability with Myriam Winance on Tuesday, February 28th at 1 pm EST. An hour talk followed by 30 minutes for questions and discussion. She is an international scholar scheduled to lecture during the Summer 2012 CIEE International Faculty Development Seminar in Paris. Read her full bio, sign up for the lecture and consider applying for the summer seminar at: <>


2012 International Faculty Development Seminar in France

Disability in Situation: French Notions of Disability and Difference

This seminar will examine French disability policies, with a focus on the educational domain, and considering European legislation and its impact. We will also look at metaphors of disability and ability, of the "normal" and the marginal, and examine the kinds of perceptions and communities that emerge around particular disabilities (blindness, reduced mobility, etc.). We bring together French scholars, university "access" professionals, and disability-rights activists to share their scholarship and experience in a collaborative setting with U.S. faculty, administrators, and activists, in hopes of creating interesting conversations between these groups, and between the "temporarily able-bodied" (to use a telling US term) and those "in a disabled situation" -- to use the French formulation which emphasizes that disability is a relationship between a person and society, rather than being inherent in a person.

More details can be found at <>

Date and time: Summer 2012, June 28th-July 4th

Location: Paris, France

Sponsor: CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange)

Category: International Faculty Development Seminars

Contact information: Teri Coviello, IFDS Manager, CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange)

Email address:

Contact Information:

Devva Kasnitz, PhD
President, Society for Disability Studies,
Devvaco Consulting/New Focus Partnerships
Coordinator, Disability Research Interest Group, Society for Medical Anthropology
Fellow, Society for Applied Anthropology
Committee on Minority Issues in Anthropology, American Anthropological Association
Listserv Manager, NAPA-OT Interest Group


Mailing Address:
1614 D St
Eureka, CA 95501
Voice: 707-443-1973
Cell Phone: 510-206-5767
I recommend email or text as a first method of contact if you do not know me. 

Participants needed for Accessibility Survey

Accessibility Survey --- *** Please forward widely***
Marty DeAngelo will be giving a presentation at South by Southwest (SxSW)
this year in Austin, TX about the usability of Ipads, desktop or mobile
devices for persons with disabilities.  More information about Marty and
the presentation can be found here:

The survey is available here:

• For users with Visual Disabilities »  (
• For users with Hearing Disabilities » (
• For users with Mobility Disabilities »  (

A synopsis of the presentation is below.

How the iPad Can Save Accessibility

A long time ago, in a galaxy before HTML5…

Usability has come a long way since the dark days before “Designing with
Web Standards”, with advocates pushing web usability to the forefront of
almost all web design projects. Now, nearly all companies see the value of
UX in their digital designs. But despite heightened focus on user-centered
development, accessibility hasn’t had quite the same level of acceptance –
noted, understood perhaps but ultimately implemented as a matter of
convenience when it didn’t affect ROI or timing.

So, those who have accessibility needs have persevered and pushed, gaining
traction as advocates pushed the envelope in creating sites that were
beautiful, compelling AND accessibility. Still, users struggled through
image-heavy sites missing alt tags, functional sites that required a mouse
to use, designs that they couldn’t read and videos they couldn’t understand
because there was no text alternative.

Enter smartphones like the iPhone and Android … and then the iPad. With the
proliferation of non-desktop devices and browsers, suddenly a more people
were finding that the web wasn’t as nice and clean as they remembered.
Broken formatting, too small text, buttons and functionality didn’t work
because they couldn’t hover. And entire swaths of the web rendered as
Flash-based wastelands that millions couldn’t access.

The people cried out and developers listened, and things began to change.
They called them ‘iPhone versions’, they tested in a wider range of
browsers, they made things work better. And strangely, when they made these
fixes, they actually also made things better for accessibility. And as
we’ve figured out how to make our sites & web apps work better on the new
splinter web, we’re figuring out that helping our iPad users helps all

For better or worse, by solving for many of the issues that iOS and other
mobile users have with our websites, we can address the same needs that
have always been there but are now more exposed. Better yet, we can take
advantage of the accessibility capabilities that are built into mobile
devices to in some cases make these newest devices in some cases better
than the old web.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

[Canada] Event: "Disabling Failure: Sex, Embodiment, and Crip Critique" -- U.Waterloo, March 1st

On Thursday March 1st, distinguished scholars Morgan Holmes and Robert
McRuer will collaborate to deliver a talk and facilitate a discussion on
the theme of  "Disabling Failure: Sex, Embodiment, and Crip Critique."

The talk will take place at 4:30 pm at the University of Waterloo, venue
to be determined.

Dr. McRuer is Professor of English at George Washington University.  His
book Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability was the MLA
Alan Bray Award winner in 2007.  He is currently completing a book
tentatively titled “Crip Time: Essays on Disability, Sexuality, and
Neoliberalism,” considering locations of disability within contemporary
political economies and the roles that disabled movements and
representations play in countering hegemonic forms of globalization.

Dr. Holmes is Associate Professor of Sociology at Wilfrid Laurier
University, and is the author of Critical Intersex.  Her work brings
together sexuality and queer theory and feminist thought with qualitative
health research and law related to sexuality and health.

All interested faculty, graduate or undergraduate students, alumni, or
others are also invited to take part in a small reading and discussion
group in
advance of the talk.  This group will provide an introduction to the
scholars' work, the themes of the presentation, and the broader
disciplines of queer theory and disability studies, particularly as they
overlap with rhetoric and literary studies.  Dr. Holmes and I will
facilitate this group with one in-person meeting and some continued online
discussion.  Please simply email me if you are interested in this group.
If you can't come
to the in-person meeting, I will still do all that I can to include you.


Jay Dolmage, Ph.D
Editor, Canadian Journal of Disability Studies
Assistant Professor of English
University of Waterloo
Department of English
Hagey Hall of Humanities Building
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Tel: 519 888 4567 x31035
Fax: 519 746 5788

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

MLA panel: Queer & Disability Studies Interventions in Biomedicine and Public Health

For those attending the upcoming MLA conference, you are invited:

2012 MLA, Seattle, WA

Critical Healing: Queer and Disability Studies Interventions in Biomedicine
and Public Health

Fri., Jan. 6, 10:15-11:30 am
620 Washington State Convention Center

A Literature & Science Division panel

Presiding: Rebecca Garden, SUNY Upstate Medical Univ.

1.  Marty Fink, Concordia University, “Culture as Prevention: Contemporary
Representations of HIV/AIDS”

2.  William J. Spurlin, Brunel University, London, “Queer Theory and
Biomedical Practice: New Junctures among Science--Sexuality--Culture”

3.  Stephanie Yorke, University of Oxford, “Activism and the ‘Collective
Sick’: Disability and Group Identity in Indra Sinha’s *Animal’s People*”

For abstracts, go to:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

GAO calls on the Department of Justice to protect students' rights

GAO calls on the Department of Justice to protect students' rights

 Each year, millions of people take standardized tests in pursuit of a
college education, graduate studies, and professional certification or
licensure.  The Americans with Disabilities Act requires companies that
administer these tests to provide test modifications to best ensure
equal access for individuals with disabilities.  The high stakes testing
industry has generated considerable controversy, a significant number of
law suits and voluminous complaints to federal agencies and concerning
who has a disability and how to determine what accommodations are
necessary to provide equivalent access.

At the request of Representatives George Miller, Pete Stark and Cathy
McMorris Rodgers the Government Accountability Office (GAO
<> ) examined the process including the types of
accommodations requested, factors testing companies consider when making
decisions about requests, and how federal agencies enforce ADA
compliance within the industry.

AHEAD <>   (Association on Higher Education And
Disability) and a number of its members participated in the GAO study's
interviews that helped provide a context for the GAO's reviews of
relevant laws and regulations, testing company policies, data provided
by the testing industry, and federal complaint data.

The report recommends that the Department of Justice develop a strategic
approach to enforcing the ADA in the high stakes testing industry to
ensure the timely provision of accommodations to all eligible
individuals. Justice has reviewed the report and agrees with its
approach and conclusions.

This report, the amendments to the ADA, the regulations recently issued
under Title I, II and III (particularly Section 309) along with a string
of recent court cases clearly confirms an emerging approach to reviewing
accommodations requests that is anchored to individual disability
histories rather than the snap shots provided by diagnostic testing;
more often asking "Why not" in response to a request for accommodation
rather than "Why?".  This approach will require a more thoughtful and
commonsense approach to determining accommodations relying more heavily
on unique experience of the individual and the  recommendations of
clinicians and health care providers in order to achieve the broad goals
of the ADA in connection with high stakes tests.

AHEAD <>  (Association on Higher Education And
Disability - <> ) has been
revising its guidance on best practices in documentation and expects a
Spring release.  The revisions will place less emphasis on diagnostic
tests to determine eligibility; focusing instead on the educational and
accommodation histories (formal and informal) of individuals, their
supporting narratives and the surrounding context including the
development of new technologies.  AHEAD encourages other organizations
to review their practice and is happy to offer technical assistance;
contact AHEAD <>  via e-mail
<>  or call (704) 947-7779.

The full report "Higher Education and Disability: Improved Federal
Enforcement Needed to Better Protect Students' Rights to Testing
Accommodations (Report to Congressional Requesters AO-12-40 United
States Government Accountability Office) can be found at

# # #

L. Scott Lissner, Ohio State University ADA Coordinator, Office Of
Diversity And Inclusion
 Associate, John Glenn School of Public Affairs
 Lecturer, Knowlton School of Architecture, Moritz College of Law &
Disability Studies

 President Elect, Association on Higher Education And Disability

 Chair, ADA-OHIO
 Appointed,  Ohio Governor's Council For People With Disabilities,
State HAVA Committee &

 Columbus Advisory Council on Disability Issues

(614) 292-6207(v); (614) 688-8605(tty) (614) 688-3665(fax);
Http:// <>

291 W. Lane Ave
<> ,
Columbus, OH 43210-1266