Workshop Series Focuses on Disability

Workshop Series Focuses on Disability

By University Communications
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"Disability in the Academy," geared toward UA faculty and staff, includes a poetry reading and a series of workshops designed to provide an introduction to disability studies and tools to aid in incorporating questions, methodologies,  perspectives and practices into research and work with students.
"Disability in the Academy," geared toward UA faculty and staff, includes a poetry reading and a series of workshops designed to provide an introduction to disability studies and tools to aid in incorporating questions, methodologies, perspectives and practices into research and work with students.

A series of workshops designed for University of Arizona employees, which begins this week, will explore the ways disability is represented at work and around campus.

The series, called "Disability in the Academy," is sponsored by the Disability Studies Collaborative, which is comprises the UA's Disability Resource Center, the Sonoran University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disability and the disability and psychoeducational studies department in the College of Education. 

Acclaimed memoirist and poet Paul Guest will read during the first event, at 7 p.m. Thursday at the UA Poetry Center, located in the Helen S. Schaefer Building, 1508 E. Helen St. The event is also open to the public.

Chattanooga, Tenn.-born Guest was 12 while racing down a hill on an old borrowed bicycle when he discovered the bike had no brakes. He hit a ditch and was thrown over the handlebars, breaking the third and fourth vertebrae in his neck, bruising his spinal cord and paralyzing him from the neck down. 

Guest went on to earn a bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a master's degree in fine arts from Southern Illinois University. He is the author of three volumes of poetry and a memoir. 

Next week, a workshop will be held that's specifically for faculty, "Lessons for Every Body: Infusing Disability into Curricula and Research." It will be led by Susan Burch, an associate professor of American studies and director of Middlebury College's Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity, and Allison Kafer, an associate professor and chairwoman of feminist studies at Southwestern University.

Two sessions will be offered: 10 a.m. March 28 in the Santa Cruz Room of the Student Union Memorial Center and 9 a.m. March 29 in the Union's Ventana Room. 

The workshop is an introduction to disability studies, an interdisciplinary field that approaches disability as lived experience, as a category with a rich and complex history and also as a framework for analysis. Both sessions offer participants tools to integrate disability studies questions, methodologies and perspectives into their teaching and research.

Also March 28, Burch and Kafer will host a 2 p.m. session for staff in the Ventana Room. "Disability and Intercultural Dexterity: Innovative Programming" will introduce staff to disability history and culture, demonstrating disability's relationship to other identities and practices.The workshop will offer ways to expand disability inclusion in student affairs.

For information on Disability in the Academy or the Disability Studies Collaborative, contact Amanda Kraus at 520-621-3268 or akraus@email.arizona.edu.

Comments? Send them to lqp@email.arizona.edu. Emails must be sent from UA or UA Foundation accounts. Please include your full name and title.

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