Oct. 25-27: 'Disability Disclosure'

Center for Study of Diversity sponsors national conference on disability disclosure


11:01 a.m., Oct. 9, 2013--The University of Delaware Center for the Study of Diversity is sponsoring a national conference, "Disability Disclosure in/and Higher Education," to be held from Friday, Oct. 25, through Sunday, Oct. 27, in Clayton Hall on the UD campus in Newark.

The slate of plenary speakers includes a remarkable line-up of scholars and leaders who are at the cutting-edge of current disability scholarship.

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The 20th annual June Lecture Series at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UD in Wilmington will be held June 6-9. Titled 'June a la Carte,' this year's program focuses on great political documents, feminism, world politics and a Newark cuisine sampler.

The conference schedule is available at this website and attendance at concurrent sessions is free to members of the UD community. However, the plenary events all include meals, so to attend those guests will need to register for the conference. The conference has professional and student rates, as well as full-weekend and single-day registration options available.

Sessions and speakers include the following:

• Saturday evening, Oct. 26 -- The dinner plenary will feature Kathleen Martinez, assistant U.S. secretary of labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, who is an internationally-recognized disability rights leader and who has been active in recent efforts in Delaware to increase access to higher education for students and professionals with disabilities.

• Friday night, Oct. 25 -- The dinner plenary will feature Kate Seelman of the University of Pittsburgh, who will present on "Students with Disabilities in Higher Education: Welfare, Disclosure, and Stigma Management." Seelman is associate dean of disability programs and professor of rehabilitation science and technology at Pitt. She is adviser to the Students with Disability Advocacy at the university and she has been active in the World Health Organization in Geneva, working on the “World Report on Disability” and hearing aids for low and middle income countries.

• Saturday morning, Oct. 26 -- Alison Kafer, associate professor and chair of feminist studies at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, will present "Un/Safe Disclosures: Tragedy, Trauma, and Other Taboos." Her recent book Feminist, Queer, Crip, just published by Indiana University Press, has already received widespread recognition. In it she "imagines a different future for disability and disabled bodies" while taking up environmental justice, reproductive justice, cyborg theory, and transgender politics along with disability.

• Saturday afternoon, Oct. 26 – The conference will feature a paired lunch plenary with Mel Y. Chen, associate professor of gender and women's studies from the University of California, Berkeley, who will discuss "Minding the Life of the Mind," and Bradley Lewis, a practicing psychiatrist and associate professor at New York University’s Gallatin School, who will present “Psychic Difference in Higher Ed: Pathology or Inspiration?"

• Sunday afternoon, Oct. 27 -- Ellen Samuels, associate professor of English and gender and women's studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will present "Passing, Coming Out and Other Magical Acts" while engaging attendees in a conversation about the conference as a whole.

For more on the conference, community members are also welcome to join the conference's Facebook page, which features photographs of the conference site and on which participants will be able to engage in conversations about access and accessibility throughout the event.

The conference is co-sponsored by UD’s Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center, the Center for Disabilities Studies, the President's Diversity Initiative, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Provost's Office, the American Psychological Association, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the Delaware State Council for Persons with Disabilities, the Delaware Governor's Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens, the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council and the Association on Higher Education and Disability.

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