A national conference held at the
University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Conference Repository Now Available

Please click here to access scripts, abstracts, and presentations from the Disability Disclosure in/and Higher Education Conference, October 25-27, 2013.

Keynote Speaker

Ellen Samuels
Kathleen Martinez
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy

Kathleen Martinez was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the third Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 25, 2009. As head of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Ms. Martinez advises the Secretary of Labor and works with all DOL agencies to lead a comprehensive and coordinated national policy regarding the employment of people with disabilities.

Blind since birth, Ms. Martinez comes to ODEP with a background as an internationally recognized disability rights leader specializing in employment, asset building, independent living, international development, diversity and gender issues.


Plenary Speakers

Mel Chen
Mel Chen
University of California - Berkeley

Mel Y. Chen is Associate Professor of Gender & Women's Studies at U.C. Berkeley and, in good interdisciplinary fashion, enjoys rubbernecking between the department and Berkeley's Center for Race and Gender, the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society, and the Haas Institute for a Fair and Just Society (Disability Studies and LGBTQ Citizenship Research Clusters). Mel’s recent book, Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect (Duke University Press, 2012), explores questions of racialization, queering, disability, and affective economies in animate and inanimate “life.”

Alison Kafer
Alison Kafer
Southwestern University

Alison Kafer is Associate Professor and Chair of the Feminist Studies program at Southwestern University, where she also teaches courses in the Environmental Studies and Race and Ethnic Studies programs. The author of Feminist, Queer, Crip (Indiana UP, 2013), Alison gets a kick out of teaching about feminism to undergraduates living in the heart of Texas.

Bradley Lewis
Bradley Lewis
New York University

Bradley Lewis MD, PhD is a practicing psychiatrist and an associate professor at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. He has affiliated appointments in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and the Department of Psychiatry. Lewis writes and teaches at the interface of medicine, humanities, and cultural/disability studies. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Medical Humanities and his recent books are Narrative Psychiatry: How Stories Shape Clinical Practice and Depression: Integrating Science, Culture, and Humanities. His current research project is devoted to the role of art, religion, and politics for happiness and contemporary cares of the self.

Ellen Samuels
Ellen Samuels
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Ellen Samuels is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Gender & Women's Studies and English at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Her book Fantasies of Identification: Disability, Gender, Race is forthcoming from NYU Press in 2014 and she has published numerous articles on the intersections of disability, race, and sexuality in literature and culture.  She discloses her disability on a regular basis and can do so in haiku form upon request.

Katherine D. Seelman
Katherine D. Seelman
University of Pittsburgh

Kate Seelman is Associate Dean of Disability Programs and Professor of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the University of Pittsburgh. She is adviser to the Students with Disability Advocacy at Pitt She has a beaten track to and from WHO in Geneva to work on the World Report on Disability and hearing aids for low and middle income countries, technology which she has used most of her life. Her latest publication is entitled: "Should Robots be Personal Assistants?"


Multimodal Hall Exhibition

No Access
Brian Glenney and Tim Ferguson-Sauder
Gordon University

This multimodal display features the Accessible Icon, an evolved "disability symbol" that shows an active and embodied figure (accessibleicon.org). This symbol is part of a renewed effort to subvert a history of people with disabilities being spoken for, rendered passive in decisions about their lives, and denied equal access to lived environments. To further actively protest these conditions, the creators also provide "THIS SHOULD BE ACCESSIBLE" kits to interested conference participants with stencils and stickers for application to locations without equal access.


Selected Sessions

Screening Disclosure: Disability, Higher Education and Popular Media

  • "Disabled College Students and Professors in Prime Time--Bazinga!" -- Jay Dolmage, University of Waterloo, Canada.
  • "Disability on Campus, on Film: Framing the Failures of Higher Education" -- Wendy Harbour, Syracuse University, USA.
  • "The Gallaudet University Protest of 1988 and the Infusion of Deaf History and Culture into Popular TV" -- Beth Haller, Towson University, USA.

Disclosing our Relationships to Disability and Reflexivity in Research: A Conversation

  • Corbett O'Toole, Independent Scholar, USA
  • Elizabeth "Ibby" Grace, National Louis University, USA
  • Jennifer Rinaldi, York University, Canada.

Roundtable: Unbinding Time: Disabling Temporal Demands

  • Anne Dalke, Bryn Mawr College, USA
  • Kate Gould, Independent Scholar, USA
  • Kristin Lindgren, Haverford College, USA
  • Clare Mullaney, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Ellen Samuels, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.

Administrative Discourses and Contexts of Disclosure

  • "Variation and Change in Conceptions of Disabliity as Context for Disclosure" -- Rebecca Beals, University of New Mexico, USA.
  • "Disclosure, Accommodation and the Tenure Process" -- L. Scott Lissner, The Ohio State University, USA.
  • "Promoting a Paradigm of Parity" -- Gail Glass-Malley, Kingsborough Community College, USA.

Working Group: Story as Methodology

  • "Double Disclosure: Disability within Disability" -- Shannon Walters, Temple University, USA
  • "Becoming Puppet" -- Lisa Figge, Queens University, Canada

Neoliberal Higher Education and the (Dis)Appearance of Disability

  • "The Trouble with Telling Stories" -- Katie Aubrecht, Saint Mary's University, Canada and Nancy La Monica, McMaster University, Canada.
  • "Neoliberalism, Accommodation, and Thinking Disability Otherwise" -- Kelly Fritsch, York University, Canada.
  • "Disability, Identity, and Academic Labour" -- Kate Kaul, York University, Canada.

Designing and Performing Disclosure in College Classrooms

  • "The Prosthetic Classroom" -- Kevin Gotkin, University of Pennsylvania, USA.
  • "'Give Them Hope:' The Ethics of Faculty with Concealable Disabilities Coming Out to Students"--Linda Kornasky, Angelo State University, USA.
  • "Disabling Academia: Being Vulnerable in the Classroom" -- Amber Knight, Saint Louis University, USA.