DREAM Weekly: March 3-16, 2019
DREAM Weekly on Disability and Higher Education in the News: March 3-16, 2019
From DREAM: Disability Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring
Sponsored by the National Center for College Students with Disabilities and the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD)
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Disability and higher education in the news (in no particular order):
* Disability communities around the world mourned the death of UK professor Mike Oliver, who defined the social model of disability, and helped people with disabilities understand their experiences were political and part of a system of oppression. Here are a few obituaries to learn more about his work:
* An FBI national sting led to the arrests of over 50 people involved in a college admissions scandal, with wealthy parents using bribes and fraud to facilitate their childrens’ admission to prestigious universities, including fraudulent ACT/SAT scores, fake disability documentation, and fictional athletic credentials:
* The University of Alabama won both the women’s and men’s National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball College National Championships, with the women’s team defeating UT-Arlington in overtime, and the men’s team defeating #1-ranked UW-Whitewater: https://collegesportsmaven.io/alabama/bamacentral/alabama-men-and-women-wheelchair-basketball-teams-win-national-championships-ABbkmfD850KhWVAKkSGB6A/
* Sacramento State University sent out a campus climate survey to staff, faculty, and administrators, and over 20% said disabled employees are not “treated with respect”: https://statehornet.com/2019/03/survey-questions-how-welcoming-sac-state-is-to-employees-with-disabilities/
* A blind doctoral student reflects on internalized ableism and her insistence on not being defined by her disability, to the point where she denied herself “an identity, a community and the support I needed”: https://caneadventures.blog/2019/03/03/how-does-disability-define-me/
* The Mental Health Commission of Canada is engaging in a two-year project to develop a standard on psychological health and safety for college students, using “Dialogue in a Box” kits to help students facilitate campus-based groups that will provide ideas to the Commission: https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/studentstandard
* San Francisco State University philosophy professor Anita Silvers passed away on March 14 after half a century of work establishing the field of disability studies in philosophy, advocating for better disability access in higher education, and creating extensive scholarship about disability: http://news.sfsu.edu/news-story/memoriam-anita-silvers
* AnnCatherine Higl, who has Down syndrome, talks about her experiences as a cheerleader at George Mason University (video is captioned but not audio described): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FeuP-xwAeo
* In Wisconsin, families have set up a day program and employment training program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that is supposed to be on a “community college-like campus” where residents are called “graduate students” after age 30: https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2019/03/15/new-day-program/26196/
* Bradley University advertised for an Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion who could “access non-ADA compliant buildings,” but now they’re re-thinking the job qualifications after being called out by disability activists: https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/03/12/disability-advocates-bradley-university-job-description/
* Internationally respected Australian disability researcher, academic, and lawyer Rosemary Kayess has been elected as Vice Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: https://www.miragenews.com/disability-expert-appointed-vice-chair-of-un-committee-on-rights-of-persons-with/
* Trans college students are more likely to have an eating disorder than cisgender peers, but many treatment centers don’t know how to serve trans people: https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2019/3/12/trans-eating-disorders-are-all-ignored-medical-community
* The 1969-70 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wheelchair basketball team remembers winning the national championship at a time when they were the only college team: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2019-03-14/wheeled-wonders-1969-70-wheelchair-basketball-champs-reminisce-about-team.html
* Senior Alyssa Welfringer is a senior at Chapman University, and a competitive water polo goalkeeper while managing her epilepsy: http://www.thepantheronline.com/sports/after-freshman-year-epilepsy-diagnosis-senior-goalkeeper-brings-toughness
* At the University of Iowa, students created Students Care, to supplement tutoring, care, and transportation for students with disabilities, and now they have created a campus student organization to build on their work: https://dailyiowan.com/2019/03/11/students-care-founded-by-ui-students-starts-official-student-organization-on-campus/
* Shelby Baron is finishing her master’s at the University of Alabama, while training for a place on the U.S. wheelchair tennis team in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics: http://www.northwestgeorgianews.com/rome/news/baron-eyes-berth-on-us-paralympic-team/article_43050c34-413c-11e9-acea-93dddb046d82.html
* Students with autism can find campuses very difficult to navigate, and academic accommodations “will never be enough to create an equitable learning environment”: https://theeyeopener.com/2019/03/autistic-students-lack-support-when-navigating-campus/
* A Gonzaga University student with cerebral palsy wants to be treated like a “GU student with a disability,” including consideration about how technically accessible places on campus might not be functionally accessible: https://www.gonzagabulletin.com/news/one-gonzaga-student-s-experience-with-disability-on-campus/article_91a9cfc8-3ed5-11e9-86ca-53c281443e2e.html
* Accreditors placed Master’s University and Seminary in California on probation, citing “a pervasive climate of fear, intimidation, bullying, and uncertainty,” as well as a “lack of leadership ethics” that included not following federal laws and reporting requirements, including those around disability: https://www.chronicle.com/article/Fear-Intimidation/245206?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en&cid=at
* Rutgers University-Camden wrote a journal article explaining their disability awareness training for faculty, staff, and students, which used case studies from real students: https://news.camden.rutgers.edu/2019/03/rutgers%E2%80%92camden-raises-disability-awareness-on-campus-with-training-and-empowerment-program/
* The Indiana University Wheelchair Basketball Club is an adaptive sports club for disabled and nondisabled students, using athletics as a way to teach disability rights: http://btn.com/2019/03/14/how-indianas-wheelchair-basketball-club-is-building-a-community-of-inclusion-btn-livebig/
* Fordham University has added an introductory disability studies course focused on “accessibility advocacy”: https://fordhamobserver.com/39208/news/advocating-for-accessibility-fordham-upgrades-new-disability-studies-minor/
* Campus staff and researchers are noting a rise in “drunkorexia” when college students try to drink as much as they can after purging or over-exercising to have an empty stomach: https://www.providencejournal.com/news/20190311/new-concern-on-college-campuses-drunkorexia-combination-drinking-and-eating-disorder
* Kenneth Lee is Trump’s nominee for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are concerned about his college writings about HIV, race, and LGBTQ issues, and his failure to turn over documents about those writings: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/trump-judicial-pick-addresses-writings-hiv-gays-confirmation-hearing-n982996
* A Royal Caribbean cruise ship turned away an Australian professor due to his physical disability: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6793975/Motor-neurone-disease-sufferer-claims-turned-away-cruise-disability.html
* Students at two different campuses are questioning grade-based attendance policies:
* A Washington University research team has received a five-year $3.8 million grant to study how smartphones may be used to treat college students with depression, anxiety, or eating disorders: https://medicine.wustl.edu/news/mobile-phone-technology-to-screen-help-treat-college-students/
* A new Faith and Disability Initiative at Wheaton College will give churches and schools guidance on including people with disabilities: https://www.wheaton.edu/news/recent-news/2019/march/faith-and-disability-announcement-/
* The Indian Psychiatric Society has created a task force to address mental health issues of college students in India, and it includes three psychiatrists who were on the IPS task force for LGBTQ issues, which led to an official statement on homosexuality not being an illness: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/a-task-force-to-address-college-students-mental-health-issues/article26525922.ece
* Students at Williams College built tributes and memorials for two female professors on leave after experiencing “institutional violence” (https://williamsrecord.com/2019/02/president-instructs-students-to-relocate-memorial-citing-fire-safety/); the campus cited disability access as a reason to remove the tributes, but some students argued that the explanation is hollow because Williams hasn’t shown a true commitment to access: https://williamsrecord.com/2019/03/reevaluating-accessibility-at-williams-calling-for-a-transformation-in-the-colleges-practices/
* In 2018, 4.5% of University of Minnesota students reported being diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia, but myths and a lack of support are still a problem (and the article does not mention that students with eating disorders may be eligible for disability accommodations in the dining hall and elsewhere): https://www.mndaily.com/article/2019/03/n-an-invisible-fight-students-struggle-with-eating-disorders-finding-resources
* Blind Syracuse University professor Stephen Kuusisto remarks on the inaccessibility of universities, and how nondisabled faculty overlook their privilege: https://stephenkuusisto.com/2019/03/17/disabled-and-alone-on-campus/
* Disability studies professor Anne McGuire was one of four University of Toronto faculty honored with an early career teaching award: https://www.utoronto.ca/news/creativity-passion-and-genuine-sense-leadership-four-u-t-faculty-honoured-early-career-teaching
* To address the need for more counseling services, Northern Arizona University is increasing the student health services fee by $50/year: https://azdailysun.com/flaglive/rearview/college_chronicles/proposed-hlc-fee-increase-to-help-counseling-services/article_9cea2500-6979-59f4-9a92-f0d75e97ab55.html
* Campuses are facing questions about how much they’re spending on diversity, equity, and equal opportunity offices and administrators: https://www.chronicle.com/article/Colleges-Face-a-Barrage-of/245861?cid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en&cid=wb
* Landmark College will offer a gap-transition program for students with learning and developmental disabilities who aren’t sure if they want to attend college: https://www.sentinelsource.com/news/local/new-landmark-college-program-will-offer-sample-of-higher-ed/article_7de74309-3cdd-5040-9dd0-e3d4db019403.html
* The College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts has reached a settlement in a lawsuit over the alleged inaccessibility of the college’s website: https://www.telegram.com/news/20190312/holy-cross-settles-lawsuit-over-website-accessibility-for-blind-users
A Few Other Items of Possible Interest:
* 16-year old Swedish autistic youth activist Greta Thunberg, who also struggled with depression, has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize for her work as a climate activist: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/14/greta-thunberg-nominated-nobel-peace-prize
* Learn more about photographer Dawoud Bey, who has a severe hearing loss, and his work capturing the complex everyday experiences of Black people in the U.S., as well as his new work examining the landscape of the Underground Railroad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOUoF7WXgQI
* The new movie “Five Feet Apart” is rooted in stories of people with cystic fibrosis, including Clare Wineland and married couple Katie and Dalton Prager, who were not supposed to be near each other out of fear of infections: https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/15/health/five-feet-apart-couple/index.html
* For the first time, the FAA reported the total number of wheelchairs airlines carried and mishandled each month; for December, 2018, 701 wheelchairs and scooters were mishandled: https://wheelchairtravel.org/first-data-wheelchair-damage-by-airlines-february-2018/
* An autistic personal trainer opened a gym that caters to people with disabilities: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/personal-trainer-with-autism-opens-new-gym-for-special-needs/
* The Trump administration has proposed a new policy that would enable Social Security administrators to use social media accounts to verify (or disprove) a person has a disability, prompting an outcry from disability activists: https://themighty.com/2019/03/social-security-disability-benefits-monitoring-social-media/
* Disabled/nondisabled couples are fighting back on social media, after Dr. Phil says you can be a lover or a caregiver, but not both, because “100 out of 100 times this won’t work:” https://finance.yahoo.com/news/interabled-couples-criticize-dr-phil-022059163.html
* Amazon.com has removed all books promoting cures for autism, to limit misinformation about autism, including materials supporting anti-vaxxers (https://klewtv.com/news/nation-world/amazon-removes-books-that-promoted-an-autism-cure), and Facebook has committed to cracking down on vaccine misinformation, as well (https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2019/03/11/facebook-clamping-vaccine/26150/)
For more information about DREAM or AHEAD contact Wendy Harbour (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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By the way, please don't presume DREAM, the National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD), AHEAD, or the U.S. Department of Education agree with or support everything in these links we send out - we're just passing along the information so you can form your own opinions. Thanks.
DREAM and the NCCSD are funded by a grant to AHEAD from the U.S. Department of Education (P116D150005).
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