DREAM Weekly Email, Disability and Higher Education in the News: February 21-27, 2016
From DREAM: Disability Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring
Sponsored by the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD)
Weekly Email Update on Issues Related to Disability and Higher Education
Week of February 21-27, 2016
Disability and higher education in the news (in no particular order):
* This week is national Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and many campuses were holding events. Here are a few national resources:
* Perkins School for the Blind is now offering a new consulting service to help colleges and universities comply with ADA website regulations: https://campustechnology.com/Articles/2016/02/22/Service-Launched-to-Help-Universities-Comply-With-ADA-Web-Site-Regulations.aspx
* Last year the National Association of the Deaf sued Harvard for not providing closed captioning for its online materials; they filed a motion to dismiss, but a judge said the suit must go forward: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/2/25/harvard-lawsuit-deaf-proceed/
* The editorial board of Princeton University’s student newspaper published an editorial calling for American Sign Language courses, and for ASL to fulfill the foreign language requirement: http://dailyprincetonian.com/opinion/2016/02/editorial-expand-asl-learning/
* Despite a push to improve diversity, Yale is losing yet another ethnic studies faculty member; popular professor Birgit Brander Rasmussen was denied tenure, but she and some of her colleagues say the tenure and promotion review process was biased against her gender, disability, and disciplinary field: http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2016/02/04/another-ethnic-studies-prof-departs/
* Following similar actions at several U.S. campuses, Cambridge University in the U.K. has created a Disabled Students’ Officer in its student government; the student officer will be paid and will head up the disabled students’ group: http://www.varsity.co.uk/news/9729
* A new study from Oregon State University says that college students are responsible for an increase in misuse of Adderall, a medication used to treat ADHD; students are taking it to help them with academics, but the risk may not be worth the reward: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/news/20160216/more-college-students-misusing-adhd-med-as-study-aid?page=1
* Columbia University’s student newspaper reports on campus residence halls, with 8 of the 19 dorms completely inaccessible via wheelchairs, and differing opinions on whether the rest are “accessible” or not: http://columbiaspectator.com/news/2016/02/25/students-disabilities-range-obstacles-diminishes-access-residence-halls
* One website is giving advice to companies trying to recruit college graduates with disabilities – let’s hope employers are reading it: http://jobs.uloop.com/news/view.php/190546/5-Best-Practices-For-Recruiting-Students-With-Disabilities
* A new study found that only 1% of college psychology courses have information about disabilities, and they tend to focus on diagnoses and cures: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/osu-cpc022316.php
* Texas has a new controversial campus-carry gun law going into effect on August 1, and a presentation at the University of Houston is making media headlines for suggesting professors respond to armed students by changing how they teach potentially “emotionally volatile” students and how they discuss “sensitive” topics: http://chronicle.com/article/A-PowerPoint-Slide-Advises/235418
* When the disability services office at Harper College in Illinois noticed a 300% increase in the number of students with autism, it created a Transition Autism Program (TAP) with peer mentors, parent support, career building, and faculty outreach – it’s had a waitlist from the first week: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20160224/news/160229329/
* Ever check Wikipedia for disability information? Professor Olivia Banner from the University of Texas at Dallas had her students join the WikiProject Disability group, working on entries about disability – they’re editing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disability and the talk page with comments about their work is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Disability
* University of Pennsylvania employees on maternity leave or medical leave for two full work weeks had to use up sick time or vacation time before they could start a short-term disability leave, but the campus is finally changing the unpopular policy: http://www.thedp.com/article/2016/02/short-term-disability-policy
* The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) received 1781 proposals for their 2016 conference and accepted 550, but rejected all the proposals related to disability. AWP member Tipsy Tullivan (aka Jillian Weise) has a tongue-in-cheek captioned video with advice for AWP writers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDRSmRIgF9M&feature=youtu.be) and you may also want to read about Steve Kuusisto’s experience at AWP last year: (http://stephenkuusisto.com/2015/08/01/the-awp-and-disability-inclusion/).
* MIT has launched several initiatives for suicide prevention, and now students are launching their own projects to target students’ stress and depression before it reaches crisis levels: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/mit-students-turn-brainpower-suicide-prevention-36942255
* University of Western Ontario professor Jeffrey Preston assures parents he’s “gonna disable your child” in his courses, but not because his disability is contagious: http://www.jeffpreston.ca/2016/02/23/im-gonna-disable-your-child/
* Two new reports show that all college students are increasingly relying on digital texts, but faculty are usually not on board with the change: http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/digital-textbooks-faculty-177/
* SUNY-Orange is setting up a new self-sustaining, non-credit, college-based BRIDGES program for students with intellectual, developmental and autism-spectrum disabilities: http://www.recordonline.com/news/20160221/new-suny-orange-program-offers-academics-life-skills-for-students-with-learning-or-developmental-disabilities
* In Canada, Daniel Gallant got a lot of press as a reformed neo-Nazi and white supremacist attending Thompson Rivers University, and now he’s in the media again for filing a disability discrimination complaint alleging the university failed to accommodate his learning disability: http://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/tru-subject-of-human-rights-complaint-by-law-student-a-reformed-white-supremacist/
* Jerry Kill resigned as the head coach of the University of Minnesota football team last year due to his increase in epileptic symptoms and seizures; he had hoped to continue working for the university’s athletic department, but he and the university failed to reach an agreement on his role: http://www.startribune.com/jerry-kill-gophers-are-parting-ways/369993891/
* A judge has sided with Oakland University after it was sued for race, age, and diabetes-related discrimination by a nursing faculty member who was fired for her “aggressive” behavior and subsequently barred from campus: http://diverseeducation.com/article/81244/?utm_campaign=Diverse%20Newsletter%203&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua&elqTrackId=c44be75ac5e44491a2684432725e1a07&elq=de12282c44da48a58652328fc0a70e59&elqaid=88&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=771
And a few related items of possible interest to college students:
* DISABLED #SayTheWord. Learn more about this campaign in an NPR interview with Lawrence Carter-Long from the National Council on Disability: http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/02/25/468073722/disabled-just-saytheword
* Beyoncé’s Superbowl performance is “radical,” while Stevie Wonder’s comments at the Grammys are “touching”? http://harlot.media/articles/aint-i-an-activist
* Do you know about the Earned Income Tax Credit? It’s designed to help people get out of poverty, but people with disabilities are not taking advantage of it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-morris/the-earned-income-tax-cre_b_9273636.html
* A group of women with Crohn’s disease are posing in lingerie for a calendar that will “prove that stoma bags can be sexy”: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3232761/Sufferers-Crohn-s-disease-strip-underwear-prove-Stoma-bags-no-barrier-beautiful-racy-calendar.html
* Middle and high school students and teachers in Compton, California, are filing a federal lawsuit, saying violence in their neighborhood is affecting their ability to learn, and trauma-induced disabilities are not being recognized as disabilities (heads up – graphic description of some of the trauma kids have experienced), in a case that could have implications for which disabilities are recognized by higher education institutions, as well: http://ww2.kqed.org/stateofhealth/2016/02/22/schools-should-recognize-trauma-as-a-disability-lawsuit-says/
* New Mobility held a photo contest of people with disabilities – check out the images from around the country (there is audio description of the images): http://www.newmobility.com/2016/02/photo-contest-finalists/
* The “Annual Disability Statistics Compendium” brings together federal statistics from a variety of places online: http://www.disabilitycompendium.org/
* A nurse writes about how the war on drugs is leading the health care community to do a life-long disservice to Black children with sickle cell anemia: http://www.healthmojo.org/2016/02/23/black-kids-with-sickle-cell-anemia-get-screwed-by-the-war-on-drugs/
* Tommy Hilfiger launched a new line of clothes for kids with disabilities and are working with other brands to expand options for people of all ages: https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2016/02/23/tommy-hilfiger-adaptive/21949/
* One hospital system in Orlando is experimenting with emergency room accommodations specifically for children with autism: https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2016/02/23/emergency-rooms-sensory/21946/
This week’s issue of the DREAM weekly e-mail is available at the DREAM website, with archived back issues available, as well (http://www.dreamcollegedisability.org). For more information about DREAM or AHEAD contact Wendy Harbour (email@example.com).
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