DREAM Weekly, Disability and Higher Education in the News: March 12-18, 2017
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)
Weekly Update on Issues Related to Disability and Higher Education
Week of March 12-18, 2017
Disability and higher education in the news (in no particular order):
* Student Khodr Farhat realized many Braille signs at the University of Michigan-Dearborn were incorrect, so he raised awareness of the issue and his efforts have created a cross-campus, multi-year project that will improve signage in all of the university’s buildings: http://www.pressandguide.com/news/blind-advocate-partners-with-u-of-m-dearborn-for-new/article_e15a5847-7bc2-570c-83cb-d3d75063e35a.html
* Nancy Barker arrived at UC-Berkeley from Canada to do research for her dissertation, but UC-Berkeley says the campus told her they were “not prepared” to “meet her needs”as a Deaf woman and they denied her disability services: http://www.dailycal.org/2017/03/13/deaf-visiting-student-researcher-nancy-barker-allegedly-denied-services-disabled-students-program/
* The University of Michigan student newspaper published a lengthy article listing campus problems with disability services, building accessibility, problems with technology, and a lack of disability within the new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategic plan: https://www.michigandaily.com/section/administration/students-disabilities-voice-discontent-limited-university-resources
* After a scathing report about disability issues at Amherst, various faculty are writing public letters of support for campus-wide work on disability:
* Where do teaching assistants go for disability accommodations if they’re students and instructors at the same time? One student at the University of Rhode Island went to her graduate assistants’ union for help in getting the answer and creating a formal policy: https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/gradhacker/talk-your-union
* Despite UC-Berkeley removing MOOC content rather than making it accessible, other universities are not necessarily planning to follow Berkeley’s example: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/03/14/after-uc-berkeley-announcement-universities-say-they-will-continue-offer-free
* Carleton University in Canada has removed all the scales from its gyms, to encourage people to focus on health and to remove a common trigger for people with eating disorders: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/03/14/college-removes-scales-from-gym-after-students-complain/21888647/
* Professor Sabina Burton has filed a complaint of discrimination after a colleague falsely reported that Burton has a mental illness and is the daughter of a Nazi sympathizer; Burton believes this is part of ongoing retaliation by the University of Wisconsin-Plattville after she stopped a potential sexual assault by a professor: http://watchdog.org/290862/uw-p-sabina-burton-professor/
* Berkeley Disabled Students have organized a protest for disability rights and services on Monday, March 20: https://www.facebook.com/BerkeleyDisabledStudents/
* Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) is proposing a new “Athlete Protection Act” bill that would set up a state panel to oversee health and safety of college athletes in California; the panel would require campuses to share every athlete’s medical records with the commission: http://www.capradio.org/articles/2017/03/15/health-of-californias-college-athletes-would-be-focus-of-new-state-panel/
* Think College has set up new online community “conversations” for people who are interested in inclusive higher education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities: https://communityinclusion.github.io/tc-convos/
* The Job Accommodations Network has teamed up with West Virginia University to train employers about hiring and accommodating workers with disabilities: http://www.educationdive.com/news/west-virginia-university-helps-create-more-jobs-for-individuals-with-disabi/438167/
* Michigan State University is welcoming high school students through “Project Venture,” an on-campus experience where students learn about higher education and meet MSU students with disabilities: https://www.rcpd.msu.edu/programs/venture
* “Doctor” Ole Sankok heads up the National Council of People with Disabilities in Kenya and claims to be a medical doctor, but does not actually hold a doctorate and has not studied medicine: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/03/15/dodgy-doctor-series-disability-boss-admits-he-is-neither-a-doctor-nor_c1525517
And a few related items of possible interest to college students:
* 87-year old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama uses art as “medicine” for her hallucinations and mental illness, becoming a beloved avant-garde icon around the world (video is captioned but not audio described): https://www.facebook.com/theguardian/videos/643610412493392/
* The huge SXSW conference hosted an #EndofDisability panel suggesting technology would soon eliminate disability, but disability activists hijacked the thread and steered it in a very different direction, including suggesting the panel focus on #EndofAbleism: https://twitter.com/hashtag/EndOfDisability
* Gabourey Sidibe, star of “Precious” and “Empire,” is opening up about her long-time struggles with an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety: https://globalgrind.com/4220209/gabby-sidibe-opens-up-about-her-eating-disorder/
* Since the website for IDEA (special education law) shut down suddenly, the government has requested suggestions and feedback from the public about what they want from a new and improved IDEA website in the future: https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2017/03/13/following-outage-feedback-idea/23437/
* Although you won’t find advertisements for this feature, shopping with Amazon.com got a little easier for blind and visually impaired people, with a new disability customer support line that helps find and describe products, while assisting with technical issues for shoppers using screen readers: http://www.fredshead.info/2017/02/new-amazons-disability-customer-service.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+fredsheadcompanion+%28Fred%27s+Head+from+APH%29
* President Trump’s budget proposal cuts the Department of Education’s funding by 13%:
* The new “Trumpcare” health care plan is being criticized for negative effects on health care delivery and Medicaid restructuring (video does not have captions or audio description): http://kwbe.com/abc_health/experts-trumpcare-places-autism-disability-coverage-in-jeopardy-abcid35876144/
* Employment rates are slowly continuing to increase for people with disabilities in the U.S.: http://www.satprnews.com/2017/03/10/ntide-february-2017-jobs-report-americans-with-disabilities-continue-to-contribute-to-job-gains-2/
* Want to check your webpages for accessibility? Here are some tools: http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/use-wave-tool-to-test-web-pages-for-accessibility/63744?cid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en&elqTrackId=d765d2859b0d45beb94a3aad80249fc1&elq=3bd5b2adca1b4950a4b694a4a99c45fe&elqaid=12929&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=5330
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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By the way, please don't presume DREAM, the National Center for College Students with Disabilities, or AHEAD agree with everything in these links we send out - we're just passing along the information so you can form your own opinions. Thanks.
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