by Lennard J. Davis
It has been more than 20 years since the Americans With Disabilities Act took effect, but while the law has changed some things in higher education, it hasn’t changed the way academic culture regards people with disabilities. While our current interest in diversity is laudable, colleges rarely think of disability when they tout diversity. College brochures and Web sites depict people of various races and ethnicities, but how often do they include, say, blind people or those with Parkinson’s disease? Or a deaf couple talking to each other in a library, or a group of wheelchair users gathered in the quad? When disability does appear, it is generally cloistered on the pages devoted to accommodations and services.
It’s not that disability is simply excluded from visual and narrative representations of diversity in college materials; it is rarely even integrated into courses devoted to diversity. Anthologies in all fields now include theoretical perspectives devoted to race, gender, and sometimes social class, but disability is almost never included. Indeed, in my field, literary theory and cultural studies, The Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticism had only one essay on disability in its thousands of pages, and that was removed in the second edition. (Full disclosure: I wrote the essay.)
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2011
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
Karen J. McCulloh, Appointee for Member, Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled
Karen J. McCulloh consults as a Diversity and Inclusion Specialist with businesses and nonprofit organizations to educate on the inclusion of people with disabilities into the labor force. Ms. McCulloh was the founding Executive Director of disabilityworks, a project of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, from 2005 until 2010. Ms. McCulloh was appointed by the Secretary of Labor to sit on the Job Corps Advisory Committee from 2006 until 2008, and she served as Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Disability. In 2003, Ms. McCulloh co-founded the National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities, served as President from 2003 to 2005, and is now serving as the Immediate Past President. Ms. McCulloh also served as the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago. She was in charge of the agency review for the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled for the Obama-Biden Transition Team in 2008. Ms. McCulloh received an RN from the Grant Hospital School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and a B.S. from Loyola University of Chicago.
Going to College: A Resource for Teens with Disabilities
Going to College: A Resource for Teens with Disabilities website contains information about living college life with a disability.
- It is designed for high school students.
- The site provides video clips, activities, and resources that can help them get a head start in planning for college.
- Video interviews with college students with disabilities offer a way to hear firsthand from students with disabilities who have been successful.
- Modules include activities that will help students explore more about themselves, learn what to expect from college, and equip them with important considerations and tasks to complete when planning for college.
Going to College is funded by a grant with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (#H324M030099A).
Like Missing an Arm Should Stop Me Being a Nurse!
by Liz Perkins ABD, RNMH
When I left high school I was like so many others – unsure of what I really wanted to be when I grew up. All through my school years I had never felt any different from my peers. But I was different – I was a congenital amputee – I had no right arm save about six inches from the shoulder down. My nick-name was the one-armed bandit – not very original, but having grown up and gone through school with the same group of friends my disability really was a non-issue. Furthermore, prosthetic arms were merely an annoyance to me, I much preferred having the use of my “little arm” as I always referred to it. So anyway – I was one of those kids who really enjoyed school – I was a bright student and did well in sports too. I played for my school teams in hockey, rounders (similar to softball), netball (like basketball), and my strong left arm meant that I was pretty good at all throwing events in athletics!
The Changes Life Brings!
by Tewanna R. Cleveland Johnson, R.N.
Growing up in a small country town, as a military dependent, I loved children. I did not have to hold down a job because I babysat a lot. By my sophomore year in high school, I decided to become a nurse. I loved learning about the body and the way it works. I was a healthy, active, young person. I loved to play soccer and basketball. In school, I was an above average student.
In a few months, the newest doctor – and one of the first doctors of her kind in the nation – will hang her shingle in the Portland, Oregon area. Chris L. Cooke will become one of the first totally blind doctors in the US with a specialty in naturopathic medicine.
The new Dr. Cooke, blind since birth, will carry the usual medical instruments in her black bag, including a blood pressure cuff, a thermometer, and a Pocket PC crammed with medical references – a tool most modern doctors rely on to help with diagnosis, prescribing the right medicine, and ordering and interpreting lab work. The difference is her tools of the trade will talk. In fact, in large part, she credits her ability to be a good doctor to a PAC Mate™ accessible Pocket PC for the blind and two Oregon men who made medical reference software accessible to the visually impaired, using the PAC Mate.
Open the Door, Get ‘Em a Locker: Educating Nursing Students with Disabilities
Open the Door Student Perspective
Open the Door Graduate Reflection
This documentary film produced by Bronwynne Evans, RN, PhD and Beth Marks, RN, PhD chronicles the experience of a nursing student who entered a baccalaureate program using a wheelchair. The 23 minute film provides a forum for the voices of nursing students, faculty, administrators, and agency nursing staff to discuss trials and triumphs encountered during this experience. It is a real life example of the exploration of roles and responsibilities in nursing education, experiential learning, shifting perspectives, and being a part of old ways turning into new ways in the world of nursing.
Watch on YouTube.
Ricky Allen Steele, Former NOND Board Member died September 03, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Rick was a most remarkable man with many talents and an incredible zest for life. He woke up every day whistling like Jiminy Cricket, ready to go, bringing a positive spirit to every situation and to each person he encountered. Born prematurely in a four-room country hospital in West Virginia, he just couldn’t wait to get out into the world and make his significant impact on it.
Geriatric Nurse, Senior Day Health Program
Luckily, as a result of being refused entrance to a hospital school of nursing at seventeen, I later graduated from the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) with a BSN, RN, and Public Health Nursing certificate. This story is a description of my 10 years as Director of Medical Services (think Head Nurse) at a community-based, free-standing, day program for the “less-than-independent” elderly. These years (1986-96) happened to coincide with my vision loss due to low tension glaucoma, its treatment, and Sjogren’s syndrome.
by Linda Childers
While working as a nurse in today’s healthcare world can be stressful enough, nurses with disabilities can face additional on-the-job challenges, including colleagues who may not feel they are capable of doing the work and needing assistance in a job that often requires strength and stamina. However, by making some adjustments, nurses with disabilities can continue to practice their profession.