WSU Humanities Center Brown Bag: Theodota Ressa, "Disability culture and higher education"
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The WSU Humanities Center invites faculty, students, staff, and the community to a Brown Bag talk given by Dr. Theodoto Ressa (Assistant Professor, College of Education) on the topic of "Disability Culture and the Barriers and and Opportunities in Higher Education."
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Universities are one of the most influential societal institutions throughout history. Even today, they have significantly influenced individuals and communities and shaped disability worlviews and the treatment of disabled people in society. I use the social justice approach to disability in higher education guided by the social model of disability studies framework to examine the interaction of disability conditions and higher education and the position of disabled people in the university fabric. I identify the effect of universities on the disability community by focusing on the ambivalent roles universities have played in shaping cultures on disability and, therefore, the position of disabled people within and outside universities. This way, I reveal the evolvement of cultures of disability in universities with a focus on the United States higher education systems. My goal is to recognize the roles of universities to the disability community and identify the socio-economic-cultural-political forces underplay that determine disabled people’s locus in and outside universities in the era of a neo-liberalized globalized capitalist market economy. Based on the positives and negatives of the processes and outcomes of cultures of disability, I frame disability as a social justice issue and call for the social justice approach to disability in promoting justice, equality, equity, diversity, inclusion, and access.