Class Facilitation 2/29

We will be showing the following two short videos in class:

Ohio considers Down syndrome abortion ban

Jane the Virgin 1×13 Promo ‘Chapter Thirteen’

The first video is captioned; the second is not. We have provided transcripts of both videos, as well as guiding questions for tomorrow’s discussion, in the following document:

We will also have printed copies available in class.


Earlier this month, the New York Times published follow up reports on New York City’s failed computer system called the Special Education Student Information System. The $130 million system, replaced paper Individual Education Plans (I.E.P.s), used to entitle students to receive accommodations in schools. The system is reported to have glitches, which include deleting saved student data and it does not provide citywide information about I.E.P., such as the amount of students receiving accommodations. News of the computer glitches gained traction after public advocate Letitia James filed a lawsuit against the city alleging that the computer system was deficient. Without the system, schools may not have access to students’ I.E.Ps and students with disabilities are at risk of not receiving the services that they need.


So far in class, we have discussed how the nondisabled community often does not interact with the disabled community, and how separate classrooms for students in special education programs is one example of this separation. Separation between the disabled and nondisabled community is largely due to inaccessibility on the part of an ableist society as well as able-bodied people avoiding disabled people for fear of appearing overly sympathetic or saying the wrong, which may indicate the lack of interactions between disabled and nondisabled people.  I see this incident of inaccessibility as an example of institutional failures which may lead to a lower quality of education for students with disabilities in comparison to non-disabled students.


Class Facilitation Plans 2/22

Hi everyone! For our class tomorrow, Ella and I are planning to do a couple things which we wanted to give you a chance to preview if you want:

  • We will show the first five and a half minutes or so of a video, Shit People Say (to Sick and Disabled Queers)
    • Trigger Warnings: ableism, ableist slurs / language, sexual content, cissexism
    • Notes: has subtitles, no image descriptions, has at least one part where ableist slurs and language (intentionally?) go by very fast, very US-centric
  • Like last week’s facilitators, we will hand out paper copies of a worksheet in class, with questions about the readings. We probably won’t be able to get to all the questions, but you will have a chance to work on whichever ones interest you the most individually and, if you want, in small groups (not required though). You may also access and edit the worksheet online here:

See you soon!


Super Bowl Accessibility

I know it’s been a little bit since the Super Bowl, but I wanted to make a blog post to see what everyone thinks about this topic. I think it ties into our talks about accessibility!

During the Super Bowl, Marlee Matlin was signing the National Anthem as Lady Gaga sang. She’s done this in years past, but I felt like this year I actually heard people hyping it up. The broadcast started by showing her for a brief moment, but never again returning to her, instead only showing Lady Gaga singing. This meant that although they had someone (and someone considerably famous) signing the song, D/deaf people watching at home never actually saw her. Apparently, they showed her signing in a small bubble on the screen in the actual stadium, but never showed her for the television broadcast. What does this mean in terms of accessibility? In class, we talked about accessibility being a priority and in some ways, there was a step being taken to make this part of the Super Bowl accessible, but there is a difference between the thought of doing something and actually doing it. What does it say about the importance of accessibility to the NFL and CBS if they do not show someone signing on national television during such a huge event? Is it enough to know that she is signing for any D/deaf people in the stadium? I feel like CBS and the NFL take the step to have an ASL interpreter there is important, but it would be even more groundbreaking to actually show someone signing on national television rather than just mention it and show Marlee Matlin for a brief moment, then never show her again. If they had showed her, it might’ve set a kind of precedent, but instead it made accessibility seem like an afterthought and a kind of appeasement.

Critical Inquiry #2

Your prompt for the next Critical Inquiry paper is:

What is disability? What is disability identity? Your answers to these two questions should be your own definitions/explanations, but they should draw from at least three readings from the class so far. In doing so, you should explain how your answer to these questions uses, builds on, and/or departs from the answers that the authors from those readings provide. You should also consider how gender, sexuality, and/or race impact disability and disability identity.

DUE: Sunday, February 21, by 11:59pm

Content warning list

I’ve finally put together an anonymous form for you to contribute topics for content warnings. Please follow this link, press cancel or OK when it asks for your name (if you enter your name, it will not be anonymous), and add to the list, if you need. Please do so by the end of Wednesday (11:59pm).