October is Disability Awareness Month - contact a UMW expert if you are covering

October is Disability Awareness Month - contact a UMW expert if you are covering

October 23, 20202 min read

One in four Americans lives with a disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the University of Mary Washington, it’s one in eight.

“With those sorts of numbers, it’s mind-boggling [that] disability doesn’t have more automatic inclusion when people think about diversity,” said UMW Professor of English Chris Foss.

As the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 30th year and October’s Disability Awareness Month shine a light on one of the country’s most underrepresented groups, so does a new UMW course. Offered for the first time this fall, Intro to Disability Studies (IDS) delves into the 21st-century experience of a diverse population, exploring cognitive, sensory, mobility and other differences as just as essential to the human condition as gender and race.

The 16-week course fans out across disciplines, examining disability throughout the lifespan in historical, political, social and other contexts. Years in the making, the class is team-taught by faculty and staff – from art history, education, English, historic preservation, psychology and the Office of Disability Resources (ODR) – who’ve poured their time and passion into the topic in hopes it gains traction.

“It took a lot of meetings, discussion and work on Google Docs to pull this together,” said Professor of Art History Julia DeLancey, who borrows from her first-year seminar, “The Beauty Difference Gives Us,” to deliver an IDS session on how disabilities affect artists’ work.

If you are a journalist looking to cover Disability Awareness Month and the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 30th year, then let the experts from the University of Mary Washington help with your story.

Dr. Julia DeLancey and Dr. Chris Foss are available to speak with media about this important topic – simply click on either icon to arrange an interview today.

Connect with:
  • Chris  Foss
    Chris Foss Professor of English

    Dr. Foss specializes in 19th-century British literature, with a secondary expertise in disability studies.

  • Julia DeLancey
    Julia DeLancey Professor of Art History

    Dr. DeLancey is an expert in the art history of early modern Italy, 15th & 16th century Italian painting, history of art in Venice & more

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