Upcoming Events

Third Annual CUNY Neurodiversity Conference

Thursday March 12, 2020 – Intellectual Disability
Friday, March 13, 2020 – Autism Spectrum Disorder
8:30 AM – 4 PM both days
CUNY Graduate Center

Professionals, advocates, faculty, employers, students, and parents are all welcome to register for this no-cost conference to learn more about autistic identity, innovative research, and best practices for supporting and employing neurodiverse youth. Each day of the conference will focus on a specific aspect of neurodiversity, in recognition that attendees may have an area of interest and only the ability to attend for one day.

Please visit to register

11th Annual CUNY Accessibility Conference
Disability Identity and Inclusion

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Call for Proposals
Registration opens March 20, 2020

The 2020 conference theme of Disability Identity & Inclusion will be expressed through a series of workshops, lectures, and panel discussions.

Our annual conference brings together over 300 professionals, creating an essential pathway to sharing information and cutting edge ideas throughout CUNY. Attendees will also have the opportunity to interact directly with assistive technology vendors, attend plenary keynote sessions, and review original work by CUNY disability studies scholars.

Do you have an upcoming CUNY DS Event? Send details to

Past events

CUNY Disability Scholars Fall Meeting
Friday, November 22, 2019, 12:00-2:00 pm
CUNY School of Professional Studies, Room 407

2019 Accessing Higher Ground: Accessible Media, Web, and Technology Virtual Conference
Wednesday, November 20 – Friday, November 22
Multiple Viewing Locations:

  • College of Staten Island
  • CUNY School of Professional Studies
  • Kingsborough Community College
  • Lehman College

CUNY Disability Scholars Fall Meeting
Friday, September 27, 2019, 12:00-2:00pm

CUNY School of Professional Studies, Room 407

De-visualizing Technologies: The Joys and Frictions of Blindness in the Digital Commons
Friday, May 3, 2019, 11:00 pm – 12:00pm
Gillet 226, Lehman College
Chancey Fleet, a Brooklyn-based accessibility advocate, coordinates technology education programs at the New York Public Library’s Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library. Her current library- based projects include group workshops highlighting mobile technologies for independent living and information literacy; programs introducing youth and adults to nonvisual techniques for coding and making with Arduino; and the Dimensions project (a recipient of NYPL’s 2016 Innovation Grant for staff projects), which equips community members with the training and tools they need to create accessible tactile maps, diagrams, graphics and objects. Chancey was recognized as a 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker. In her Data & Society fellowship work in 2018-2019, Chancey hopes to deepen public understanding and spark widespread curiosity about how cloud-connected accessibility tools enhance or undermine digital equity, autonomy, security, and privacy.

10th Annual CUNY Accessibility Conference
Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm

John Jay College of Criminal Justice. 524 W. 59th Street
The 2019 conference theme of Disability in the Workplace will be expressed through of a series of panel discussions focused on Persons, Practices, Research, and Technology:
PERSONS: How do we prepare students with disabilities for employment
PRACTICES: How does disability impact job seekers, employers, and hiring practices? How can employers accommodate applicants? What are the advantages of hiring people with disabilities?
RESEARCH: What supports are in place for job seekers and how prepared are companies to recruit and hire people with different types of disabilities? What do today’s students need to know about labor market trends?
TECHNOLOGY: What are the technologies in place to accommodate people in the workplace? How can employers determine what technology is needed?

Nothing is Missing: Models, Athletes and Artists
Queens College Art Center, Rosenthal Library, 6th Floor
Through April 30, 2019
A new photography exhibition “Nothing Is Missing: Models, Athletes, and Artists” is opening at the Rosenthal Library on the Queens College campus. It consists of 37 prints and will run from April 1-30. At the end of the run there will be a silent auction, proceeds from which will go to benefitting local charities that serve disabled people.

Screening of Keep the Change and discussion about the film with Julia Miele Rodas, including conversation about sexual independence & consent for people with disabilities.
Thursday, April 11, 2019, 1:00-4:30
Lehman College / CUNY, 250 Bedford Park Blvd West
Library Conference Room #213

Intelligent Lives screening (part of the 11th annual ReelAbilities Film Festival)
Friday, April 5, 2019, 2:00 pm – 4:00pm
JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave (corner 76th St), L3 classroom 1

2nd Annual CUNY Neurodiversity Conference
Monday, March 11, 2019 – Tuesday, March 12, 2019
The Graduate Center, CUNY
Monday, March 11: Intellectual Disability – CUNY Unlimited;
Tuesday, March 12: Autism Spectrum – Project REACH
Presented by our signature neurodiversity initiatives, Project REACH and CUNY Unlimited, the two-day conference will focus on student success in higher education and the transition to competitive employment. Employers, professionals, advocates, and faculty are all encouraged to attend. We are inviting proposals for breakout sessions to highlight specific topics, including Universal Design for Learning, Strategies for Employment, Academic Support, Financial Advising and Benefits, Social Inclusion, Independent Living, Transition to and from College.

A Symposium on Diversity in Italian Studies: Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Sexuality, Disability Studies, Class
Thursday, January 17 – Friday, January 18, 2019
John D. Calandra, Italian American Institute

In her article entitled “Race and Foreign Language” (Inside Higher Ed [June 21, 2018]; Deborah Parker, an Asian American and professor of Italian, pondered the issue of being “a minority (Asian) in a field (Italian) in which there are very few minorities.” This symposium has been organized as an expanded conversation to Professor Parker’s article. As the subtitle of the symposium signals, the binomial of race/ethnicity is just one of the issues pertinent to the notion of “diversity” in Italian studies. Gender, sexuality, and – to a notable degree as well – class are also among significant concerns within Italian studies. Hence, our use of “diversity” in this context includes all of the above.

Stephanie Jensen-Moulton (Brooklyn College)
Disability as Postmodernism: Christopher Knowles, Robert Wilson and Einstein on the Beach
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Reception at 5:00 pm in Room 3102, talk at 6:30 pm in Room 3491
CUNY Graduate Center
Co-sponsored by the CUNY Disability  Scholars; the Futures Initiative & the CUNY
Graduate Center Program in Music.

2018 Accessing Higher Ground: Accessible Media, Web and Technology Virtual Conference
Wednesday, November 14, 10:00 am – 6:30 pm (EST)

Thursday, November 15, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm (EST)
Friday, November 16, 11:15 am – 2:45 pm (EST)
CUNY School of Professional Studies, 119 W.31st Street, Rooms 414 & 416
The conference will be live streamed at CUNY SPS. This event was made possible by a collaboration between CUNY IT Accessibility Task Force, The School of Professional Studies, Hunter College Library and the CUNY LD Project. This is open to all members of CUNY. It’s our hope to recruit a wide audience of CUNY professionals who work in Disability Services, IT, Graphic Design, Marketing, and Faculty who and are interested in learning more about this subject and applying the tools they learned on their campuses. Lunch will be provided on Wednesday. November 14th but not on the other dates. Here is the schedule for the entire in-person conference [NOT all will be included virtually]. Those sessions that will be included in the virtual conference will be announced on the conference website later and updated here when available. Accessibility: The conference has captioning. Most handouts and Powerpoints are posted on the conference website and can be accessed before the sessions. Please ask Adina Mulliken for additional questions about accessibility Recording: Access to the recording will be available after the conference for the first 50 people to sign up and attend.

Julia Miele Rodas (Bronx Community College)
“Interrogating Superficiality: At Play with Autistic Rhetorics in Warhol, Whitman, Antin, Carver & the DSM
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Hunter College–West Building, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Faculty and Staff Lounge, 8th floor)

This talk presents work from Julia Miele Rodas’ recently published Autistic Disturbances: Theorizing Autism Poetics from the DSM to Robinson Crusoe (U Michigan P, 2018), focusing particularly on American texts. The evening will open with an overview of the book’s genesis and framework, offer a brief reading of the autistic “superficialities” visible in some familiar American texts, and invite open conversation about the rhetorical and aesthetic value or autistic practices like repetition and listmaking.
Hosted by the New York Metro chapter of the American Studies Association (NYMASA) and CUNY’s Hunter College.

Disability and the Right to the City
Mariette Bates (CUNY School of Professional Studies)
Thursday, November 15, 2018
City College’s Center for Worker Education
25 Broadway, 7th floor
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Joseph Straus (CUNY Graduate Center)
Broken Beauty: Musical Modernism and the Representation
of Disability
, Book Talk & Signing
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Reception at 5:30 pm, talk at 6:30 pm
CUNY School of Professional Studies–119 W. 31st Street, Room 407
Joseph Straus, preeminent music theorist and leader in the study of music and disability, presents an illuminating take on musical modernism, demonstrating in an expansive and vivid presentation that modernist music is inextricably entwined with attitudes toward disability. Based on research for his most recent book, Broken Beauty, Straus illustrates how the most characteristic features of musical modernism—fractured forms, immobilized harmonies, and conflicting textural layers, among others—can be understood as musical depictions of disability conditions, including deformity/disfigurement, mobility impairment, and autism.
Co-sponsored by the CUNY Disability  Scholars; the Futures Initiative; the CUNY
Graduate Center Program in Music & the CUNY School of Professional Studies.

Julia Miele Rodas (Bronx Community College)
Frankenstein & Disability
Thursday, November 1, 2018

12:30 pm – 1:40 pm, Lehman College
This year marks the 200th birthday of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s famous novel, and all over the world, fans are celebrating by looking back on the impact of the story and the different ways it has been told and retold. This talk will focus on Frankenstein from a disability studies perspective, looking critically at the way Frankenstein’s Creature has been interpreted in popular culture—as a “monster,” an outcast, and as an oppressed minority. In addition to discussing the importance of the creature, Dr. Rodas’ talk will focus on specific uses of language and storytelling structure in Mary Shelley’s book, pointing out how some of these features echo autistic ways of speaking. In the end, she will show that it is not only the Creature who can be understood from a disability perspective but that the novel itself speaks with a “disabled” voice.
Part of the international Frankenreads celebration co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Keats-Shelley Association of America.

Elizabeth Donaldson, New York Institute of Technology
“Psychiatric Disability & the Second Wave: The Mad Writing of Shulamith Firestone & Kate Millett”
Book talk & signing for Literatures of Madness
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Reception at 5:00 pm in Room 3102, talk at 6:30 pm in Room 3491
CUNY Graduate Center
Focusing on autobiographical writing by Shulamith Firestone and Kate Millett, two key thinkers and activists from the feminist second wave–the period from the 1960s to 1980s in which women organized collectively to fight for equal pay, reproductive freedom, and other rights, rallying under the mantra, “the personal is political.” Millett’s Sexual Politics (1970) and Firestone’s The Dialectic of Sex (1970) were both important foundational and revolutionary texts in this movement. This talk juxtaposes later work by Firestone and Millett that focuses on their personal experiences of mental illness. In 1990, Millett published The Looney Bin Trip, about her diagnosis with bipolar disorder and her involuntary commitments and forced treatments, which she vehemently protested. Likewise, in 1998, after decades of self-exile from the women’s movement and a diagnosis of schizophrenia, Firestone published Airless Spaces, a series of vignettes about her experiences in and out of hospital and about the similarly marginalized people in her life. While Millett’s work about her manic depression is representative of a well-known anti-psychiatric movement, Firestone’s book reveals a disability experience–living with schizophrenia–that is often unrecorded and misunderstood. Donaldson’s talk unites the feminist argument, “the personal is political,” with the disability studies mantra “nothing about us without us,” to consider the distinct experiences and politics of psychiatric disability.
Co-sponsored by the CUNY Disability  Scholars; the Futures Initiative & the CUNY
Graduate Center Program in Music.

Reaching Students with Disabilities
Saturday, October 27, 2018

9:30 am – 3:30 pm
CUNY Graduate Center, The Science Center (Rm 4102)
This day-long symposium on methods for adapting laboratory experiences for students with disabilities is targeted to high school and college science faculty, graduate teaching assistants, and disability service administrators. Topics will include relevant legislation, laboratory design, and practical adaptations for students with a variety of disabilities.
The program is being co-sponsored by the national ACS Committee on Chemists with Disabilities and the CUNY Graduate Center, and will be free to attendees. Free and open to the public with prior registration. This event will also be livestreamed on FacebookLive.

Dennis Tyler, Fordham University
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
“Jim Crow’s Disabilities”
Reception at 5:00 pm, talk at 6:30 pm
CUNY Graduate Center, Room 3491
Co-sponsored by the CUNY Disability  Scholars; the Futures Initiative & the CUNY
Graduate Center Program in Music.

Understanding Students with Learning Disabilities in College
Thursday, October 11, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Dr. Sanam Hafeez, Psy.D will present on a number of topics including, Learning Disabilities— What are they? Identifying methods for engaging all students by applying principles of Universal Design in the classroom. How to recognize learning disabilities in students. Where to refer students with learning disabilities inside and outside the college. Recognizing the impact a Learning Disability has on academic development and emotional wellness.
Hosted by Baruch Student Disability Services, CTL, SACC & The LD Project. For further information please contact Chris Fleming,

David Connor, Hunter College
The Growth of Disability Studies in/and Education: Personal, Professional & Political
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Reception at 5:30 pm, talk at 6:30 pm
CUNY School of Professional Studies, Room 407
The focus of this presentation is the growth of Disability Studies in Education (DSE) within the interdisciplinary field of Disability Studies and the field of Education at large, raising questions about the need to reframe, reinterpret, and revise human differences conceptualized as disabilities. Calling upon experiences throughout his three-decade career in education, from classroom teacher to college professor, Connor narrates the story of how DSE began as a small group of (special) educators who came together united in their dissatisfaction with restrictive and deficit-based definitions of disability that pervades the discourse in their field. Instead, DSE educators sought alternative ways to conceive of human differences that would inform their teaching and influence their writing, recognizing disability as a normal part of human diversity. The result has been the growth of a vibrant sub-field of Disability Studies that has challenged the powerful influence of special education as the default for all matters about disability and education, and engagement with numerous academic fields about the cultural, historical, social, and political contexts of human differences—and how dis/ability is taught in schools and universities. By focusing on the politics of dis/ability knowledge within education, Connor raises questions to consider for all scholars and practitioners interested in DS who seek to ensure dis/ability continues to be integral in discussions of diversity and equality.
Co-sponsored by the CUNY Disability  Scholars; the Futures Initiative; the CUNY
Graduate Center Program in Music & the CUNY School of Professional Studies

Authoring Autism, Book Launch & Signing
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Melanie Yergeau, University of Michigan
Reception at 5:15 pm; talk starts at 6:30 pm
CUNY School of Professional Studies, Room 407
See a captioned video of the talk here.
co-sponsored by the CUNY Disability Scholars; the Columbia University Seminar in
Disability, Culture & Society; the Futures Initiative; the CUNY Graduate Center Program in Music & the CUNY School of Professional Studies.

Friday, September 28, 2018, 12:00-2:00pm
CUNY Disability Scholars Fall Meeting

CUNY School of Professional Studies, Room 407

Thomas Couser, Hofstra University (emeritus)
topic: Disability & Life Writing
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Reception at 5:00 pm, talk at 6:30 pm
CUNY Graduate Center, Room 3491
co-sponsored by the CUNY Disability  Scholars; the Futures Initiative; the CUNY
Graduate Center Program in Music & the CUNY School of Professional Studies

Thursday, September 13, 2018, 6:30 pm – 08:30 pm
Publishing American Sign Language Poetry
CUNY Graduate Center, Proshansky Auditorium
Join poets, scholars and cultural writers for a reading and performance of signed poetry, featuring a variety of genres and styles, followed by a discussion on linguistics, translation, publishing and poetics. Poet, performer and director of ASL SLAM Douglas Ridloff, founders of The Flying Words project Peter Cook and Kenny Lerner, and poet and editor John Lee Clark will share their original works. This will be  followed by an exercise in translation by author and artist Adrean Clark and a moderated discussion by author and critical essayist Sara Nović. The event will be introduced by Rachel Mazique, NTID Department of Liberal Studies, Rochester Institute of Technology. This event is free and open to the public.

Closed Afternoon Workshop (Thursday, September 13, 2018)
In this workshop, Deaf poets, scholars, editors, publishers and others interested in the possibilities of publishing ASL poetry will convene to share and discuss ideas and creative solutions for getting ASL poetry onto the printed page. Invited speakers will share their perspectives on American Sign Language, Visual Vernacular, translation, and publication, followed by brainstorming sessions and a talk back. This is a closed workshop. If you are interested in attending, please email with an explanation of your interest in participating.

Autistic Disturbances: Theorizing Autism Poetics from the DSM to Robinson Crusoe
Book Launch & Signing
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Julia Miele Rodas, CUNY Bronx Community College
Reception at 5:15 pm; talk starts at 6:30 pm

CUNY School of Professional Studies, Room 407
Arguing that autistic expression has been an important contributing factor in many texts, this talk offers an overview of the central themes of Autistic Disturbances, exploring how autistic verbal expression has frequently been miscast as waste and looking at the fundamental aesthetic and creative value of autistic language. Taking an autism positive approach, Dr. Rodas looks at the ways autistic rhetorics thread through and enhance the richness and vibrancy of shared human language. See a captioned video of the talk here.
Co-sponsored by the CUNY Disability Scholars; the Columbia University Seminar in Disability, Culture & Society; the Futures Initiative & the CUNY Graduate Center Program in Music.

CUNY Disability Scholars Spring Semester Meeting
Friday, May 4, 2018, 12-2pm
Graduate Center, Sociology Lounge, 6th Floor, Room 6112

Annual Willowbrook Memorial Lecture
May 3, 2018 from 3- 4:30 PM
College of Staten Island
Recital Hall, Building 1P
The land that now houses the CSI campus was once home to the Willowbrook State School, a facility for individuals with developmental disabilities that was officially closed by the State of New York in 1987, a process initiated by press reports in the early 1970s of abysmal living conditions at the facility. The keynote speaker was Dr. Michael Wilkins, a physician who revealed the conditions at Willowbrook to the press in the 1970s.

Disability and the Politics of Neoliberal Governance in India
Lehman College Music Bldg., Music Building, Bronx, NY (Faculty Dining Room)
Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 4-5: 30 pm
The Disability Studies Steering Committee would like to invite you and your students to attend the Annual Disability Studies Lecture. This year’s lecture, entitled “Disability and the Politics of Neoliberal Governance in India,” will be delivered by Prof. Vandana Chaudhry from the Department of Social Work, College of Staten Island. Prof. Chaudhry’s work “explores the intersections among disability, development, globalization and the politics of subject-formation in the context of postcolonial India.” Food and drink will be provided. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Critical Pedagogies at CUNY: Learning through Writing
A CUNY-wide Composition Conference
Friday, April 13, 2018, 9am-5pm
LaGuardia Community College
We want to take stock of where we have been and understand better where we are: what does writing look like at CUNY? How can we prioritize “critical pedagogies,” pedagogies that proactively engage with and reflect thoughtfully on our students’ writing, so that classroom instruction becomes more meaningful for students?  How are such reflective pedagogical practices helping students become more conscientious and deliberate writers and helping faculty to become more thoughtful teachers and scholars? How can we establish shared practices across the two-year and four-year colleges that prepare students to succeed at CUNY and beyond?
Keynote Speakers: Dr. Holly Hassel , Professor of English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County and Editor of Teaching English in the Two-Year College (TETYC) Dr. Leah Anderst , Assistant Professor of English, and Co-Coordinator of QCC’s Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), Queensborough Community College.

9th Annual CUNY Accessibility Conference
Transitions: Supporting Students with Disabilities from High School
through Higher Education
April 6, 2018 7:30am to 4pm
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 West 59th Street, New York, NY
Keynote Speaker: Corinne Rello-Anselmi, Deputy Chancellor for the Division of Specialized Instruction and Student Support (DSISS), New York City Department of Education.

2018 Research Conference on Diversity & Inclusion
Thursday, March 29, 2018
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave, New York, NY, USA
With nearly 300,000 students across 24 schools and colleges, the City University of New York (CUNY) is one of the largest and most diverse school systems in the country. The 2018 Research Conference on Diversity & Inclusion will showcase D&I-related research across CUNY, and it will feature panels of experts from government agencies, foundations, investors, corporations, and media, who will describe opportunities to support and disseminate D&I Research activities.

Deej and Design-Ability – Reelabilities at Baruch College
Monday, March 12, 2018, 6-7:30pm
Engelman Recital Hall, 55 Lexington Avenue
Student Disability Services is delighted to be collaborating with BPAC (Baruch Performing Arts Center) to bring ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York screenings to Baruch in March.

1st Annual CUNY Neurodiversity Conference
Thursday, March 8, 2018, · Intellectual Disability
Friday, March 9, 2018, · Autism Spectrum
Borough of Manhattan Community College
Stakeholders in the field will share effective practices to promote student achievement and inclusion from college to career. Each day is focused on an aspect of neurodiversity and will include a speaker, presentations from CUNY Unlimited and Project REACH, breakout sessions, a student panel, and opportunities for meaningful discussion.

Defiant Lives – Reelabilities at Baruch College
Thursday, March 8, 2018, 1 pm
Engelman Recital Hall, 55 Lexington Avenue
Student Disability Services is delighted to be collaborating with BPAC (Baruch Performing Arts Center) to bring ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York screenings to Baruch in March.

CUNY Disability Scholars Meetup – Access + Ability exhibit
Friday, February 23, 2018, 2-4pm
Cooper Hewitt Design Museum
2 E 91st St, New York, NY

Accessibility in Open Digital Pedagogy
Thursday, February 22, 2018,5:30-7:30pm
New York City College of Technology, CUNY, (Faculty Commons, N227)
300 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Join the OpenLab Team, City Tech faculty and staff, and CUNY colleagues at our next Open Pedagogy event, where we’ll be discussing accessibility in open digital pedagogy. This is a follow-up event to Accessibility, Disability, and Open Digital Pedagogy held in Fall 2015 and we’re excited to extend the conversation about how designing the college experience with accessibility in mind benefits our communities.

Accessing Higher Ground: Accessible Media, Web, and Technology Conference. Sponsored by CUNY IT Accessibility Task Force and Hunter College Library
555 West 57th St. 10th Floor, conference rooms 10A and 10B
Wednesday, November 15 10am-6: 30 pm
Thursday, November 16 10am-7pm
Friday, November 17 11:15am-2:45pm
View schedule for the conference (All session times are MST)
Access to the recording will be available after the conference for attendees. The number of passwords for the recording is limited this year, so may not be available for those who don’t attend in person. If individual campuses are interested to sponsor and host a local viewing, the fees are fairly reasonable and will be available on the conference website.

HALE, Documentary Film Screening
Roosevelt House
Friday, November 10, 2017, 6:30-8:00pm
Hale tells the story of Hale Zukas, the “grandfather” of the disability movement. Berkeley is the birthplace of the movement, and the work started there by Hale and others in the 1970’s forever changed how the world looks at disability.

TLC Workshop: Accessibility
The Graduate Center, Room 9204
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 10:30-12:30am
While many instructors think of accessibility in relation to disability, accessible course design benefits all students. In this workshop, we will investigate what it means to create accessible classes, and consider the challenges and opportunities involved in designing and delivering learning experiences that are inclusive of all students. More information.

Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits
Book Talk and Signing with Lainey Feingold
Baruch College Bookstore, 55 Lexington Avenue

Thursday, October 26, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm
Join Lainey at the Baruch College Bookstore in New York City for a book talk and signing sponsored by the Computer Center For Visually Impaired People.

CUNY Disability Scholars Fall Semester Meeting
Friday, October 13, 2017, 12:00-2:00pm
School of Professional Studies, 119 West 31st Street, Room 407

Beyond Spectrums: A cross-disciplinary workshop on autism
May 9, 2017, at 2:30 pm
May 11 and 12 at 7:00 pm
College of Staten Island LAB Theatre – Building 1P, Rm.110
A Spring Senior Project by Anthony Massa

Autism in Higher Education Autism in Higher Education: A close look at available strategies for supporting students with ASD and educating community members
Thursday, May, 4th. 9:00am-12:00pm
Baruch College, Multi-Purpose Room, First Floor, NVC 1-107
Presented by Project REACH Baruch College. Programming will include 1) an introduction to CUNY Project REACH, an initiative to develop supports for college students with ASD, 2) workshops highlighting supports developed by the 5 Project REACH campuses and strategies to adapt supports to other campuses, 3) an introduction to the new TPSID initiative to develop a meaningful credential for CUNY students with intellectual disabilities (ID), and 4) a student panel: CUNY students with autism and/or ID will share their experiences.

CUNY Disability Scholars Monthly Meeting
Friday, April 28, 2017, 12:00-2:00pm
School of Professional Studies, 119 West 31st Street, Room 407
Presentations by Lourdes Collins, Professor of Developmental Psychology at Kingsborough Community College, and Patrick Smyth, English Ph.D. Candidate, The Graduate Center

Building Bridges Imagined Possibilities The USS Disability Conference
Friday, April 28th, 2017, 9:00am to 3:00pm
Baruch College
Morning Keynote, Library Building Conference, Room 750

Breakout Sessions, Newman Vertical Campus, Rooms 14-280, 14-285, 14-290
The University Student Senate (USS) in partnership with the CUNY Coalition for Students with Disabilities (CCSD) is pleased to announce the 3rd Building Bridges Conference, which was created to focus on topics focused on the disabilities community. Attendees will hear information on topics pertinent to their school life, careers and leadership development from various experts and leaders from various fields. The conference is free to all CUNY students from across 25 campuses. The Conference will be held on Friday, April 28, 2017, with check-in beginning at 9 am. The morning session will start at 10 am. Keynote Speaker: Lawrence Carter-Long.

Disability and Performance: Evolving Perspectives and Practice Symposium
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Refreshments: 9:30am, Symposium: 10am–5 pm
312 Roosevelt Hall, Brooklyn College
2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210
Performances by and panel discussions with Christine Bruno, Drew Coleman, David Harrell, Jerron Herman, Anita Hollander, Rachel Kolb, Magda Romanska, Frank Senior, Barak adé Soleil, Ali Stroker, and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson. Video available on YouTube.

Caring for Philosophy: A Conference in Honor of Eva Feder Kittay
Friday, April 21–Saturday, April 22, 2017

2127 Ingersoll Hall, Brooklyn College
Eva Feder Kittay is a leading figure in feminist ethics and philosophy of disability and has made an enduring contribution to philosophy across the fields of ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of language. As Kittay retires from decades of teaching at Stony Brook University, this conference assembles her students and collaborators to engage in dialogue and celebrate her career.

13th Annual Celebration of Deaf History, Culture,
and Language: The Latinx Deaf Experience

Friday, April 21, 2017
LaGuardia Community College
4-6pm Workshop Room: Poolside Café

7-9pm Panel Discussion Room: Little Theater
This exciting multicultural event will examine the issues associated with growing up as both Deaf and Latinx. A workshop and panel discussion will explore cultural intersectionality, self-advocacy, social justice and self-empowerment in the Latinx Deaf community. This event is co-hosted by the Program for Deaf Adults and the Deaf Studies Program.

8th Annual CUNY Accessibility Conference
Monday, April 11, 2017, 7:30am – 2:45pm
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2nd Floor Cafeteria
Excellence Through Academic Partnership. Our Annual Conference brings together over 300 attendees that include professionals and other important figures in higher education. This Conference is an essential pathway to sharing information and cutting edge ideas throughout CUNY. Keynote Speaker: Dr. Vita C. Rabinowitz, Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost of CUNY

Webinar: Can You See Me Now? Authentic Representation
of People With Disabilities on Television
Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 12-1pm
With the popularity of current television shows like Speechless, Switched at Birth, and Born This Way, audiences are beginning to see accurate, authentic portrayals of people with disabilities. Is this the beginning of a new “Golden Age” in TV? Noted disability and media scholar, Dr. Beth Haller (Professor Journalism/New Media, Towson University and the CUNY SPS Disability Studies program) offers a detailed conversation about the evolution of authentic representation of people with disabilities on TV and the resulting impact on popular culture.

Annual Disability Studies Lecture
“Performing Disability Identity: The Role of Theater Arts”
Monday, April 3, 2017, 4pm-5:30pm
Lehman College, Faculty Dining Room, Music Building

Disability studies scholars regard disability, not as a mere physical difference, but as an identity grounded within an individual’s situation/point of view and best understood within the context of multiple identity markers (race, class, gender, and sexual orientation). Drawing upon stories told by persons with disabilities and their families, Professor Jan Valle will examine the relationship between disability and intersectional identities as well as “ways of knowing” that emerge from telling stories. Her recent work staging disability stories as a means to raise public awareness about the diverse perspectives and experiences of people with disabilities and their families will be shared. 

Musical Modernism and the Representation of Disability
Friday, March 31, 2017, 4pm
Graduate Center, Room 4406
Speaker: Joseph Straus
Modernist music is centrally concerned with the representation of disabled bodies.  The most characteristic features of musical modernism—fractured forms, immobilized harmonies, conflicting textural layers, radical simplification of means in some cases, and radical complexity and hermeticism in others—can be understood as musical representations of disability conditions, including deformity/disfigurement, mobility impairment, madness, idiocy, and autism. Although modernist music embodies negative, eugenic-era attitudes toward disability, it also affirmatively claims disability as a resource, thus manifesting its disability aesthetics.

3rd Annual Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Conference (more info)
Developing a Meaningful Credential for CUNY Students
with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID)
Friday, March 31, 2017, 2:45-4pm
Graduate Center, Concourse Level
Students with intellectual disabilities (ID) encounter barriers when attempting to transition into college, including misconceptions about their capabilities. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education created an initiative to develop meaningful postsecondary opportunities for students with ID, or the Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID). In 2015, the University of Rochester (in collaboration with CUNY and AHRCNYC) received a 5-year TPSID grant to develop a credential for students with ID throughout CUNY. In our workshop, we will 1) introduce the TPSID initiative to develop a meaningful credential for CUNY students with ID, 2) describe the ongoing work to support CUNY students with ID that the initiative will build upon, 3) collaboratively brainstorm how to develop aspects of the credential that faculty will have unique insights about such as alternate forms of assessment, digital badges/portfolios, and strategies to help neurodiverse students fully participate in and contribute to their communities, and 4) lay the foundations for a cross-CUNY collaborative group to further develop the credential and this important initiative in the future.

 Speakers: Sue Carpenter, Kristen Gillespie-Lynch, Carrie Shockley, Sarah Zeller-Berkman

NYC Area Disability Scholars Meeting
Friday, March 24, 2017, 12-2pm
School of Professional Studies, 119 West 31st Street, Room 407The Power of Policy: “How Can We Strengthen College Supports for Autistic Students and Students with Intellectual Disabilities?”
Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 2:30 PM – 4:30pm
College of Staten Island, 1P-Lecture Hall/West Lounge
Please join us for a presentation by Dr. Gillespie-Lynch on educational strategies, clinical insights, student perspectives, policy needs as well as a question and answer forum. PRESENTER: Dr. Kristen Gillespie-Lynch – Assistant Professor of Psychology at the College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Gillespie-Lynch studies the strengths and challenges associated with autism spectrum disorders across the lifespan. Moderator: Dr. Mayra Humphreys, BSSW Program Director.

REELABILITIES 2017 at Lehman College
Monday, March 6, Music Building, East Dining Room
4:00 PM: 
Reel Encounters: Short films: Stutter; Winston’s Ghost: The Photography of Ryan Gustman; Andy Barrie: The Voice
5:00 PM:
At Eye Level
7:00 PM:
American Veteran
Tuesday, March 7, Music Building, East Dining Room
4:00 PM:  
Reel Encounters: Short Films: Spectrum: A Story of the Mind; Dancing on Wheels; 4 Quarters of Silence
5:00 PM:
My Hero Brother
7:00 PM:
The Rebound
Visit for film descriptions and more information

CUNY Disability Scholars Monthly Meeting
Friday, February 24, 2017, 12-2pm
School of Professional Studies, 119 West 31st Street, Room 407
The first CUNY Disability Scholars meeting of 2017 included short presentations by three of our scholars: Lisa Pollich, CUNY School of Professional Studies, Michael Mandel, Computer and Information Science at Brooklyn College, and Vandana Chaudhry, School of Social Work at College of Staten Island.

In Theory and Practice: Accessible Cultural Education
Thursday, February 23, 2017, 4-6 PM
CUNY Graduate Center, Room 9206-9207
The goal of this workshop, co-organized by the Museum Access Consortium and the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY, was to bring together knowledge from disability scholars and accessible programming practitioners in order to cultivate dialogue among colleagues.  Cosponsored by Museum Access Consortium

Accessibility, Mobility, and Design
Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 2-4pm
Graduate Center, Skylight Room
The Futures Initiative hosted a conversation about the meaning of mobility and the role of design as a process that can cultivate a culture of accessibility that goes beyond accommodations. Sara Hendren (Olin College of Engineering) and April Coughlin (SUNY, New Paltz) discussed physical, structural, and attitudinal barriers within and outside of the classroom that shape access to education for students with disabilities. Moderated by Jessica Murray (Futures Initiative Fellow, GC Doctoral Student in Human Development). Read an event recap here.


Racism & Discrimination in the Education of Students with Disabilities
Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 6:30-8:30pm
Graduate Center, Room 4202, (Urban Education Lounge)
Prof. David Connor, Hunter College & GC, UEd;
María Cioè Peña, Emily Clark & Barbara Hubert, GC UEd students

Neoliberal disorientations: Changing Landscapes
of Disability and Governance in India
Friday, December 9, 2016, 11:30am – 12:45pm
Fordham University
Dr. Vandana Chaudhry is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. She earned her Ph.D. in Social Work and Disability Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her areas of research pertain to disability in the global south, neoliberal governance, development, and culturally competent practices. Her ethnographic research explores disability at the intersection of development, globalization and the politics of subject-formation in India. She has been actively involved in disability rights initiatives in India and U.S. and has served in consultative roles with various international institutions. The seminar will be in RH (Hughes Hall 313) and in LC (Lowenstein 802) linked by video conference. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited. The speaker will be in RH. Please RSVP by Monday, Nov. 28th at this link and contact us for any disability access or accommodation question at

Access This! Disability, technology, and design, ready or not.
Thursday, October 20, 12-2pm.
Jefferson-Williams Room, 4th Floor

Brooklyn College Student Center, 2705 Campus Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11210
Dr. Joshua Miele, Associate Director of Technology Research and Development at Smith-Kettlewell Institute will give a talk on disability, technology, and design. This event is co-sponsored by two student clubs: (Women in Computer Science [WiCS] and Student Organization For Every Disability United For Progress [SOFEDUP]). Lunch will be offered before the talk, and t-shirts will be given away to the first arrivals.

Digital Accessibility and the Making of a Meta Maker Movement.
Thursday, October 20, 2016, 6:30-8:30pm
Graduate Center, Room C198
The GC Digital Initiatives is excited to welcome Dr. Joshua Miele to The Graduate Center, CUNY, to speak on the topic of digital accessibility and maker culture. Dr. Miele is the Associate Director of Technology Research and Development, at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Low Vision and Blindness. Cosponsored by The Futures Initiative.

“Servants of Compassion and Relief”: Housing the Mad in Grand-Ducal Tuscany
Friday, October 7, 2016
Graduate Center, Room 4116 (Comparative Literature Student lounge)
Elizabeth W. Mellyn (University of New Hampshire) in conversation with Professor Monica Calabritto (Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY). Professor Mellyn teaches a range of courses in early modern European history. Her book Mad Tuscans and their Families: A History of Mental Disorder in Early Modern Italy was recently published by University of Pennsylvania Press. She is currently at work on a history of Santa Dorotea, Florence’s first hospital devoted to the care of the severely mentally ill.

As We Are – Disability: Portraits of a Community
November 2015 – June 2016

Baruch College’s William and Anita Newman Library, 151 East 25th St, second floor
A photo exhibit of members of the disability community at the City University of New York. The collection of 18 portraits is by photographer Roger Sherman, an award-winning filmmaker. His documentaries have won an Emmy, a Peabody, a James Beard Award, and two Academy Award nominations. His photographs have appeared in numerous national magazines and websites. More details

7th Annual CUNY Accessibility Conference
Accessibility: A Tool for Social Justice
Friday, May 6, 2016, 8:00am-4:00pm
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
524 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019
The CUNY Accessibility Conference Committee, in conjunction with the Council on Student Disability Issues (COSDI), is pleased to invite you to the 7th Annual CUNY Accessibility Conference, to be held on May 6, 2016, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (524 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019). The conference will bring together CUNY professionals and other leaders in the field of higher education disability services to share information, network, and receive training that will enhance their knowledge and skills.

Annual Willowbrook Memorial Lecture
April 21, 2016 from 2:30-3:30pm
College of Staten Island
The Green Dolphin Room, Campus Center, Building 1C map
The land that now houses the CSI campus was once home to the Willowbrook State School, a facility for individuals with developmental disabilities that was officially closed by the State of New York in 1987, a process initiated by press reports in the early 1970s of abysmal living conditions at the facility. The keynote speaker is Murray Schneps, author of I See Your Face Before Me, a story about his daughter who was in Willowbrook and how he assisted in its closure. The event is free and open to the public. A reception with light refreshments will follow.

Neurodiversity in Writing-Intensive Classes with Andrew Lucchesi
Guttman Community College
April 1, 2016 from 10:00am – 1:00pm
The workshop will explore how concepts of Neurodiversity and Universal Design for Learning can help instructors across the disciplines re-think their approaches to writing-intensive teaching. This flyer has more details about the topics to be covered.

Disability Studies Lecture and Book Party
Thursday, March 10, 2016, 6:00-8:00pm
School of Professional Studies, 119 West 31st Street, Room 407
Ruthie Marie Beckwith discusses her book (publication February, Palgrave/MacMillan), Disability Servitude: From Peonage to Poverty, which examines the unpaid labor of residents of large congregate facilities.

Disability Scholars Spring Meeting
Friday, February 26, 2016, 12:00-2:00pm
School of Professional Studies, 119 West 31st Street, Room 407
The first CUNY Disability Scholars meeting of 2016 included short presentations by three of our scholars: Barbara Fischkin: The Digger Resistance: An Autism Novel; Jorge Matos: Exploring Race in the History of the Willowbrook State School, New York – 1947-1975; and Jessica Murray: A Narrative Systems Analysis of Access-A-Ride, New York City’s Paratransit Service.

Islamic Medical Ethics:
When Gender Issues, Disability, New Technologies, and Human Rights Intersect
Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 6:30pm
Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, Room C197
In this talk, Prof. Vardit Rispler-Chaim demonstrated how “medical fatwas” can also be a source of information on gender concerns, attitudes toward certain disabilities and contemporary advanced technologies in the service of medicine. Human rights debates are always in the backgrounds of these issues. Prof. Vardit Rispler-Chaim teaches Islamic studies at the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at the University of Haifa, Israel. She is the author of Islamic Medical Ethics in the Twentieth Century (Leiden: E.J.
Brill, 1993), and Disability in Islamic Law (Dordrecht: Springer 2007) as well as numerous articles and book chapters on medical ethics, on the status of women in Islam, and on Islamic legal issues; and edited two books on Islam and bioethics.


Friday, November 20, 2015, 9 AM 4 PM
Disability Studies as Theory & Practice

Inaugural CUNY Disability Studies Conference
The Graduate Center, City University of New York
365 5th Avenue
more details

Friday, September 18, 2015, 11 AM – 2 PM
Room 407 at the School of Professional Studies, 119 West 31st Street
This was the second CUNY Disability Scholars meeting at CUNY SPS. After introductions, networking and lunch, Andrew Lucchesi, Stephanie Jensen-Moulten, and Anne (Gay) Wilgus gave short presentations of their current research projects and Jessica Murray unveiled the website to the group.