Fordham holds interdisciplinary forum on disabilities

Fordham University held an interdisciplinary forum last week to showcase student and faculty work focusing on disability.

The event was planned in conjunction with International Day of Persons with Disabilities Day, which took place on Dec. 3, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Faculty and students presented researched and finished projects that used disability or people with disabilities as a lens for examining broader social issues. Among the presenters was Fordham School of Law Dean Matthew Diller, who discussed the affect of disability law on people's ability to work.

“Work is central to how we think about people, their role in society, and whether they are successful members of that society,” Diller said. “There is a social expectation that you should be in the workforce, and if you’re not, then you’re an underperforming member.”

Assistant professor of English Rebecca Sanchez presented her new book "Deafening Modernism: Embodied Language and Visual Poetics in American Literature." The book presents the theory of "deaf insight," in which the knowledge of deaf people is cast as its own alternative language and perspective, rather than an impairment.

The first-of-its-kind event was co-sponsored by the Office of Research and the Faculty Working Group on Disability.

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