2014 DS award winners

2014 DS award winners

Congratulations to these DS community members who have won 2014 awards from the University of Washington Disability Studies Program! Dennis Lang Student Award: Anjali Truitt, Public Health Genetics. Harlan Hahn Student Awards: Mary Edwards, School of Social Work; Tash Hansen-Day, Disability Studies; Josef Mogharreban, Rehabilitation Science; Katie O’Leary, Information School; Douglas Judge, College of Education; Michael Nguyen, School of Medicine. Harlan Hahn Research Awards: Elizabeth West, College of Education; Christine Toma, Rehabilitation Medicine; Becky Matter, Center for Technology and Disability Studies.

Anjali Truitt, a PhD student in the Institute for Public Health Genetics at the University of Washington, is recognized with the Dennis Lang Award for her ongoing advocacy and support of the DS Program and its role in UW academic affairs.

Mary Edwards, a second-year Masters of Social Work student at the University of Washington, lives with disabilities acquired in her forties. She will use the funding to work towards integrating Disability Studies into the School of Social Work curriculum. Previously, Mary worked towards social justice for 27 years in education, and she brings that experience to this work.

Tash Hansen-Day is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at the University of Washington in Disability Studies. Their collaborators Marisa Hackett and Monica Olsson are both graduates of UW with extensive personal histories in disability activism and community on campus. They will use the Hahn award to complete a history of disability at UW research and archival project. It will begin to build a centralized location for disability information, history, news, and events. The work will include interviewing students, staff, and faculty; the creation of a timeline; and the digitization of photographs and other artifacts to be stored electronically.  The project aims to be a building block towards shaping a platform for institutional knowledge, history, and memory of disability at the university.

Josef Mogharreban is a second-year doctoral student in Rehabilitation Science. He will develop and teach a course on disability history, drawing from individual accounts, advocacy, and hard fought social and political battles of US veterans, as part of the University of Washington’s Honors Program.

Katie O’Leary is a second-year PhD student in human-computer interaction at the Information School at the University of Washington. She works with Jacob O. Wobbrock and his Mobile + Accessible Design Lab on ability-based design projects, with an interest in developing design methods for engaging people with disabilities and other stakeholders in software design. Katie is working with Human Centered Design & Engineering PhD student Kiley Sobel and Professor Julie Kientz on exploring parent perspectives of inclusive play between disabled and nondisabled children. Katie has adapted a method that will help to engage the perspectives of parents and other stakeholders in order to quantify differences in opinions and model different perspectives on inclusive play in the home. The study will be one of the first to explore inclusive play in home settings, and to test the robustness of this method for supporting value-sensitive design decisions. 

Douglas Judge is a second-year PhD student in Special Education at the University of Washington. He currently works as a research assistant at UW examining the provision of technological supports to school-based teams supporting students with challenging behavior, and data use practices by colleges of education. His research interests include positive behavior supports and school discipline, data use practices, high incidence disabilities, international inclusion, and the implementation of evidence-based academic, behavioral, and mental health interventions for urban and incarcerated adolescents. In the field of disability studies, previous publications include an examination of disability and race in school discipline and incarceration, and a comparative analysis of the case law involving the rights of incarcerated and non-incarcerated youth with disabilities. Douglas previously worked as a social worker, juvenile probation officer, and high school special education teacher in Seattle and surrounding communities. He will begin the UW Danforth Educational Leadership program in July 2014, and will be working at Seattle's Interagency High School. The Hahn funds will be used to support the research activities involved in the qualitative component of an exploration of the experience of special education inclusion for urban and rural communities in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. In addition to a quantitative analysis of rates of special education inclusion, this project seeks to specifically explore subjects’ understandings of, and responses to, the mandates from the Mexican government to fully implement inclusive special education practices. This project constitutes a chapter to be published in 2015 in a book under contract with Routledge Press, entitled Secular Benevolence: Mass Schooling and Modern Educability.

Michael H. V. Nguyen is a second-year medical student at the University of Washington who will be presenting a poster at the 2014 Society for Disability Studies conference in Minneapolis, on the need to incorporate disability and disability studies into medical education. Without early exposure to people with disabilities, students are inadequately prepared to address the needs of people with disabilities, especially given the growing size of the population who may experience disability during their lifetime.

Elizabeth West is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington in Special Education. Dr. West’s research agenda focuses on transforming communities to increase access and to improve outcomes for students with low incidence disabilities (LID). Specific research interests include: a) identifying instructional variables that will facilitate and enhance skill acquisition and generalization by students with LID, b) developing effective practices to positively influence outcomes for students with LID who are culturally and linguistically diverse, and c) online course development, implementation, and use of technology to facilitate teacher and student learning. Her Hahn-funded research will examine the inclusive instructional and accommodative strategies faculty use to assist students with disabilities in their classes, and what faculty perceives as most important for student success. Results from the study will describe the inclusive instructional practices and accommodations used and their perceived importance by faculty. The findings will also show if there are specific types of practices or accommodations that are used or are perceived as more important.  The results will be used to inform faculty and other researchers through presentation and publication.

Christine Toma got her Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto in 2008. Being a Therapist who is managing her own disability, Christine has practiced PT in the outpatient orthopedic setting with a passion for helping others overcome barriers to physical limitations. In 2011, she began her role at the University of Washington in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine's Division of Physical Therapy as a Teaching Associate. Christine is currently undertaking a project analysis of the Division of Physical Therapy policies, procedures and facilities as a welcoming environment for applicants with physical disabilities. The goal is to reconcile PT program entry requirements with essential skills of the field such that persons with disabilities would not be excluded from the field unnecessarily. The goal of this research will be to draw awareness to the current selection process and provide suggestive guidelines on what may be an appropriate and fair way to screen applicants. 

Becky Matter has worked in the disability and rehabilitation field for over 10 years at the University of Washington and currently directs the International Program on Disability, Technology and Rehabilitation at the Center on Technology and Disability Studies (CTDS). Recent accomplishment in the international disability field include organizing international workshops that address disability, rehabilitation and technology within low and middle income countries; conducting research on the provision of wheelchairs in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia; teaching a UW study abroad course in Brazil entitled Disability in Low Resourced Environment, and conducting evidence reviews for the World Health Organization to inform the WHO Health-Related Rehabilitation Guidelines. With the Harlan Hahn Research Grant, Matter will attend the 2014 AfriNEAD Symposium in Southern Malawi. AfriNEAD works to ensure disability research is translated into practice to realize the rights of persons with disability in Africa. The theme of the 2014 symposium is: “Intensifying disability research and practice to achieve the MDGs in Africa: our experience and aspirations for the future”. Disability research presented will cover all major development sectors (education, health, economic development) and emphasize the importance using research evidence in practice. Regional and international disability researchers will be attending the symposium to share knowledge and network. Attending the 2014 AfriNEAD Symposium will increase her knowledge of disability research taking place across the diverse continent of Africa, expand international networks to identify future collaborative research opportunities and continue to grow the UW based program.