News & Events

Schedule of Winter Brownbags


Feb 3, Feb 17, March 3 - 12pm in MGH 024

We’re excited to announce this great line up of multi-disciplinary Disability Studies brownbag seminars for Winter quarter! Two of the presenters are grad student recipients of 2016 Harlan Hahn Research Grants in DS: Chelsea Grimmer from the Department of English, and Kristen Shinohara from the Information School.  Please join us this quarter on Friday afternoons, 12pm, in Mary Gates Hall 024. Many thanks to our colleagues at the D Center (Disability and Deaf Cultural Center) for sharing their space & volunteering to help us organize these talks.  Please note that the D Center is a scent-free space.  We will have ASL interpretation and CART captioning available at the events. Brownbags in Winter 2017
Fridays, 12pm-1pm, in MGH 024, University of Washington Seattle

**Feb 3
Chelsea R. Grimmer, PhD Candidate, English Department

“The Lyme Letters”: A Microbiopolitics of Disciplinary Knowledge and Chronic Illness

Abstract:  This short talk will informally read across two archives, poetry and theories of microbiopolitics (Paxson), to examine the relationship between form and content. The conversation will focus on writing and performance as shaping new possibilities for thinking about the relationship between writing and embodiment, and it will involve interactive writing exercises, a performance reading, and a walk-through of the writing process and ways to read the poems, produced in part thanks to the Harlan Hahn fellowship. Participants can expect lots of poetry, fun conversation on and practice writing in the poetry genre, and some thoughts on "theory" from a poetics and disability studies standpoint in the literary and language arts. 
**Feb 17
Jose Alaniz, Director, Disability Studies, Associate Professor, Slavic Languages & Literatures

Disability and Animacy in Eisenstein’s Cinema of the 1920s

Abstract: In his late work of film theory, "Nonindifferent Nature," Sergei Eisenstein contends: "The organic unity of a work, as well as the sense of organic unity received from the work, arises when the law of the construction of this work corresponds to the laws of the structure of organic phenomena of nature." Drawing on examples from the director’s Strike! (1924); Battleship Potemkin (1925); October (1927); and The General Line (1929), the talk will place Eisenstein’s "organic aesthetics" of metamorphosis and “plasmaticness” in dialogue with recent intersectional work on crip/queer identity and animacies (Mel Y. Chen); disability and animality (Sunaura Taylor); and vibrant matter/posthumanism (Jane Bennett), all of which resonate with Eisenstein’s “ecstatic" early Soviet cinema of transformation.

**March 3
Kristen Shinohara, PhD Candidate, Information School

Design for Social Accessibility: Shifting Design Perspectives for Accessible Computing

Abstract: Assistive technologies, increasingly comprising computing technologies of all kinds, are intended to help people with disabilities accomplish everyday tasks. Yet, assistive technologies are traditionally designed exclusively with functionality in mind, rather than with consideration for social situations that are increasingly common with widespread mobile and wearable technology use. As a result of this function-first focus, assistive technologies are often “medical" in appearance and socially awkward to use, leading to misperceptions about these technologies and their users. Misperceptions, in turn, lead to feelings of self-consciousness when people with disabilities use assistive technologies in public, ultimately impeding access and leading to abandonment. In this talk, I discuss multiple projects that blend social science methods and technology design approaches for improving the accessibility of computing technologies, expanding awareness in design thinking to include the socio-technical experiences of people with disabilities. I describe a series of empirical studies that investigate the social implications of assistive technology use, and that conceptualize socially accessible design. In a study in which I taught technology design to students, I examine how to effectively incorporate aspects of socially accessible design into common user-centered design techniques for promoting diversity in design thinking. Finally, I demonstrate how we can augment existing design practice, particularly within computing and human-computer interaction, to increase our awareness of social situations when designing accessible computing technologies. My work culminates in a perspective shift in what we consider “accessible," to broaden functional considerations to incorporate social considerations as well. The contributions of my work are primarily empirical and methodological, applying new knowledge to improve the perspectives and practices around the design of accessible computing systems.

Disability Inclusive Study Abroad Flyer

Disability Inclusive Study Abroad Workshop


Equal education means equal participation in study abroad. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to join this workshop from 12-1:30 on January 26th in the D Center.

January 26, 2017

Noon – 1:30 p.m.

D Center: Mary Gates Hall, Room 024

This workshop is for students, faculty, and staff interested in:

·Practical advice for students with disabilities planning to

study abroad

·Ways that faculty and staff can design study abroad

experiences to be fully inclusive

·Rights and resources for reasonable accommodation available from UW

Guest Speakers will include:

·Susan Sygall, CEO and Susan Dunn of Mobility International, an international NGO that empowers people with disabilities to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development.Susan Dunn, Program Coordinator for Mobility International

·Hannah Langlie of the Northwest Access Fund and UW graduate on her experiences with study abroad as a student with disabilities

·Britt Neff of UW’s Disability Resources Office

Page from Shapereader comic. Raised shapes on wooden board.

Nov 3, Shapereader: Comics for the Blind


Thurs, Nov 3, 4pm, Allen Auditorium. Please join us for this presentation by artist Ilan Manouach!



November 3, 2016 at 4pm – Allen Auditorium


Working at the intersection of anti-narrative experimental art, comics and disability, Greek artist Ilan Manouach has received accolades for his Shapereader, a series of panels in various media and textures, designed for reading by the blind. 

Mr. Manouach will present the Shapereader project and discuss his work on November 3 at 4pm in Allen Auditorium (in Allen Library) on the UW campus.

Co-sponsored by the UW Disability Studies Program, CHID Program, Department of English, Department of Comparative Literature, Cinema and Media, and the Short Run Comix & Arts Festival.

FB event:

Accessibility information:

We have requested CART captioning and ASL interpretation for this event. Allen Auditorium is wheelchair accessible at the upper level. Please do not wear any strong fragrances, to keep this event accessible to community members with chemical sensitivity.

To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 (voice), 206-543-6452 (TTY), 206-685-7264 (fax), or

ET Russian art exhibit closing party Oct 28!


Casting Shadows at Jack Straw Gallery,

CASTING SHADOWS, my first solo exhibition, debuts September 9 – October 28, 2016 at the Jack Straw New Media Gallery in Seattle (read Stranger review here).  Opening night is September 9 (7PM), the Artist Talk is September 30 (7PM), and the closing night event is October 28 (7PM) (Co-sponsored by Short Run Comix & Arts Festival).

CASTING SHADOWS is a multi-sensory video installation of comics that explore disability culture and the human experience. Projections of hand drawn comics and original soundscapes envelop the viewer in a wash of story. CASTING SHADOWS is a cultural conversation that considers themes of animal-human interdependence, aging and connection, family, the role of assistive technology, and homeCASTING SHADOWS has received support from Art Matters the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, the Jack Straw Foundation and the University of Washington Harlan Hahn Award.

Two white women seated at a table readings numbers on a page.

First Fall brown bag! Oct 28, math & disability


Join us Friday, Oct 28, noon, for this talk by Katherine Lewis & Dylan Lynn, "Rewriting Our Understanding of Mathematical Learning Disability"

Rewriting Our Understanding of Mathematical Learning Disability

When: Fri, Oct 28, 12-1pm

Where: Mary Gates Hall 024 (the D Center), University of Washington Seattle


Please be scent free for the health and safety of community members with chemical sensititive. We will have CART captioning and ASL interpretation at this event.


How do you solve the problem: 8x3=?  Most adults simply retrieve the answer from memory, requiring only a fraction of a second.  This problem took Dylan, a statistics major with a mathematical learning disability (MLD), over 10 seconds to solve. Rather than retrieving this solution from memory, she was solving a series of independent calculation problems each with an intermediate sum. Although it is well documented that students with MLDs have difficulties solving basic number fact problems, research has rarely, if ever, examined the ways in which students, like Dylan, might be solving problems differently. In our study Dylan collaborated with a researcher to document her difficulties and compensatory strategies in videotaped interview sessions.  This work pushes back on the dominant deficit model used in studies of MLDs, and consider issues of access and compensation through an emancipatory research approach.


Dylan Lynn

Dylan Lynn has a BA in statistics from University California, Berkeley and spent 4 years working as a data analyst in the tech sector. She recently switched careers and is now a private math tutor focusing predominantly on elementary aged students with a variety of learning disabilities. Having a math learning disability herself, Dylan seeks out new ways to teach and explain math by tapping into her own experiences. She has also participated in collaborative research with Katherine Lewis to explore her unique experiences with a math learning disability.

Katherine Lewis

Katherine Lewis is an assistant professor at the University of Washington's College of Education. Her research lies at the intersection of math education and special education and is concerned with understanding the nature of mathematical learning disabilities. Dr. Lewis’s work centers on an understanding of disability in terms of cognitive difference rather than deficit. This theoretical orientation – informed by a Vygotskian perspective of disability and Disability Studies – involves identifying differences in student’s understanding as they occur in authentic learning environments, evaluating the accessibility of instruction, and considering ways in which students may compensate.

Party at the D Center!


Thurs, Oct 6, 5-7pm, in MGH 024.  **WELCOME BACK PARTY**

Welcome to the new school year!

Join us next Thursday, October 6th from 5-7pm in the D center (MGH 024) for pizza and cupcakes!

Get to know the staff and familiarize yourself with the center. We hope to see you there!! 

Mary gates hall front entrance is wheelchair accessible. Bathrooms will be accessible to all genders during the event. The D center is kept scent free so we ask that you do not wear any scented/fragranced products in order to make the space accessible to those with chemical injury or multiple chemical sensitivity. If you come with a scent we will ask that you wash off with scent free soap (provided).

If you have any questions, concerns, or accessibility details that were not addressed here please email

Young white man wearing sweats, seated in a manual wheelchair with colorful wheels, in front of a brick building.

Russian disability film: free screening!


Oct 3, 4pm, in CMU 226: Pineapple & director Q&A

Join us for this US premiere screening of Pineapple, a feature-length indy romantic comedy about a wheelchair-user who can walk, but can't find love.  Followed by Q&A with the director & disability activist Vladimir Rudak.

When: Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, 4-7pm

Where: CMU 226 (Communications Building), University of Washington

Vladimir Rudak is a filmmaker, musician and disability activist in Russia.  Pineapple tells the story of Gena, a wheelchair user who secretly has regained the ability to walk, but prefers to remain an “invalid” in social life—until he falls in love.  Like Rudak’s previous feature film work (Tough Guys Don’t Dance), the film offers a critique of the social perception of people with disabilities, and offers an irreverent, charming, and quirky comical take on the idiosyncracies of daily life in today’s Russia. The film will be presented in Russian with English subtitles, and followed by a talk back session (with consecutive translation) with Rudak about the work. Rudak also plays in the popular band Kto Kak Mozhet.

More info click here, or contact Jose Alaniz,

Co-sponsored by the Ellison Center for Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies, Department of Slavic Languages, and Disability Studies Program.

To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 (voice), 206-543-6452 (TTY), 206-685-7264 (fax), or

Sara Goering Headshot

Sara Goering on neuroethics


Recent article with captioned video about Sara's work! 

Navigating the Ethics of Neuroscience.

She is a UW Professor in Philosophy and in Disability Studies.

Film Review by José Alaniz

Read Professor Alaniz's most recent film review in KinoKultura

D Center is hiring a professional staff position!


Closing date: July 8th, 2016.  See UW Hires webpage. Questions? write to

Leah Lakshmi, the outgoing advisor, writes:

The D Center is hiring a new Advisor!  The post is here:  and closes July 8.  This is a 20 hour a week position with full benefits doing programming, coordinating and financial tracking for UW Seattle's disabled and Deaf student community center.  We know there are amazing folks in our community who could do a great job- please apply!

From the job announcement:

The D Center supports, empowers, and mentors disabled, Deaf, chronically ill, and neuro diverse students and enhances the visibility and engagement of disability experiences on the UW-Seattle campus.  The D Center strives to create an inclusive, accessible space affirming of all bodies, minds, and identities by fostering a sense of community and a culture of social justice and pride. 

The D Center has an outstanding opportunity for a Part-Time 50% Counseling Services Coordinator. 

The Counseling Services Coordinator supports D Center operations and staff and collaborates with other student entities, student services, and academic programs to develop and fulfill its mission.  The position will maintain an affirming and supportive environment through advising, communication, education, and advocacy for the D Center’s staff and student leaders.  The Counseling Services Coordinator will cultivate and promote the mission of the D Center throughout campus and raise awareness of disability justice, needs, and accessibility. 

The Counseling Services Coordinator will lead and manage aspects of the center including, but not limited to: developing and implementing programs; hiring and training student staff; developing and managing budgets; and developing and maintaining referral sources. The position will work with the disabled and Deaf community to create leadership opportunities for students and enhance the cultural efforts at the University. 

To see the requirements & to apply, go to "Staff Jobs", "UW Jobs" and search for position # 134325, under "Student Services" for the D Center.