News & Events

Journalist John Hockenberry is coming to Town Hall Seattle on November 11

Journalist John Hockenberry is the host of Public Radio International’s The Takeaway (4 time Emmy Award Winner and 3 time Peabody Award Winner).

Hockenberry is coming to Town Hall Seattle on November 11th, and he will speak about the Future of Universal Design, Assistive Technology, and Disability Rights. His talk will be preceded by an Assistive Technology Exhibit in the Great Hall Lobby.

You can purchase tickets here:


Date: November 11 Time: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm. Website:


Town Hall Seattle 1119 Eighth Avenue , Seattle, WA + Google Map


Washington Access Fund Phone: (206) 328-5116 Email: Website:

Hiring TAs for Autumn Quarter

We are looking to hire two graduate students to TA the Intro Disability Studies course this fall. The deadline to apply is August 29th.


LSJ / CHID / DIS ST 230 Introduction to Disability Studies, Fall 2014

Lectures: Mon. & Wed. 10:00-11:20

Quiz Sections: Tues. & Thurs.

The Disability Studies Program is hiring two graduate students for two 50% appointments as PreDoctoral Teaching Assistants for a 200-level course in disability studies offered Autumn Quarter 2014.  Enrollment is approximately 100 students.

Job requirements: The specific job tasks will vary somewhat depending on the instructor, but generally include the following:

  1. Attending all lectures.
  2. Leading quiz sections (format will usually be discussion of readings and lecture materials).
  3. Reading all course materials.
  4. Holding office hours and responding to email from students.
  5. Grading all assignments submitted by the students in your quiz section(s) and maintaining grading records.
  6. Proctoring exams. 
  7. Attending regular meetings with the instructor.
  8. Optional: prepare and deliver one or two lectures.

Hiring criteria: Graduate students in any discipline with a background in the academic field of disability studies are encouraged to apply.

Applications: If you are interested, please send a one page description of your experiences in teaching, research, and disability studies, your curriculum vitae, and the name/contact information for a faculty member who knows your background and skills.  This information should be sent to José Alaniz at by 5PM on August 29, 2014.   

*Please note that these appointments are dependent on final funding allocation.* 

New Disability Studies Program Director: José Alaniz

The Disability Studies Program welcomes José Alaniz as the new Director. 

José Alaniz is an associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Comparative Literature (adjunct). He published his first book, Komiks: Comic Art in Russia (University Press of Mississippi), in 2010. The second, Death, Disability and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond (UPM), will appear in November 2014. His articles have appeared in the International Journal of Comic Art, the Comics Journal, Ulbandus, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, the Slavic and East European Journal, Comics Forum and Kinokultura, as well as such anthologies as The Ages of Superman: Essays on the Man of Steel in Changing Times (McFarland, 2012), The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov (I.B. Tauris, 2011) and Russian Children’s Literature and Culture (Routledge, 2007). He is currently the Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF), the leading comics studies conference in the US. His research interests include Death and Dying, Disability Studies, Film Studies, Eco-criticism and Comics Studies. His current projects include a study of disability in alternative European and US comics, as well as a history of Czech comics.

In the 2014-15 academic year he is slated to teach C LIT 497/RUSS 423: Disability in Russian Cinema (Autumn) and DIS ST 430: Disability in Graphic Narrative (Winter)

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.

Disability Studies Graduation and Year-End Party!

Please join us for community, celebration, and food! Fri, June 6, 2-4pm, in the D Center

The University of Washington Disability Studies Program invites you to our Year-End Gathering and Graduation Celebration

When: Friday, June 6, 2014, 2-4pm

Where: D Center, Mary Gates Hall, Room 024, University of Washington Seattle

RSVP to Joanne (

We will recognize our 2014 Disability Studies graduates and award winners, as well as the news & accomplishments of the folks in the DS Program and the student groups.

Hope to see you there!

Accessibility information: This event will have CART captioning and ASL interpreting. The D Center is wheelchair accessible. Please also note that the D Center is a fragrance free space. For more information on how to be fragrance free, please check out this website:

Wed May 28, noon, Jose Alaniz DS brown bag talk

Please join us for this talk by Jose Alaniz: Disability in Post-Soviet Russian Cinema. May 28, 12-1:20, Savery 408

Please join us for the final Disability Studies Program Brown Bag of the quarter!

Jose Alaniz, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Harlan Hahn Award recipient
Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 12:00-1:20PM 
Savery 408, University of Washington Seattle

Title: Disability in Post-Soviet Russian Cinema

Abstract: The representation of people with disabilities has exploded on Russian screens since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most encouraging has been the rise in self-representations by disabled people and their allies, as evidenced by the bi-annual Breaking Down Barriers International Disability Film Festival in Moscow (now in its sixth incarnation), with works from all over the former Soviet sphere. Not all these films, however, depict disability in unproblematic ways (from a Western point of view). This presentation, based on research at the archives of the Perspektiva NGO (which sponsors the film festival) and supported by the Harlan Hahn award, will provide an overview of the main trends in post-Soviet cinema by and about disabled people, with an emphasis on independent work. The talk concludes with one of the most celebrated and controversial recent films, the documentary Anton’s Right Here (Anton tut riadom, d. Liubov Arkus, 2012), about a young man with autism.

Those interested in a preview of the talk’s themes may read my review of the 2006 Breaking Down Barriers festival here:

Sustainability & Disability Justice workshop, June 4, 5:30, MGH 024

This D Center event is free and open to the public! Sustainability at the Intersections: Collective Access, the State, and Disability Justice, June 4, 5:30-7:30pm

Sustainability at the Intersections: Collective Access, the State, and Disability Justice

With Seema Bahl and ET Russian – Co-founders of the Seattle Disability Justice Collective

WHEN: Wednesday June 4th, 2014

WHERE: D Center (Mary Gates Hall, room 024)

TIME: 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Come to the D Center for this workshop, where we will brainstorm and unpack issues affecting those that represent multiple marginalities as they interact with the state and their own communities. We will also explore the following question: how can the disability justice movement think about sustainability in its communities and as part of a larger transformative social justice movement?

To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at: 206.543.6450 (voice),206.543.6452 (TTY), 206.685.7264 (fax), or email The University of Washington makes every effort to honor disability accommodation requests. Requests can be responded to most effectively if received as far in advance of the event as possible, preferably at least 10 days.

All events please ask that you be fragrance free. For more information on how to do that:

Website:  email: dcenter@uw.edufor questions/concerns/comments  Facebook event for D Week:

UW DS Harlan Hahn awards: proposals due May 19

Student Scholarship for UW undergraduate and graduate students and Research Award for UW faculty and staff

Call for Proposals: Harlan Hahn Awards for Disability Studies – Spring 2014

The Disability Studies Program is pleased to announce that there will be funds from the Harlan Hahn endowment available to the University of Washington community. Students, faculty, and staff from all three UW campuses are invited to submit a proposal for one of the two types of awards ($500 – $5,000):

      I) Student Scholarship for UW undergraduate and graduate students

      II) Research Award for UW faculty and staff

Application deadline for both awards: Monday, May 19, 2014, 11pm.

All application materials should be submitted to the dropbox:

The Harlan Hahn Awards Selection Committee will make the decision on the final recipients, who will be notified by May 30, 2014. The number and amount of the awards will depend on the quality and quantity of applications. It is anticipated that the awards will range between $500 and $5,000. The specific amount awarded will be dependent on the individual proposals.

I) Harlan Hahn Student Scholarship:

All undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Washington may apply for the Scholarship. This is a merit-based monetary award for students who demonstrate promise in the field of Disability Studies. Applicants should have
• A minimum 3.0 GPA in Disability Studies courses or equivalent demonstration of academic excellence in areas related to disability studies (e.g. courses taught as a graduate teaching assistant or scholarly work conducted as a graduate research assistant)
• Evidence of commitment to issues of social justice related to people with disabilities (e.g. work, volunteer or activist experiences, academic outreach) and/or disability studies scholarship.

Award funds may be used for
• Travel to disability studies related conferences as a participant or as a presenter
• Support for academic research projects in any area of disability studies (e.g. surveys, incentives for subjects, books)
• Development or support for disability related activist endeavors (e.g. web development, meeting support)
• Assistance with accessibility issues
• Other academic/activist goals pertaining to disability studies.

To apply, please submit all of the following:

·      A personal statement that includes a) a brief proposal for how the funds will be used; b) a statement about how the applicant exemplifies the award criteria; and c) a short description of the applicant’s disability studies related experience, research, and/or career goals

·      Name and contact information for one reference

·      Resume/CV

·      Academic transcript

Application deadline: Monday, May 19, 2014, 11pm.

Materials should be submitted to Harlan Hahn Awards Selection Committee at

Please note that • Recipients of the Scholarship are expected to provide a Disability Studies Program brown bag talk or other public presentation, as well as a short written summary of how the funds were spent • All activities must be completed by June 30, 2015 • Past performance under these awards will be taken into consideration when assessing an application by a previous award winner.

II) Harlan Hahn Research Grant:

All full-time and part-time University of Washington faculty and staff may apply for the Research Grant.

Award funds may be used for projects that include, but are not limited to • Pedagogical research in disability studies (including course development) • Travel and attendance at a disability studies related conference • Research and writing of a publishable article or manuscript on disability studies.

To apply, please submit both of the following:

·      A proposal (1-2 pages) that describes how the applicant will use the grant, including a brief personal statement of how this support will advance the applicant’s research and/or education in disability studies and the outcomes expected

·      A one-page budget.

Application deadline: Monday, May 19, 2014, 11pm.

Materials should be submitted to the Harlan Hahn Awards Selection Committee at

Please note that • Recipients of the Research Grant are expected to provide a Disability Studies Program brown bag talk or other public presentation, as well as a short written summary of how the grant funds were spent • All activities must be completed by June 30, 2015 • Past performance under these awards will be taken into consideration when assessing an application by a previous award winner.

Questions? Contact Joanne Woiak (

The University of Washington’s Disability Studies Program Harlan Hahn Endowment Fund was established by the generous gift of the late Harlan D. Hahn, disability activist and political scientist. For more information on the Harlan Hahn Fund, please see

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DS Quarterly Book Club, May 16, 1pm, in D Center

Join us! Fri, May 16, 1:00-2:30, in MGH 024 (D Center). Featured book: The Unheard: a memoir of deafness and Africa

Josh Swiller's book The Unheard: a memoir of deafness and Africa is a personal account of a Peace Corps Volunteer with complete hearing loss serving in Zambia in the early 1990s.

Book is available in hard copy, kindle and paperback.

Please email Anne Crylen at to receive a PDF of a chapter from the book and to request any accommodations including CART provider and/or sign language interpreter.