Special Campus Professional Development Workshop Addresses Disability and Diversity, A New Civil Rights Issue Explored, Oct. 26

unknown.jpegThe notion that disability is a diversity issue is a stretch for many, including people with disabilities. Most everyone knows about the civil rights of disabled people--the Americans with Disabilities Act has been well publicized. What is a welcoming environment for people with disabilities look like? What does it mean for the rest of us. Is it a burden on society or a profound way to recognize everyone's diverse needs and skills?

Disability advocate Anthony Tusler will explore how can disability be equated with race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation at a workshop from 11 a.m. - noon on Wednesday, Oct. 26 in Stevenson 3028. The program is open to students, faculty and staff.

Dr. Arminana has authorized staff to use this time for professional development so they may attend during their normal work schedule.

"The diversity perspective of disability requires even more imagination, investigation, and rethinking" says Tusler, who is a long-time advocate for disability rights and culture, primarily in technology, public health, and popular music.

He will talk about what people with disabilities bring to the table and how disability fits with the other Big 8 diversity issues: race, gender, sexual orientation, age, class, religion, and ethnicity.

"Disability pride and culture are emerging ideas that help to bolster efforts to enhance campus life, governance, and classes," says Tusler. He will explain how those ideas and a better understanding of disability history can enrich all.

"Students, faculty, and staff with disabilities have made many contributions to the campus and community, yet there is more to be done," he says.

Tusler started as the first coordinator of Disabled Student Services at SSU in 1975.
The office and his responsibilities grew paralleling the growth of the disability rights movement throughout the 70s and 80s. In 1994,he was appointed Director of Compliance and Risk Management, a position he held for three years.

This upcoming presentation is sponsored by Staff Development and Campus Allies for Racial Responsibility and paid for by a grant from the Dr. Richard Rodriquez Memorial Fund.

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