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Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

Integration into Society: An Examination of the University of Illinois’ Program for the Disabled

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Title: Integration into Society: An Examination of the University of Illinois’ Program for the Disabled
Author(s): Breese, Kaci
Subject(s): Integration Disabled U of Illinois 2008 Fall ENGL199
Issue Date: 2008
Series/Report: ENGL 199, Introduction to Disability Studies in the Humanities, Prof. Catherine Prendergast: Disability Studies has emerged as a field of study across several disciplines of the humanities with the common orientation of challenging the notion that disability is primarily a medical fact. Instead, scholars of disability consider how notions of disability emerge and are sustained through cultural and social processes. The study of disability, in departing from the exclusively medical model, has forced new understandings of human diversity, dependency, ability, and inclusion. In this course, then, students read key texts from several humanistic disciplines that approach disability as a social designation of identity and an embodied experience. Through these key texts the class examined the history, culture, poetic representations, and civic work of people with disabilities. In coordination with the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI) students used the course readings in conjunction with the university archives to explore U of I’s history as an early site of disability activism. Students also had the opportunity to present their work at EUI’s cross-campus conference and publish their work in EUI’s digital repository of student work. Because it is in the spirit of both disability studies and EUI to conduct research that can improve institutional practice, the major project for this course was a research paper that concluded with recommendations for the Campus Honors Program on how it could be more accessible and inclusive to students with disabilities. The course syllabus is available at:
Type: Text
Date Available in IDEALS: 2009-07-27

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  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.

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