Beyond Accommodations: Changing the Disability Frame

Beyond Accommodation: Changing the Disability Frame | Teaching in Troubled Times | UC Berkeley

November 18, 2019, 11:30am to 2:00pm
Intended audience: 
Academic Support Staff, Faculty, Graduate Students, Instructors, Post-doctoral students, Researchers

Beyond Disability panelists

Discussions of disability on campus often focus on how we can support and accommodate individual needs and meet our compliance requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act. With this session, we hope to add to that important conversation, inviting faculty, graduate student instructors, staff, and students to think in creative and visionary ways about culture, structure, teaching and learning, and broader institutional transformation.

Key questions will include:

  • How can we as a campus start to look at disability from a framework of equity, belonging and social justice, rather than solely as a matter of individual accommodation?
  • What are the range of disability-related experiences in our classrooms, departments, organizations and campus community? What strengths and assets do they offer?
  • What challenges are created by the structures, spaces, assumptions and narratives about ability and disability within which we work? How do they normalize certain types of experience? How do they impact the distribution of power and resources? How do they affect individual success and well-being? How can we address these challenges?
  • What are some creative ways to think about curriculum, pedagogy, advising, mentoring and classroom culture that move us beyond “accommodation" to full inclusion and belonging?
  • What does new research tell us about how to think about all of these issues?


  • Ella Callow, ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer
  • Mel Chen, Gender and Women’s Studies
  • Georgina Kleege, English
  • Karen Nakamura, Anthropology
  • Marsha Saxton, Disability Studies
  • Moderator: Sue Schweik, English

Join us for a panel discussion and open dialogue with colleagues from across campus. Complimentary lunch provided with RSVP.

Please note:

  • Lunch will be available beginning at 11:30 a.m. The program will begin at 12:00 p.m. 
  • This event is wheelchair accessible. We welcome participants who require more time to access food or seating to come early or let us know.
  • To request captioning, ASL interpretation, or other accommodations, please contact Disability Access and Compliance at or email Amy Scharf at
  • Please refrain from wearing scented products, so that people with chemical sensitivities can join us.


Registration is unavailable. Registration closed on November 17, 2019 - 5:00pm.

Series description

Co-hosted by the American Cultures Center, the Division for Equity & Inclusion, and the Academic Innovation Studio, these timely, interactive dialogues feature dynamic faculty panelists and engage the Berkeley community in exploring how equity and justice challenges – locally, regionally and nationally – are impacting our students, instructors, classrooms, and campus. All events feature plenty of time for open, facilitated discussion.