Lydia X. Z. Brown discusses disability justice in digital presentation

Disability rights attorney, writer and attorney, Lydia XZ Brown, gave a talk on Microsoft on April 7th at 6:00 pm entitled “Weaving Crip, Mad, Queer, Trans Dreams: Disability Accessibility for Our Classrooms, Our Future and Our Freedom “Teams. The event was hosted by the Ohio University LGBT Center in association with the Women’s Center and Patton College of Education.

Brown, using she / she pronouns, spoke passionately about disabled access, an intersectional framework, and a range of practices created by queer and transgender people of skin color. Disability justice examines ability awareness and its relationship to other identities and forms of oppression such as race, class, and sexuality.

“It recognizes the deep interconnectedness of all of our struggles, and therefore all of our movements, all of our communities, and all of our work for the Liberation Project,” said Brown.

Through the lens of disabled access, Brown discussed how US universities responded to the pandemic and how those responses were “rooted in deep fears about class, race, and disability.”

Online college programs have long been associated with students who are more likely to come from marginalized communities, Brown said. When university learning went online due to the pandemic, some professors raised expectations in their classes in order to maintain the more “respectable” reputation of their institutions.

“Because of this, some of the professors thought they should overcompensate by expecting the students to outperform and outperform to prove that their coursework was rigorous enough and that the work they did was represented by intellectual work to do that to prove The move to online learning has not affected the quality of learning in any way, ”said Brown.

Brown saw this reaction as reprehensible. They believe that “the only humane thing a university would have done would have been to suspend all classes immediately,” pay for students to travel home or find safe accommodation, and continue to fairly compensate all university employees.

However, no university in the US has done this, which Brown believes has a number of shortcomings that exist in the educational establishment of US universities.

“… The whole world is in crisis, but the dissolute, racist, classist structure of the university makes you believe that to get a tiny minimum of achievement, you must be productivity, contribution, labor and intellect. Forbearance or compassion, that conditional and conditional, ”said Brown. “The environment in which we work to teach and learn is shaped by skills.”

Disability rights attorney, writer and attorney Lydia XZ Brown discussed skill in the university setting, especially during the pandemic.

Given the relevance of Brown’s presentation in the university setting, some participants felt that the OU faculty and administration would have benefited from attending the event.

“I wish President Nellis and all of the deans and professors here at the OU had attended this presentation and made thorough notes,” said Emily Baron, a junior journalist, in an email. “Needs are simply not being met and students have been exploited for as long as the education system has existed, especially in the last hell of a year due to the chaos caused by the (COVID-19) pandemic.”

Jan Huebenthal, Deputy Director of the OU LGBT Center, organized the presentation taking the access into account. Live interpretations and subtitles of American Sign Language were provided during Brown’s presentation.

“The reason we wanted to be really proactive about accessibility is that sometimes I think when we use these virtual spaces we assume that everyone has the same level of access to understand and read and follow and that everyone speaks the same language, ”said Hübenthal.

Live interpretations and subtitles of American Sign Language were provided during Brown’s presentation.

More than 50 people took part in the virtual event. Brown’s presentation seemed to resonate with most. The team chat was active and participants used it to support Brown’s ideas and ask related questions. For some, “Weaving Crip, Mad, Queer, Trans Dreams” was their first introduction to the ideas of disabled access. However, Brown, Huebenthal and Baron know that the message of the presentation was strong and timely.

“I’ve never attended an event that talks about disability, let alone centered it,” Baron said in an email. “As I near graduation and entering the world of work, I can see the folly in the educational system when it comes to meeting student needs, and I want to prepare for how I can dismantle oppressive performing ideologies in my future Workplace.”


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