Gearing Up for Fall 2016

I can’t believe it’s less than a week away before I have the pleasure of teaching Technology & Disability class for a second time around. I am grateful to my department for letting me teach this again, and I have a paperwork to make this a permanent offering in the works. This class was such a source of joy and education the first time around, and I am looking forward to more fun.

Very pleased to announce that Martina Svyantek will be joining me as a part of a teaching apprenticeship. Martina is working on her iPhD on the topic of disability in Higher Ed and will be an excellent resource and leader as we move through the semester. She will lead several of our sessions.

To highlight a few other highlights –

This semester, we will have field trips to a bathroom in Newman Library and VT’s Assistive Tech Lab. We’ll explore and measure the bathroom with our guide ADA specialist Mike Kutnak. At the Assistive Tech Lab, Christa Miller will introduce us to cool stuff, including mouses of various shapes, nifty keyboard layouts, a Braille machine, and more.

We will have the excitement come to us when Donna Smith of VT’s disability service office presents on Disability in Media, PhD student Josh Earle lectures on eugenics, and Mallory Kay Nelson skypes in to share her ideas about “transmobility” and the human form.

In terms of materials –

We’ll be reading serious academic papers, checking out first person accounts and blogs, watching some neat documentary footage – and there may even be some poetry in the mix. Be ready for some terrific “hands-on, minds-on” engagement and lots of discussion within our group. We can disagree and still be friends.

In terms of grading –

It’s Choose Your Own Adventure, so start thinking about what you want to create or write or assess  during this semester.

Thanks so much for signing up, those who have, or for checking this out, for those who maybe haven’t yet.

Author: techanddis

Dr. Ashley Shew, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech. Please address queries to

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