Community Engagement

Disability Studies Working Group

In collaboration with the Disability Cultural Center, we are proud to announce the formation of The Disability Studies Working Group. The Disability Studies Working Group is meant for students, faculty, and other members from the UIC community to present works in progress, dissertation chapters, or ideas to people interested in disability studies and issues. It serves as a platform to garner feedback on ongoing work or research. All scholarly work is welcome, in any field related to the study of disability – humanities, social sciences, health sciences, qualitative, quantitative, theoretical …. etc.

If you wish to present your work in this seminar series, feel free to indicate your interest by sending an email to Victor at

Please indicate in your submission the following:

  1. A title
  2. A brief write-up or abstract of 200-300 words describing your work
  3. A brief bio of yourself
  4. An indication of the type of submission (Article, paper, book chapter, conference paper, etc.)

All sessions will be held at the DCC unless otherwise stated.

Disability Page Turners

The cover of the book “Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir” shows a picture of a young child in a cowboy outfit with a small guitar. They are standing by a dirt road in a field. The quote on the cover says: “This is a damn fine piece of work which is unbelievably powerful”- Dorothy Allison. The author’s name Terry Galloway is printed on the bottom right.

Mondays: March 4th, 18th and April 1st, 15th
3:00-4:00 pm

GSC Flex Space, 183 BSB
1007 W. Harrison St.

Join the Disability Cultural Center and the Gender and Sexuality Center for a bi-weekly discussion on the intersections of being Queer and Disabled. The selected book is “Mean Little Deaf Queer” by Terry Galloway.

For accessibility request please contact the DCC at or 312-355-7050

The GSC is wheelchair accessible.

In preparation for the first meeting, please read to page 59.

In Our Own Words: Conversations Matter

Image of Colorful Thought Bubbles

Join the DCC for a series of informal conversations on a range of topics related to disability, culture, and identity. Through these conversations, we aim to foster spaces for intentional, open, and respectful dialogue while continuing to further critical understandings of disability.

Mondays 12 noon – 1 pm

Location: Behavioral Sciences Building (BSB), 1007 W. Harrison St., Room 235, Chicago IL 60607.

January 28: Got my Syllabus: Now What?

This conversation will focus on the experience of starting a new semester, whether it’s for the first time or returning. What are the strengths and challenges of college life? What significance does higher education have for you? How can we support each other in times of transition?

February 4: What’s the Word? Ableism in everyday Language

Let’s talk about the words we use in conversations and daily interactions. What are we really saying and how may certain words perpetuate ableism? We will discuss what is ableism and the process of reclaiming words.

February 11: Expected or Unexpected: A conversation around expectations and aspirations

Discuss expectations that are placed on us in society, family, or friends. Do you match with what is expected of you?

February 18: Deaf and Disability Culture in Popular Media

We will discuss the portrayal of disability and Deaf culture in popular media. How is Deaf and disability represented in books, movies, social media, or music? Are such experiences present at all? We will discuss how Deafness and disability may appear in daily occurrences but may be unnoticed.

February 25: Food talk: When Food and Accessibility come together

We will talk about food access. How do our identities come together and shape what we eat? How do societal conventions align with our food choices and the way we eat?

March 4: Made You Look: The Realities of Staring

We will explore the historical and contemporary role of appearance. Staree versus starer. The effects of common perceptions of disability and who is left out.

March 11: RelationShapes: Exploring Forced Intimacy and Access Intimacy

Engaging in conversation around Mia Mingus’s statements around forced intimacy and access intimacy, people will discuss their experiences and thoughts when interacting in the classroom, public settings, and daily living. What are your experiences with receiving assistance? Does it feel too personal or is it what you need? Are there settings or situations where you feel safe and comfortable voicing your access needs?

March 18: Where Do We Go From Here: Advocacy, Independence, and Interdependence

What do advocacy, independence, and interdependence mean to you? Which moments call for advocacy and independence? How is interdependence is viewed across cultures?




We encourage the evolvement of our own narratives. During our time together, we will generate creative works to bridge misconceptions of who we are and how we are perceived. We will read works by disabled authors and take time to delve into our own reflections.  Join us in telling our stories using creative writing as the main art; however, other creative art forms (E.G monologues, drawings, skits) are encouraged. Disabled artists may join us for a session to share and discuss their work. We will meet four (4) times throughout the semester to create and share our work with each other. Open to students, staff, faculty and community members. Space is limited, so please RSVP before attending a session!

This Program will consist of a half an hour introduction to the topic followed by approximately  one hour for reflection and development of your piece.

Week 4:   Our Stories

Tuesday, February 5th  from 12:00-1:30 pm.

Week 6:   Bodyminds:

February 19th from 12:00-1:30 pm.

Week 8:   Not About Political Correctness

Tuesday, March 5th from 12:00-1:30 pm.

Week 12: Our Communities

Tuesday, March 19th from 12:00-1:30 pm.


Location:  Behavioral Sciences Building (BSB), 1007 W. Harrison St., Room 235, Chicago IL 60607