Disabled Academic Collective - Summer Series

Over the summer, the Disabled Academic Collective will host a Summer Speakers Series. The DAC is made up of disabled students, staff, faculty, and scholars. We recognize that disabled individuals are frequently pushed out of the academy and we encourage disabled scholars to join regardless of higher education affiliation.

The DAC exists to connect disabled scholars at every career level for discussions on academic ableism, meaningful accommodations, inclusive pedagogy, and career progression. It is our goal to support disabled academics in a community structure that helps scholars network, present their research, and hone their skills. We use a website, Twitter account, and Discord server to meet these ends. To date, over 570 disabled individuals have joined the DAC from across the globe.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our scholars have suffered from ableist academic policies. Students have had to drop out of their studies, early career academics have halted research, and disabled faculty have faced discriminatory teaching policies. Many of us have had to turn down opportunities to present our work and to meaningfully network. Disabled scholars have fallen behind our peers as universities and academic societies switch back to in-person events regardless of current COVID-19 outbreaks. As a result, our membership has been deprived of meaningful career opportunities.

To help combat these issues, we would like to hold a Summer Speakers Series from June through August 2022. Every other Saturday we will host an activity centered on community building, research and public engagement, or academic career development. To this end, we would like to secure a grant to pay our speakers for their expertise. Once a month we will hold a career development panel made up of academics across a range of disciplines who can discuss topics like applying to graduate school, writing a dissertation, conducting and publishing research, and entering the academic job market.

What our trustee is saying: "Support from the Awesome Foundation means that we can provide speakers remuneration for sharing their experiences, ingenuity, and expertise. Navigating academia as a disabled individual is a complex experience. Recognizing the labor at the heart of disability activism, the DAC will be able to financially compensate our summer speakers for their mental, emotional, and physical labor. These conversations are incredibly important as we try to navigate academia in an ongoing pandemic as disabled students, staff, and faculty. Thank you so much to the Awesome Foundation for supporting our collective growth."

Funded by Disability (May 2022)