Daune O'Brien's students showcased posters related to their Disability Awareness Campaign: "What I Wish My Teacher Knew About My Disability"

October 24, 2019

Poster Project and Showcase: “What I Wish My Teacher Knew About My Disability” Campaign is a research-based project that centers disability within the larger context of diversity and inclusion through visual representation and targeted conversation. 

Drawing on the Business Writing (English 394) course goals and objectives, students will conduct research, analyze a variety of professional rhetorical situations, produce appropriate texts, and practice the stages required to produce competent, professional writing through planning, drafting, revising, and editing. Students will consider common myths, misunderstandings, and barriers associated with disabilities in the academic environment through the “What I Wish My Teacher Knew About My Disability” framework, working to underscore the validity and importance of Disability Awareness in the classroom.

Students will ultimately design posters to share research findings and raise awareness of critical disability-related issues that are unique to the learning environment. Project participants will showcase their work in October, which coincides with Disability Awareness Month. Faculty, staff, and students will be invited to visit the showcase to view posters, meet project developers, and join the conversation “What I Wish My Teacher Knew About My Disability.” 

The project enhances a sense of scholarly community within the English department by amplifying the voices of UMD students with disabilities who would like to work with teachers to ensure that learning environments are inclusive for all bodies. By prioritizing disability and inclusion within the department’s commitment to diversity, the English department becomes an important ally to students with disabilities. Given the English Department’s current Diversity initiative, we are in a unique position to model a commitment to students with disabilities. Students who work on this project hope other departments will follow our lead and join this important conversation.  

This event is funded through a Beyond the Classroom Grant thanks to the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies, English Department.