Lennard J. Davis, "The Stories We Tell: The Americas With Disabilities Act After 25 Years"
Lennard J. Davis will present "The Stories We Tell: The Americans with Disabilities Act After 25 Years" as the 2015 Ken Campbell Lecture on Disability Policy at the Ohio State University’s Multiple Perspectives Conference on April 13th. Based on his forthcoming book, Enabling Acts, Davis' topic honors both the 25th Anniversary of the ADA and Campbell’s life’s work as an advocate including over twenty years guiding the City of Columbus’ disability policies and practice. A highlight of the Multiple Perspectives conference, this public lecture was established by the Columbus Advisory Committee on Disability Issues after Campbell's death in 2007.
Davis is a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a Professor of Disability and Human Development and a Professor of Medical Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A well published author, Davis' works on disability include Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness, and the Body, the Disability Studies Reader, and his memoir My Sense of Silence, and numerous journal articles, presentations and interviews. In addition Davis has edited several collections including his parents’ correspondence Shall I Say a Kiss: The Courtship Letters of a Deaf Couple, 1936-38. His forthcoming book, Enabling Acts will be published in July for the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act by Beacon Press.
Davis tells the neglected story behind the Americans with Disabilities Act, a model for civil rights laws around the world that is too often absent from the curriculum and too far from popular consciousness at home. Enabling Acts is not a dry legislative history. Davis tells the rich human story; illustrating the successes and shortcomings of the ADA in areas ranging from employment, education, and transportation to shifting social attitudes. This powerfully told story promises to set the stage for the next generation of disability rights leaders.
Davis summed up the importance of these stories this way. "I have come to see that disability studies is imperative. It is crucial that students in elementary and secondary school, as well as students in the university, grow up in close contact with people with all kinds of disabilities. It is crucial that disability studies be included in the curricula of schools so that when Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement are studied, when films on Stonewall are screened, Chicano authors are read — that disability history and culture be included as well from the accomplishments of Vietnam Vets and Ron Kovic to the Berkeley movement led by disability activist Ed Roberts to the Deaf President Now movement at Gallaudet University. The drafting of the ADA should be studied the way that the drafting of the Declaration of Independence is studied. Students should be able to read the work of Nancy Mairs or Andre Dubus, to know about the disabilities of artists and writers like James Joyce, Harriet Martineau, and William DeKooning, as well as the more obvious Beethoven or Ray Charles."
The Hearing World Around Me: A performance by Trix Bruce
Trix Bruce's stories are those of culture clash and connection, contact and confusion, and the many ways which language and identity can twist our perceptions of each other. Her energetic style, witty delivery, poetic grace, and honesty welcome you to her world as a deaf person among the hearing. Through a series of stories Trix shares her embarrassing moments, challenges, learning experiences, and a growing sense of pride.
Video excerpt of The Hearing World Around Me at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwey1wAhJL8
About Trix Bruce:
Trix has been involved in the performing arts since 1980 when she won the role of Helen Keller in her freshman year of high-school. She participated in the summer program hosted by the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) and performed at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). As a deaf poet and actress, her performances draw heavily on her life experiences. Trix’s one-woman show has been a long-standing success. Audiences are captivated by Trix’s sign artistry, sheer elegance and irresistible, smile-sparking humor. Trix’s performances and presentations always showcase her skills as an outstanding communicator. Trix’s main area of study has been in ASL Linguistics with a focus on ASL Performance. She is an approved sponsor for the Registry Interpreter for the Deaf (RID) Certificate Maintenance Program. Whether writing, creating, improvising or starring in her many productions, Trix’s passion for the dramatic arts always shines through. On line at http://www.trixbruce.com/; on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TrixBruce
The performance & poster reception will be free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of the Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation Endowment Fund, the Student Life Disability Services Office and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at The Ohio State University.