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Disability Issues Seen Through Lens of Art, Media, Technology in Panel Reflecting on ADA at 30

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The Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University will be holding a virtual discussion tonightwith a distinguished panel of guests well-versed in disability culture, education, advocacy and innovation. 

The event reflects back on the 30th Anniversary year of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Associate Director of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach Professor Diane Wiener says the US has made progress on accommodations for people with disabilities, but is nowhere near the what she would have liked to achieve by 2021.  She says pepople should be taught about able-ism to counter existing misperceptions about people with disabilities.

“To think about non-disabled people as superior to disabled people, and how ethically fraught and challenging that is, and what it means to either intentionally or unintentionally be oppressive and discriminatory against disabled people, as if we are less capable, less innovative, less interesting, less intelligent.  None of which is true, of course.”


  • LeDerick Horne
  • Naomi Ortiz
  • Pratik Patel
  • David James (“DJ”) Savarese
  • Alice Wong

Moderator: Prof. Stephen Kuusisto

Wiener says people also don’t necessarily think about disability in the context of difference and diversity, or in the context of equity and inclusion in higher education.   She says improved planning for in-person presentations also needs to be revisited when the time comes.

“What are we doing to think about, if we are meeting in person again -- and some day we will -- food and scent and people having a lowered seizure threshold because of flashing lights?"

The professor thinks the ADA will come of age more under the Biden and Harris Administration. 

The event, “A Crip Reckoning: Reflections on the ADA@30” includes a panel of people who come from diverse communities, using poetry, art, media and other lenses through which to view and present the experiences of people with disabilities. 

“A Crip Reckoning” is tonight from 7:30 to 9:30 via Zoom.  Pre-register here.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.
John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.