Part Seven (VII)

Campus activism in higher education

Chapter 22: 

 Beyound random acts of diversity: ableism, academia & institutional sites of resistance

Stephanie J. Cork


Stephanie J. Cork received her PhD in Kinesiology (Physical Cultural Studies) from the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to moving to the United States, Stephanie completed her Bachelor’s (Honours) and Master’s in Sociology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Her research focuses on diversity, inclusion, equity and justice with a special interest in supporting the disability community within higher education. Stephanie is extremely involved with service and teaching at her current institution and has worked with many campuses entities on large scale projects such as Dis-ability Awareness Month, the Disability Studies Minor, The UMD Disability Summit, and the Student Facilities Fund: Lactation Room Improvement Project.

To learn more:

Access Stephanie J. Cork’s personal website:

About PhD:

About work on campus:

Read “The Politics of (Dis)Information: Crippled America, the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign”:

Twitter: @CorkStephanie

Kelly Hoffman

doctoral candidate

Kelly Hoffman  is a doctoral candidate at the College of Information Studies at the  University of Maryland. She earned an M.L.S. from the University of Maryland in 2007 and worked as a systems librarian and knowledge manager before returning. Her research interests include algorithmic literacy information personalization. Kelly’s thesis focuses on public librarians’ awareness and perceptions of the role algorithms play in information access. She has helped coordinate several conferences that bring together researchers, practitioners, and communities around issues of common interest.

To learn more:

Read about Kelly Hoffman’s work on a personal website:

Access academic work online:

Read academic article on equity and inclusion in libraries:

Beth Douthirt-Cohen

Executive Director

Beth Douthirt-Cohen is currently the Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Frederick Community College, where she leads and supports efforts to strengthen inclusion throughout the College. Previously, she was the Deputy Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Maryland (UMD) where she directed various prejudice reduction efforts and educational initiatives to further social justice, including UMD’s Intergroup Dialogue programme. A person with a disability, Beth is part of the Calico Hill Collective, a group of social justice educators seeking to further racial, disability, gender, LGBTQIA, class, religious, and immigrant justice, healing and processes of truth and reconciliation across all dimensions and intersections of oppression. Beth has her undergraduate degree in from Barnard College of Columbia University, her M.Ed. from Harvard University, and her PhD from UMD.

To learn more:

Read academic work online:

Watch a video featuring Beth:

Amanda Strausser

advocate and ALLY

Amanda Strausser is a current staff member at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a vocal advocate for the disability community, using her own experiences within higher education to mentor and support others who are pursuing their degrees. Her research focuses on health literacy and looks to establish more effective advocacy networks for those with visible and invisible disabilities within the American health care system. Amanda is one of the founding members of the UMD Disability Summit; but also works with many units across the campus to help promote programming that is both inclusive and accessible for all.

To learn more:

UMD Disability Summit:

Paul T. Jaeger


Paul T. Jaeger is Professor, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, and Director of the Master of Library and Information Science programme of the College of Information Studies, as well as Co-Director of the Information Policy and Access Center at the University of Maryland. He is the author of more than one hundred and eighty journal articles and book chapters, along with seventeen books. Paul’s research has been funded by the Institute of Museum & Library Services, the National Science Foundation, the American Library Association, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others.

To learn more:

To read about Paul T. Jaeger’s work: and

To access academic articles and information:

One of his main publications is “Understanding Disability”: and “Disability and the internet: confronting a digital divide:

Watch a video featuring Paul T. Jaeger:

Chapter 23: 

At the margins of academia – on the outside, looking in: refusing, challenging and dismantling the material and ideological bases of academia

Armineh Soorenian

independent researcher

Armineh Soorenian is an independent researcher and her research interests include inclusive education, disability arts and representations, disability and gender, and disability hate crime. Her book ‘Disabled International Students in British Higher Education: Experiences and Expectations’ was published by Sense Publishing House in 2013. Soorenian also has published articles in several international journals and has contributed to several collected edition books as well as various United Nations initiatives. In May 2018, Soorenian was recruited by the Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) to lead a project on the effectiveness of schools’ Accessibility Plans funded by the Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning grants programme.

To learn more: 

 Read about Armineh Soorenian on her personal website:

Access academic work online:

Read or listen to, “Disabled people’s inclusion in education: a global

Read a blog post:

ALLFIE is a part of Reclaiming our Futures Alliance who have published a manifesto: and you can read about the report online on their website: and there is also an easy-read version:

Twitter: @ASoorenian

Chapter 24: 

Sensitisation: broadening the agenda to ‘include’ persons with disabilities

Pragya Deora

Information Officer

Pragya Deora is a 2018 Batch Indian Information Service Officer currently undergoing training. She did Bachelor of Commerce from University of Delhi and M. A. and MPhil in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has worked and delivered talks on a range of issues confronting persons with disabilities. She has been a part of organising team of various conferences on disability. She was also the first woman convenor of JNU Visually Challenged Students’ Forum. Pragya was a part of Anubhav Lecture Series organised by the Harris School of Public Policy at University of Chicago for capacity development of individuals working at grassroots in India. Social entrepreneurship is one of Pragya’s key interests and she believes in finding sustainable solutions to social problems.

To learn more:

Watch a video featuring Pragya Deora:

Read an article about inaccessibility of para-sports:

Read an article about digital voting:

Twitter: @DeoraPragya

Chapter 25: 

Rainclamation: how installation art can reclaim space, transform collective suffering into poetic resistance and bring aesthetics to disabled viewers

Erin Davenport

PhD student

Erin Davenport is a first-year graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill. She graduated from Davidson College with a B.A. in Political Science in May, where she was Editor-in-chief of the Davidson student newspaper, a Leadership Fellow, and a passionate advocate for minority rights on campus and beyond. Erin is interested in the intersections between academia, arts, and activism, which she explored through an installation art project, Rainclamation. The project allowed Erin to travel and present at many conferences, including two in Europe, and caused her to realize a passion for sociology, which she is now pursuing in graduate school.

To learn more:

To access Erin Davenport’s website:

About Rainclamation: