Tuesday, October 6, 2015

American artist and activist Riva Lehrer, whose work focuses on issues of physical identity, especially in explorations of cultural depictions of disability, will present “Disability & Queer Identity” on Oct. 29 as part of Northeastern Illinois University’s second annual Disability Awareness Days. 

Titled “Breaking the Ice,” the three-day event produced by the Office of Student Disability Services will take place Oct. 27-29 and will include workshops, an art exhibition and a fully booked (Dis)ability Project Training session. The hands-on learning experience seeks to help University community members learn how to make Northeastern the school of choice for students with disabilities.

“The (Dis)ability Project was launched during last year’s Disability Awareness Day,” Student Disability Services Director Doug Lawson said. “We had a good turnout and we primarily discussed general knowledge themes and issues. Many folks suggested that it should be made into an ongoing training. We listened and we are proud to say our project has been sold out three times in a row.”

This year’s event digs deeper.

“Our program wants to show that there is more to the disabled than meets the eye,” Lawson said. “We are looked at sympathetically, but we want to be seen as people with the same complexities as anyone else.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Northeastern’s Main Campus at 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. in Chicago.

Here are the planned sessions:

Tuesday, Oct. 27

Noon-3 p.m., SU 214
The (dis)Ability Project Training: Disability is not the Word. Ability is. 
(By RSVP only: sds@neiu.edu)

3-5 p.m., SU 218
What the &*#@ is SPD?

This sensory workshop will review what Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is; attendees will also participate in a simulation activity.

Wednesday, Oct. 28

10 a.m.-noon, SU 214
Supporting Students with Autism at NEIU

Presented by Counseling Services with a guest speaker from Aurora University, Cathi Hendricks, LCSW.

Noon-1:15 p.m., SU 214
Sexually Able: The Intersection of Ability and Sexuality for Female-Identified People

This presentation will examine some of the stereotypes and barriers for women-identified people with a disability around their sexuality.

Thursday, Oct. 29

12:30-2 p.m., SU 214
Blasting Roadblocks on the Way to Self-advocacy

Students with differing abilities will share their self-advocacy skills; the panel will be followed by a workshop to create self-advocacy materials for students.

3-4 p.m., SU 214
Disability & Queer Identity: Artist Riva Lehrer

Artist Riva Lehrer discusses her unique perspective of the intersection of disability and queer identity.

For more information, contact Doug Lawson at d-lawson1@neiu.edu.