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  • Writer's pictureProfessor Floros

2023.05: Introduction to Disability Culture

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

Margaret, a white woman with brown hair and brown tortoise shell glasses, smiles at the camera while taking a selfie. Margaret is wearing a blue and white patterned blouse and a navy blue cardigan. Behind her are the bright green leaves of the trees outside the BSB building on UIC's campus.

Dr. Margaret Fink, Director

UIC Disability Cultural Center

  • Symposium on Disabilities Cultural Centers in Higher Education

"Crip Pandemic Life: A Tapestry," edited by Alyson Patsavas and Theodora Danylevich, Lateral, 11.2 (Fall 2022)

  • Alyson Patsavas, Theodora Danylevich, Margaret Fink, Aimi Hamraie, Mimi Khúc, and Sandie Yi, "Crip Pandemic Conversation: Textures, Tools, and Recipes"


UIC Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence (CATE)

UIC College of Applied Health Sciences

Laws in the United States

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

    • Criteria used to define if a person is disabled:

      • has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities;

      • has a record of such an impairment;

      • is regarded as having such an impairment.

    • Reasonable accommodation: modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done during the hiring process

      • ADA requires reasonable accommodation as they relate to three aspects of employment:

        1. Ensuring equal opportunity in the application process;

        2. Enabling a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job; and

        3. Making it possible for an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment

  • American with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) - changes made by the law

    • Physical or mental impairments associated with disability

      • Any psychological disorder or condition, any cosmetic disfigurement, or any anatomical loss effecting the neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine systems. Also covered is any mental or psychological disorder, such as an intellectual disability (formerly termed mental retardation), organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

    • Major life activities

      • Non-exhaustive list: reading, learning, working, “communicating,” “concentrating,” “thinking,” “caring for oneself,” walking, eating and sleeping

      • Interferes with the "major bodily systems or organs: neurological, reproductive, digestive, respiratory, circulatory

    • Employers and courts cannot take into account "mitigating measures" when determining a reasonable accommodation (except glasses and contact lenses) that can reduce or eliminate the effect of a disability, like medication, devices, or exercise.

    • Episodic impairments or those in remission covered under ADAAA

    • Expanded protection for employees who are "regarded as" disabled

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