Wadham Cross-College Curriculum Diversity Workshop on Disability MT2022


4 November 2022




Seminar Rooms A & B, Wadham College


The free one-day interdisciplinary event will provide an opportunity for Wadham SCR, MCR and JCR members to look at opportunities to increase teaching and research on disability at Wadham. Dr Marie Tidball, Coordinator of the Oxford University Disability Law and Policy Project, is facilitating the event which is taking place in November 2022 to mark UK Disability History Month.

Whether you have experience in working on disability in your own academic field and research area or are just interested in learning more, we welcome your attendance. The Cross-college Workshop on Disability will be a fantastic opportunity for graduates and undergraduates to sharpen their knowledge and critical skills in relation to disability too. It will also feature a one-to-one session to discuss ways to integrate disability into your dissertation, coursework or academic research projects. The workshop will integrate disability at the intersection of the multiple identities disabled people experience. It will utilise the social model and encompass the range of impairments covered by the Equality Act 2010 and UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, including but not limited to physical and sensory impairments, mental health, neuro-diversity and learning disability and difficulties.

The session has five aims:

1) Upskilling and Knowledge Exchange.

2) Creating a space to enable participants to explore how disability could feature in their own research and embedding inclusive research practices.

3) General Methodology of Disability Inclusion in the Curriculum.

4) Building an academic network across Wadham of people working and teaching in areas related to disability, or interested in promoting better inclusion of disability in their areas of teaching and research.

5) Concrete outputs and resources to help increase research and teaching on disability at Wadham.

Workshop Structure

9.30 Welcome and Refreshments

10.00 Disability Perspectives and Research

Professor Helen Swift, Professor of Medieval French Studies, Fellow of St Hilda's College –Title: 'Disability studies and literary subjectivity: dismodern selfhood in medieval France'

Dr Laura Seymour, Stipendiary Lecturer in English and founder of Neurodiversity at Oxford – Title: ‘Set me where you stand’: tools for integrating neurodiversity into teaching and research.

This panel will combine experts in Disability Studies or Disability Perspectives in their disciplines with researchers or graduate students, based in academic disciplines offered by Wadham, who are asked to challenge themselves to think about their work anew through the lens of disability.

11.30 Break

11.45 New Perspectives on Disability, All Participants

Introduction, Dr Marie Tidball, Coordinator of the Oxford Disability Law and Policy Project – Title: ‘Inclusive research methods, research environment and Participatory Action Research’

This session will involve one-to-one academic ‘speed-dating’ sessions for attendees to discuss opportunities for their research, dissertation or coursework to include a disability perspective or substantive discussion on disability. This will be facilitated by a set of questions for participants to challenge their own thinking about integrating disability into their own research. Pairs/small groups will be asked the following questions:

Reflect on your own research, asking yourself the following questions (5 minutes):

  1. How can you integrate disability into your own research area?
  2. What does a ‘disability lens’ bring to critical analysis in your discipline?
  3. How could engaging disabled people in your methods inspire your research?
  4. What would be needed to make research methods or research environments more inclusive in your discipline?
  5. How could you make your research findings more accessible to disabled people and increase your research impact to benefit disabled people and our lives?

13.15 Lunch

Afternoon Sessions

14.00 Where Next? Integrating Disability Studies and Disability Perspectives in Teaching

Confirmed Speakers: Betsy McGrath, Wadham Undergraduate Student and Disability Officer; Professor Jane Garnett, Professor in History, Wadham College; Heloise Robinson, former Lecturer in Law Exeter College.

Professor Jeroen Bergmann, Associate Professor in Engineering Science, Director of Natural Interaction Lab (NIL)

This panel will include students and academics. It will explore the impact the absence of teaching on disability has on students, and why the expansion of teaching in this area is important for their student experience and critical analytical skills. Academics will reflect on how their own teaching has evolved to integrate disability. Panellists will reflect on the question of how to build an inclusive curriculum and how to embed disability studies in reading lists. It will explore the link between an inclusive curriculum and access. Following a talk from panellists, small group sessions would take place exploring questions raised.

15.30 Break

15.45 Output and future actions in Wadham

This would be group workshops to take forward achievable actions and recommend next steps to Wadham College. Groups will be asked the following questions:

  • What does a toolkit for inclusive research and teaching practices need to include?
  • What resources could assist the Equalities Committee and Governing Body in any future work on producing an inclusive curriculum strategy?
  • What resources would help students in thinking about disability in their research for coursework and exams?

17.00-17.15 Close: Summarising findings and next steps: Dr Marie Tidball, Coordinator of the Oxford Disability Law and Policy Project.

17.30 Close