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You Don’t Seem Disabled: Assumptions About Access, Ability, and Effort

April 15, 10:00 am12:00 pm

You will receive a Zoom link after registering.

Across the campus, students and employees with disabilities often feel misunderstood and unheard.  As the 30th year approaches since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is imperative that Vassar College as a community examines how we support and include individuals with a variety of accessibility needs. This session will bring awareness to unconscious assumptions that affect how we interact with people with disabilities as well as consider the disabling impact distance working during the COVID-19 crisis has on the campus community.  By the end of the session, participants will:

(1) Develop a vocabulary to discuss, describe and understand disability and disability needs. (2) Enhance awareness of accessibility concerns and ableist thinking that limit access across campus. (3) Utilize principles of universal design (UD) and universal design for learning (UDL) to promote more inclusive physical and social spaces. (4) Generate a personal plan for creating a more supportive approach when working with colleagues and students  .

Repeat session from the Fall 2019 Building Inclusive Community Series.

Facilitators: MaryJo Cavanaugh, Moorhead Learning Specialist and Director, Office for Accessibility and Educational Opportunity; Matthew Mueller, Moorhead Academic Coach, Office for Accessibility and Educational Opportunity.

Workshop Registration Form

Registration has closed. Contact us at 845-437-5426 if you have questions about the waitlist.

About the Facilitators

MaryJo Cavanaugh is the Moorhead Learning Specialist and director of the Office for Accessibility and Educational Opportunity. During her twelve years at Vassar, she has seen the number of students registering with the office triple and feels the work to de-stigmatize disability is central to the office mission and growth. She earned her Master’s degree at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she focused on the impact of invisible disabilities in K-12 classrooms through diagnostic and prescriptive teaching. Her previous teaching positions have included teaching students with significant learning disorders, providing teacher training for special educators and adapting traditional curricula for high school students. Having made the transition to higher education, she uses executive function coaching to empower college students to know themselves, know their rights, and know what works for them.

Matthew Mueller is a Moorhead Academic Coach in the Office for Accessibility & Educational Opportunity. Committed to accessibility, Matthew is a co-chair of the Committee on Disability & Inclusion (CODI). Throughout his five years at Vassar, he has developed workshops and training materials to enhance awareness of disability and accessibility across campus. He is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, having earned his Master’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from the George Washington University. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Black Studies and Sociology from the State University of New York at New Paltz, which started Matthew’s journey toward creating inclusive campus spaces.



April 15
10:00 am–12:00 pm