Symposium Schedule of Events

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Sessions

Presented by Shari Lanning

Session Description: 
There has been an increase in the number of neurodiverse students entering into higher education. Neurodiversity can include but is not limited to ADHD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, and autism spectrum disorder. Neurodiverse students can experience issues with attention, organization, working memory, time management, listening skills, sensory perception, and speed of processing. By developing/redesigning courses that do not focus on accommodating neurodiverse students, but instead is designed FOR neurodiverse students, one is able to remove the stigma behind the accommodations related to neurodiversity while benefitting all students in the classroom. Neurodiversity is not specifically linked to race, gender, or income level. Students of color, low income, and those within the LGBTQ+ communities often do not have the same access to healthcare as dominant populations and therefor can lack a diagnosis that would otherwise provide them with accommodations provided by the ADA and SDC. By following the guidelines and principles to promote a Universal Design within the classroom, one can support students that are often plagued with anxiety related to the stigma of accommodations and neurodiversity while also following best practices of higher education. Ableism, in my opinion, is a consistent, and often overlooked, issue that faculty faces when designing and teaching courses. It directly affects the ability of our students to learn from the present curriculum.



Presented by Beth Wittman

Session Description:
As modern western conservationists grapple with the colonial history of conservation, they have begun to understand “wilderness” as a social construction predicated on the forced removal of Native peoples and created by powerful and wealthy white supremacists. Concurrently, disability and fat activists have worked to push society and medical communities towards an understanding of “health” as a social construction originally defined by powerful and wealthy white supremacists. The men who preserved some of America’s most beautiful pieces of land and animals were also interested in preserving what they thought were the most beautiful human bodies: those that were considered white. This interactive presentation will take a critical disability lens to the history of American conservation to trace its direct connection to the parallel development of ableism in America, and how together these function as tools of colonialism. Attendees will learn about how “wilderness” was established as an instrument to define and refine wealthy white male bodies in service to white supremacy during the Progressive Era and together we will trace a throughline of ways that ablism and sizeism have gone unchecked in media and discourse about health and the outdoors up unto the present day.


12:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Sessions

Presented by Chelsea Hansen (she/her/hers) and Michelle Brodsky (she/her/hers)

Session Description:
Technology can make it possible for people with disabilities to fully participate in their environment, including both digital and physical spaces. However, technology is only one piece of the puzzle: for it to work properly, materials and spaces need to be made accessible first. What is accessibility? And what’s the real-world impact for people on our campus? Join us for an interactive session with a guest panel of assistive technology users who will answer those questions and more. At the end of the session, participants will understand the basics of accessibility, assistive technology, and how to make CSU more inclusive for people with disabilities.


Presented by Genevieve Witter and Tony Mangialetti

Session Description:
We need to re-evaluate how identities are connected to ourselves and to others, especially in academic and scholarly communities. Prioritized voices often push aside marginalized voices that are more relevant to specific social issues. This occurrence is not new to higher education, as these systems were the foundation when creating the university and have continued to serve the unconsciously prioritized voices of White, cisgendered/heterosexual, masculine, Western individuals. To continue deconstructing these oppressive systems we can create space for narratives that speak more directly for the exigent social issues in academia. By connecting Ponce’s understanding of inter-disciplinary narrative, de Sousa Santos’s theoretical deconstruction of systems of domination, and Powell et al.’s constellational identities and narrative methodologies, we can (begin to) weave together different identities that normalize scholarly spaces that emphasize inter-disciplinary identity work.


2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Sessions

Presented by Monica Keele (she/her), MJ Jorgensen, (they, them, theirs), Wes MacLean (he/his) and Leah Winningham (She/they)

Session Description: 
The overdose prevention and recovery ally training is an interactive lecture format delivered in two distinct, 45-minute portions. The first portion is dedicated to discussion and information about collegiate recovery, including information about what recovery is, how to support and include those in recovery, and how CSU is aiding and growing Ram Recovery to support more students in recovery across campus. This portion entails audience interaction to open the conversation about recovery, stigma, and biases. The second portion is dedicated to harm reduction strategies, comprehensive prevention education regarding the opiate crisis, information around the influx of Fentanyl, and how to prevent accidental overdose using Narcan nasal spray. Audience engagement includes discussion about types of opioids and examples of harm reduction. The overall goals of the presentation are to inform audience members about harm reduction measures, recovery allyship, and showcase how CSU is dedicated to including and supporting students in recovery.


Presented by Penny Gonzales-Soto (she/her/ella), Connie Jaime-Lujan (she/hers), Amy Cailene (she/her/hers), and Dora Frias (she/her/ella)

Session Description:
To effectively support CSU students who are undocumented requires awareness of the many contributions they make to the campus and their unique and powerful stories. It also requires knowledge of the challenges they face (and their families) in the broader socio/political context, that is ever-changing and ultimately, located on a foundation of oppression, discrimination, white supremacy, and the list of systemic obstacles and challenges goes on. Our students who are undocumented have also been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and its continued impacts and the limited availability of resources to support them while at CSU and when considering their transition to career opportunities. In this interactive session that includes discussion prompts and encourages questions, learn about research and ever-changing legal developments (that are in constant flux and highly politized) that will impact these students and hear directly from students who are undocumented to determine how you can be supportive.