EDI Dialogue and Learning Series: Disability and Psychology – Part 1

Friday December 8, 2023
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Disability and psychology: a two-part series. There is a picture of the Disability Pride flag in the corner. It is a grey circle with 5 parallel stripes in red, gold, pale grey, blue, and green

The image includes the Disability Pride Flag. which was a collaborative design effort by Ann Magill, a disabled woman, with feedback within the disabled community to refine its visual elements.

If you have wanted to learn more about disability (what does that label really mean?), ableism (how does bias towards disability manifest in academia and my own life?), accessibility (how can I create equitable environments in my lab/classes?), and/or the intersection between disability and Psychology, this EDI Dialogue and Learning series hopes to create opportunities for these conversations.

For all of us in the Department of Psychology, discussions on disability are highly relevant to our work:

Join us for a two-part series on ‘Disability and Psychology’ this December. Come to one or both sessions, depending on your interests.

PART 1: Guest Talk with Dr. Jennifer Gagnon (she/they), UBC Lecturer, founder and President of UBC’s Disability Affinity Group

Disability Justice: Unlearning Ableism by Cultivating Caring Communities

Friday, December 8, 2:00-3:30 PM

Hybrid: In-person, Kenny 4001 and Online, Zoom (RSVP for Zoom Link)

Note for in-person attendees: Dr. Gagnon will be bringing her service dog, Ziggy, for the talk, and has requested that attendees wear masks (to be provided at the talk). If these accommodations aren’t a good fit for you, please consider attending online instead!

This talk is intended to serve as a broad introduction to disability, disability justice, and anti-ableism work.

Dr. Jennifer M. Gagnon (she/they) (Ph.D., Political Science, University of Minnesota, B.A., University of British Columbia) is a Lecturer in the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She has taught in a wide range of programs including Political Science, Classics, Academic Writing, International Education, Equity and Inclusion, and more. Her research is interdisciplinary and embraces topics in Disability Studies, political theory, classics, qualitative methods, healthcare, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), feminism, and gender. Her main area of research is in Disability Studies, especially as concerns gender, inclusion and exclusion, violence, and visible and invisible disabilities. As an advocate, she is involved in efforts and workshop facilitation on Disability Justice, accessibility, a culture of consent, and LGBTQ2SIA+ inclusion both on and off campus. She is the creator and President of UBC’s Disability Affinity Group which works towards the goals of community care and Disability Justice. She is a recipient of the 2021 Killam Teaching Prize at UBC which recognizes excellence in teaching innovation. Dr. Gagnon identifies as a bisexual settler and Disabled woman and strives to bring her whole self to her teaching and research.

Dr. Ziggy Stardust (he/they)(Wag the Dog Service Dogs) is an in-training service dog who works side by side with Dr. Jennifer Gagnon as her supportive collaborator. Ziggy is a three-year-old Portuguese Water Dog and is very excited to start his journey working at UBC. Ziggy’s favorite things are doing Agility, swimming, off-leash trails, learning new tasks and tricks for treatos, and hanging out with his Mom every single moment. You can follow Ziggy’s adventures on Instagram @DrZiggyDog

Together we will explore how Disability Justice can be a catalyst for transformational change, radically critiquing our ideas of “normal” and “productive," while creating spaces of belonging for Disabled folks who are often made to feel that their bodies and minds do not “fit” in academia and our society. This talk will use the lens of Disability Justice to explore the intersections of ableism, disablism, medicalization, and Disability as an equity-denied identity. Participants will be guided through reflecting on how these concepts intersect with mental health and psychology as a field of expertise, as well as how these concepts are already present in their own work, lives, and contexts. Finally, participants will be able to engage in critical reflection through learning activities that focus on holding spaces that center access intimacy, empathy, and inclusion, and will leave the workshop with resources for further unlearning of ableism using Disability Justice.

For anyone interested in furthering additional conversations around disability, ableism, and accessibility in Psychology, join the EDI Community of Practice on Ableism & Disability Inclusion! Regular meetings (held via Zoom) are intended to start again in January 2024. Contact Lily May (lamay@psych.ubc.ca) to be added to the email list. 

Resources on disability at UBC/Psychology:

Disability Affinity Group: A collective of disabled folks from both UBC campuses. 

Disabilities United Collective: An advocacy and support resource group for disabled students at UBC. 

Disability Advocacy and Research Network: A community for disabled psychology scholars and allies.