Diversity Minor Blog

March 26, 2018

Brown Bag on March 30: Heather Feldner

Please join us for our first Disability Studies Brown Bag talk of Spring 2018!

Title: “Multidisciplinary Technology Curriculum Design  for Infusing DS Content into Science and Engineering Communities”

Presenter:  Dr. Heather Feldner, postdoctoral research fellow in the University of Washington’s Department of Mechanical Engineering

Date/Time:  March 30, 12pm
Location: D Center (MGH 024)


The Harlan Hahn Endowment Fund supported the creation and delivery of a multidisciplinary technology design course curriculum that infuses disability studies content and encourages student activism within the science and engineering communities of UW and the disability communities of Seattle. She will discuss the ways students gain exposure to seminal disability studies scholarship about the social and complex embodiment models of disability, the history of disability discrimination and the Disability Rights Movement, and explore how disability studies can inform issues of accessibility and inclusive design that have been historically conceptualized within a medical model of disability. She will also describe the ways each student is participating in a technology co-design project with a disabled community member serving as a consultant and project lead. Funding will also support the assessment of student attitudes and knowledge of disability studies principles prior to and after completing the course, as well as support dissemination of the course model and outcomes at a national engineering conference in 2018.

Bio:  Dr. Heather Feldner is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the University of Washington’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. After a long clinical career as a physical therapist, she received her PhD in Disability Studies in 2016 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research investigates the impact of traditional and alternative technologies on the experiences of disabled people and their families, and how physical and social environments, technology design, industry, and disability orientation influence those experiences. Heather is a member of Husky ADAPT (Accessible Design and Play Technology), a multidisciplinary collaborative working to create low-cost access solutions and promote inclusive design on a broader scale together with disabled people in the community.

Accessibility info: CART captioning and ASL interpretation have been requested for this event. The D Center is wheelchair accessible and is a scent-free space.

Contact info: Jose Alaniz, jos23 at uw.edu