OED #9: Disability and Advancing Access

I’ve struggled with a disability for many years. I have bipolar disorder, which leans more towards the depression side. I have low energy but an active mind. This is an invisible disability. I’m medicated and participate in regular therapy sessions to cope with my challenges. For some, adaptation is not so easy. I struggle with allowing these invisible, mental disabilities in as valid keys to accommodation. This is because of the struggles I’ve …

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OED #5: Universal Design

Design in our daily lives should be seamless and unnoticed. Well designed items flow in and out of use, and we hardly think twice about using the things we do. This changes, however, when you have a physical or mental limitation that restricts your use of objects designed for the masses. If you have a crippled hand, you may not have the dexterity to open a child-proof medicine bottle. The depth and breadth …

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OED #10 GLBTQandA

I can’t speak for anyone’s experience but my own. So when it was time to attend the GLBTQ and Ally workshop, it was sensitive. It is a community I began with at the age of 16 when I came out to myself. I wasn’t active until I was 19, and I went through difficult adjustments of sexual practice and identity. That’s now at issue here. Rather, I am examining the relationships I do have with …

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OED #7: Race, Racism, and Privilege

I think it’s hard to understand privilege when you are in the majority. That said, I have trouble with race and privilege. I don’t understand it. It doesn’t click because it makes so little sense to me to NOT be culturally diverse and equitable. I have worked in so many situations where there’s been people of color, and we worked together just fine. The other day, I was talking about how diverse my …

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A Case Study: Equity and Diversity in Cooperative Learning

Off the record, I see solutions at work for many arguments of inequity and homogeneous nature of various organizations. I refer to the collection of portraits in the Presidents Room, as if being a while male is a required demography for President of the University of Minnesota. What is the opposite of the white man? What will it take to balance the room or presidents? A single, atheist, gay woman of dark skin color. I …

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OED #8: Breaking the Glass Ceiling

WIIFM. What’s in it for men. This Office of Equity and Diversity workshop was about women and the glass ceiling. As is tradition, it is pointed out that the portraits on the wall of the Presidents Room is white men. We did a variety of exercises to discuss and demonstrate the glass ceiling, and what men and women can both do to overcome the negative drawbacks of a university run by men. As …

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OED #6: Educating about Equity and Diversity

There were five tips for educators of equity and diversity: Assess the situation. Model the behavior you want. Model active listening behaviors. Use yourself as an example. Reframe. Reframe. Reframe. We identified some challenges and strategies for addressing those challenges: Challenge #1: Saying the right thing. Strategies include: having a discussion versus proving right, keeping relationship, and be open minded & listen. Challenge #2: Building Confidence. Strategies include: practicing with friends, family, and …

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