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Disability Culture & Community Events


UPcoming events:


SEC Hosts Neil Hilborn for Spoken Word, Monday, April 18, 9 p.m., Campus Center TV Lounge


Head shot of Neil Hilborn performing


His poem "OCD" went viral with more than 10 million views. Neil Hilborn is a College National Poetry Slam champion, and a 2011 graduate with honors from Macalester College with a degree in Creative Writing. His debut full-length book, Our Numbered Days, is now available, as well as his chapbook, Clatter. He co-coached the 2012 Macalester Poetry Slam team, leading them to a second place finish nationally. He was also a member of the Minneapolis adult National Poetry Slam team in 2011, which placed 5th out of 80 teams from cities across the country at the adult National Poetry Slam.




Past Events:


An Evening with Eli Clare

Head shot of Eli Clare near the the ocean and rocks
Tuesday March 22, 2016
7:00-9:00 pm
Stoddard Auditorium
Smith College
Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure
Join queer disabled writer and activist Eli Clare for an exploration of cure. Using memoir, history, and critical analysis, Eli uncovers how cure as an ideology serves many purposes. It saves lives, manipulates lives, prioritizes lives, makes profits, justifies violence, and promises resolution to body and mind losses. He grapples with this knot of contradictions, maintaining that neither an anti-cure politics nor a pro-cure worldview can account for the messy, complex relationships we have with our bodies and minds. He tells stories and histories from disability communities, people of color communities, fat activist communities, and queer and transgender communities, always drawing upon an intersectional analysis of race, disability, sexuality, class, and gender.
If you need accommodations to access this program please email Emma Cornwell at ODS@smith.edu


Smith Celebrates 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with a year long series of events.


Save the date!!! Two exciting ADA events on November 17th!!!

Contact ODS@smith.edu if you need accommodations to attend.


Neilson Browsing Room at noon:


Screening of Lives Worth Living followed by Q&A with Laura Rauscher and Chris Palames, noon, November 17th, Neilson Browsing Room


Campus Conference Center, Paradise Room, 4pm:


Judy Heumann








Erin Schick - Disability justice and activist poet Erin Schick performs at Smith in April 2015!

Check out Erin on the web!


Event is co-sponsored by the Poetry Center, Office of Disability Services, Disability Alliance, and the Center for Work and Life.


Erin schick Art as Activism poster with bursting stars


5-College Disability Studies Conference - April 3rd and 4th 2015!

First ever student lead Disability Studies conference to be held in Seeleye Hall at Smith College. Deadline for submissions has passed, but please contact the organizers for more information if you would like to attend. Contact Disability Alliance for more information. DSA@smith.edu


Film Screening - November 20th, 2014!!

This Thursday, 7pm in Seelye 102, we will be screening the critically acclaimed film Mary and Max. This film explores themes of autism and friendship using claymation. 

Refreshments will be provided. 

Film is captioned; email ckirby@smith.edu with any accessibility needs.


Photo: This Thursday, 7pm in Seelye 102, we will be screening the critically acclaimed film Mary and Max. This film explores themes of autism and friendship using claymation. 

Refreshments will be provided. 

Film is captioned; email ckirby@smith.edu with any accessibility needs.



Disability Justice Leader Mia Mingus coming to Smith!!

Intersections of Justice: September 24th, 2014. Campus Center 7:00 pm

Picture of Mia Mingus standing and smiling



'Beauty in Exile' Riva Lehrer - Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 7 p.m., Seelye 207

What does it mean to be told that you're beautiful, after a lifetime of feeling like a monster? Disabled bodies are rarely seen as locations of desire. Art, theory and personal narrative intertwine in this discussion of loved and despised bodies. Riva Lehrer is an artist, writer, and teacher, whose work focuses on issues of disability, sexual identity, and the socially challenged body. Lehrer is currently adjunct professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, visiting artist in Medical Humanities at Northwestern University, and co-chair of the Chicago Bodies of Work Festival 2013. Sponsored by the Study of Women and Gender.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 4:30 p.m., Mortimer Rare Book Room

Su Meck AC '14: 'I Forgot to Remember'

Su Meck AC '14 will read from her book "I Forgot to Remember: Living with Amnesia" about her total memory loss following an accident at age 22. Refreshments will be served. Sponsored by the Mortimer Rare Book Room and the Friends of the Libraries.

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Celebrating Collaborations: Students and Faculty Working Together,

1:30-4:00- Creating Disability Syllabi: Incorporating Dis/ability Into the Curriculum: Seelye 101

An interdisciplinary discussion about incorporating dis/ability into the curriculum at Smith. This session of presentations derives from special studies with Elizabeth Pryor, assistant professor of history.

Kylie Boazman '14, Lilith Siegel '14, Devin Shuman '14, Nicole Teitelbaum '14, Claire Brown '14 and Mishka Viscardi '13

Come to support your peers and faculty who are working to include these perspectives in the curriculum.


Disability Visibility Event - Thursday, April 3rd, 4 pm

Disabled students and allies at Smith are coming together to organize a visibility and education event about the experience of being a young disabled person in a society that largely undervalues us. This event will have two main components: an educational aspect and a storytelling component. For the educational portion, we are looking for facts/excerpts to go on the backs of approximately 400 chairs. These 400 chairs represent the number of students registered with the Office of Disability Services at Smith College.

Community members, allies, and orgs - we need your help!

We are open to historical facts, quotes, artwork, etc, provided it will fit on the back of a chair. Some examples of prompts you can use to write are: "something meaningful I have learned about disabled community/history is..." or "the way that I choose to explain disability or disability rights is..."

Submissions will be on display during the day-long event on Chapin Lawn, which will happen on April 3rd.

At 4 pm, Dr. Jen Daigle-Matos will be speaking about intersectionality and how it relates to disability. Jen is a Smith Alum, a woman of color, and a person with a disability. In addition, at 4pm we are requesting that students with disabilities, allies, and members of the community come and take a seat to help make visible this marginalized group at Smith College.

Later that day at 7:30 pm in the Carroll Room there will be an opportunity to present works of prose, poetry, or song. We would like for short anecdotes, poems, or musical acts to be performed at this event to help others understand our experiences.

Dr. Jennifer M.D. Matos, Ed.D. Image of Jen Matos


Jennifer M.D. Matos ’96 holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She earned a doctorate of Education with a concentration in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Prior to attending Smith in the fall of 1992, Jennifer was diagnosed with systemic lupus, a chronic illness that has taught her a great deal about strength, healthcare, and the system of oppression around dis/ability.

Jennifer is the founder of the Social Justice at Work Consulting Group; a firm that specializes in providing training and transformative resources related to social justice and diversity to private organizations and schools within higher education.

Currently, Jennifer is an Adjunct Faculty member at Our Lady of the Elms College where she teaches courses on race and ethnicity and cultural competence.

She was born in Jersey City, NJ into a vibrant Puerto Rican family.  She currently resides in Western Massachusetts with her wife and their one-year old daughter.