About the Conference


The Disability Studies program at Eastern Washington University is pleased to host a two-day symposium focusing on the place of Disability Studies principles and disability rights practices within the everyday life of diverse communities and across academic curricula.

While the symposium is open to all sorts of work, we especially invite those addressing how Disability Studies contributes to existing and developing communities and how Disability Studies can benefit professional and practice-based education programs and policy. Submission proposals include, but not limited to, individual papers, panels, workshops, posters, artwork, film, photography, and architecture/design.

This event is free and is open to the public.

Pre-registration is required no later than May 12, 2019.


May 16, 2019

Pre-Symposium Event

EWU Cheney Campus

Patterson Hall Room 126, Cheney, WA 99004

May 17 & 18, 2019

Symposium Dates

EWU Spokane Campus

668 N. Riverpoint Blvd, Spokane, WA 99202

Keynote Speakers

Keynote speaker

Alison Kafer, PhD

Disability Studies scholar focusing upon the intersection of feminism, queerness, and disability.

Alison Kafer is an associate professor of Women's and Gender Studies and English at the University of Texas at Austin, where she holds the Embrey Professorship in Women's and Gender Studies. She is the author of Feminist, Queer, Crip (Indiana, 2013), and her work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including Disability Studies Quarterly, Feminist Disability Studies, the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Sex and Disability, and South Atlantic Quarterly. Along with Mel Chen, Eunjung Kim, and Julie Avril Minich, she is co-editing a volume on crip genealogies.

Keynote Speaker

Nirmala Erevelles, PhD

Expert in how social oppression exists due to racial, socioeconomic, and physiological diversity.

Nirmala Erevelles is Professor of Social and Cultural Studies in Education at the University of Alabama.  Her research focuses on the unruly, messy, unpredictable, and taboo body in the intersecting areas of disability studies, critical race theory, transnational feminism, sociology of education, and postcolonial studies. Her book, Disability and Difference in Global Contexts: Towards a Transformative Body Politic was published by Palgrave in November 2012 and was awarded the Critic’s Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association. She is currently working on a book-length manuscript tentatively entitled Cripping Empire: Theorizing Intersectionality as if Black and Disabled Lives Matter.

Dr. Erevelles was awarded the Nelly Rose McCrory Faculty Excellence Award for Exemplary Research in the College of Education in April 2015 and the University of Alabama President’s Research Award in January 2016. In 2018, she was awarded the Senior Scholar Award by the Society for Disability Studies.

Keynote Speaker

Dave Reynolds, BA

Accessibility Ambassador, Access 4 All Spokane, Local Grassroots Community Organizer and Disability Rights Advocate

Dave Reynolds is the Coordinator of Access 4 All Spokane and has been a disability rights advocate for three decades. Dave launched the first daily international disability rights news service Inclusion Daily Express in 1999 and managed its operations through 2016. During that time he was a regular contributor to The Ragged Edge Magazine, Independence Today News and Disability Nation podcasts. In that capacity, he closely followed the progress and challenges of disability rights across the U.S. and around the world. That experience informed his efforts to link groups in his hometown into a grassroots coalition to make enduring change for accessibility and disability friendliness. He was also a founding member and inaugural chair of the Spokane County Accessible Community Advisory Committee.

Dave received the 2016 Individual Access Award from Access Spokane. He received his Bachelor in Arts in Human Resource Management from George Fox University, where his focus was on development of training systems. In April, he released a memoir "Not Forgotten: A Pacific Northwest Family Brings Their Soldier Home."