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Delta Alpha Pi

Reconceptualizing Disability: An Interactive Seminar Centering Multiple Perspectives on Disability at the University of Tennessee

October 16, 2020 I Time: 1:30 – 3:00 pm I Location: Virtual


Currently available statistics have estimated that approximately 19% of U.S. college students and 4% of faculty identify as individuals with disabilities. While this group is often perceived monolithically, the ways in which these individuals experience disability in engineering can drastically differ through multiple dimensions including disability apparentness, continuity, progression, and type (i.e., physical, cognitive, and developmental). These differences impact the ways individuals navigate the academic, cultural, physical, and bureaucratic structures of the university. In this interactive seminar, we will draw on emerging research in engineering education to collaboratively explore the diversity of disabilities experienced by students and faculty as related to support and advocacy, teaching and learning, and retention within higher education. Seminar discussions and activities will highlight topics that expand traditional conceptions of disability to promote more inclusive cultures for all students and faculty.

Seminar Objectives

As a result of attending this seminar, participants will:

  1. Understand that disability can vary across individuals and experiences.
  2. Develop and integrate strategies that promote the inclusion of students and faculty who experience disability within and outside the classroom;
  3. Identify and critically examine one’s own biases toward individuals who experience disability within higher education and beyond.


Cassandra McCall, PhD is a visually-impaired Assistant Professor in the Engineering Education Department at Utah State University. Dr. McCall earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. She has extensive research experience in engineering education which includes several publications and an NSF-funded project that explores the professional identity formation of undergraduate civil engineering students with disabilities.

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