aerial photo of campus

About Us

Mission Statement:

The MSU Disability Caucus aims to provide a forum for the critical examination of the meaning, place, and role of disability within our institution. To that end, the Caucus aligns itself with the principles of Disability Justice, and seeks to act collectively, proactively, and intersectionally to (a) mitigate both interpersonal and institutional ableism, and (b) increase awareness and critical consciousness of disabled experience and disability culture at MSU.

The Caucus recognizes disability as a natural aspect of human diversity, and rejects the notion that disability is the result of one’s embodiment. Rather, we understand disability as a social and cultural construction.

Executive Board, AY 21-22

Alicia Broderick, President
Elaine Gerber, Vice President
Bekki Davis:  Recording Secretary
Priya Lalvani:  Corresponding Secretary
Sue Mandzik Davis:  Treasurer
Jess Bacon:  Member-At-Large
Eileen Forestal:  Member-At-Large

Membership Information:

Memberships are good for the academic year.  The fees collected from memberships will be used to support the work of the caucus, such as hosting cultural events that raise awareness about disability justice or paying honorarium for speakers.  We are seeking a modest fee, $30/year to join the caucus.  If you do not have the ability to pay, please donate what you can.  The membership form is available here.

If you are interested in joining the Caucus, either complete the membership form online, come to our next meeting, or contact us about joining!

General membership meetings for the AY 21-22 are scheduled via zoom on Fridays, from 2:30-4pm on the following dates (ASL will be provided):  December 10, 2021; January 28, 2022, February 11, 2022; March 11, 2022; April 8, 2022, and May 13, 2022. Email reminders will be sent to campus listservs.

Why This is Important:

Our work is necessary because disability remains a devalued experienced and stigmatized identity category. Within institutions of higher education, people with disabilities are underrepresented in staff and faculty positions. Disabled students, faculty, and staff often find themselves marginalized and experience discrimination. The caucus recognizes that much of this marginalization and discrimination is the result of negative attitudes in society as well as systematic and structural inequality, rather than the result of individual impairments per se. Towards this end, our work seeks to disrupt ableist beliefs, practices, policies, and structures.

Goals:

The goals of Disability Caucus at MSU are to:

  • position disability as a valued identity in line with and integrated into all other initiatives related to diversity on campus
  • advocate with students, staff, and faculty on broad issues related to disability access and inclusivity in all aspects of the university experience.
  • establish a forum for learning to recognize and working to address ableism in structures, policies and practices on campus or within campus culture.
  • create a collective space to learn more about disability rights and disability justice
  • develop or organize curricular, co- and extra-curricular activities that educate or inform about issues related to disability and disability culture
  • promote universal access to all campus events through structural, technological, or other forms of access and support  (eg ASL, AD, CART)
  • conduct formal research and informal inquiry about the status of access on campus, and the quality of life for disabled faculty, students, and staff
  • establish the value of, and provide support for a recognition and  celebration of disability culture and disability pride on campus
  • work with the other caucuses on campus to mitigate intersectional oppression and promote social justice

    Here is a link to the Disability Caucus Constitution