CUNY Cripping* the Curriculum Faculty Showcase

CUNY Cripping* the Curriculum Faculty Showcase

*The reference to the historically derogatory term “cripple” is intentional. It draws on Crip Theory and the Crip Justice movement, which posit disability as a valuable identity and challenge the traditional understanding of disability as tragic and undesirable. Cripping points to the systemic exclusion of disabled people, especially those who are of color, members of LGBTQ+ community, linguistically diverse speakers, and those with other intersecting identities.

Friday, May 13, 2022, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm via Zoom

Questions? Contact the organizers: Dušana Podlucká (, Derek Stadler (, or Priscilla Stadler (


10:30 – Welcome and Introductions
10:35 – Keynote Panel
11:00 –  Concurrent Presentation Sessions
11:55 – Final remarks

Keynote Panelists

Priya Lalvani, Montclair State University
Jan Valle, City College, CUNY
David Connor, Hunter College, CUNY
Dušana Podlucká, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY

Moderator: Priscilla Stadler, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY

Concurrent Presentations

Humanities and Political Science

  • Cripping Composition: User Experience and Inclusive Design in Writing Pedagogy
    Cheryl Hogue Smith and Esther (Michelle) Gabay, Kingsborough Community College, English
    Two First-Year Composition instructors from Kingsborough Community College explain how they each crip visual activities, by teaching students to compose alt-text, in their respective First-Year Composition classes to foster writerly practices that consider the user experience and inclusive writing design.
  • A Case for Cripping the Curriculum
    Julia Miele Rodas, Bronx Community College, English and Disability Studies
    Julia lays out the case for disability studies as a form of activism, suggests ways to integrate disability in requirement-level curricula, and demonstrates how end-of-term student encourage students to become small-scale public disability advocates.
  • Disability Theory of Feminism and Feminist Theory of Disability: Teaching Judy Rohrer, Nancy J. Hirschmann, and Mia Mingus
    Nichole Shippen and Samantha Moura, LaGuardia Community College, Political Science
    Rethinking major categories of feminist political theory such as interdependence, relationality, embodiment, sexuality, and choice through the lens of disability introduces “an ‘Other’ who could at any moment become the ‘Self’” (Rohrer 42).  A disability theory of feminism offers transformational ways of thinking, understanding, and being in relation to the self and toward others.


  • Designing Music and Movement Activities for All Children in the Early Childhood Classroom
    Anne Gay Wilgus, City College, Early Childhood Education
    This presentation briefly describes how students in an early childhood graduate course entitled Music and Movement in Early Childhood Education discern how activities can be designed with a UDL mindset. The ultimate intent is the creation of activities in which all children, regardless of ability, may equally participate.
  • Valuing Multiple Perspectives of Disability
    David Connor, Hunter College, Inclusive and Special Education

    This presentation discusses a specific course assignment in which students analyze documentaries about dyslexia that provide contrasting perspectives to canonical understandings of dyslexia in the field of special education.
  • Building Disability as Diversity into Content Area Lesson Plans
    April B. Coughlin, SUNY; CUNY School for Professional Studies, Education
    This presentation focuses on an assignment in a Differentiating Instruction course that utilizes a UDL lesson plan framework to develop disability-themed lesson plans across the content areas in secondary education.


David J. Connor, Ed.D, is Professor Emeritus, Hunter College (Learning Disabilities Program) and the Graduate Center (Urban Education Program), City University of New York. David is the author/editor of numerous articles, chapters, and books, including: DisCrit: Disability Studies and Critical Race Theory in Education (2016) co-edited with Beth Ferri and Subini Annamma; Contemplating Dis/Ability in Schools and Society: A Life in Education (2018); Rethinking Disability: A Disability Studies Approach to Inclusive Practices (2nd edition) (2019) co-authored with Jan Valle; How Teaching Shapes our Thinking about Disabilities: Stories From the Field (2021), co-edited with Beth Ferri, and; DisCrit expanded: Inquiries, Reverberations & Ruptures (2022), co-edited with Subini Annamma and Beth Ferrl. He also writes fiction, and has published a trilogy of short stories titled Just Keep Breathing: Tales of Love & Loss in New York City. For more information, see [].

April Coughlin, Ph.D, is an Assistant Professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz in the School of Education. She has been a “wheeler” since the age of six, is a disability rights advocate, and worked as a high school English teacher in NYC public schools. Her research, teaching, and advocacy focus on access and equity for students with disabilities/Disabled students in schools, healthcare for women with disabilities, and transit accessibility.

Esther (Michelle) Gabay is a lecturer in the English Department at Kingsborough Community College, CUNY, where she teaches First-Year Composition and Developmental English. Her work grows out of the belief that the art of teaching and learning lies at the nexus of curiosity, joy, and empowerment.

Dr. Priya Lalvani is Professor of Disability Studies at Montclair State University. She is the coordinator for the graduate programs in inclusive education. She holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research is focused on examining the sociopolitical contexts which frame the lived experiences of individuals with disabilities and their families.  Her work examines ableism in schools and society, and problematizes the segregation of many students with disabilities in schools.  She is the co-author of the book: Undoing Ableism: Teaching About Disability in K-12 Classrooms and the editor of:  Constructing the (M)other:  Narratives of Disability, Motherhood, and the Politics of Normal.

Samantha Moura is a Brazilian student pursuing an Environmental Sciences degree at Laguardia Community College. She is the co-founder of the community organizing group Abolition Action; chair of the Climate Reality Project chapter at LaGuardia; and ambassador for the President’s Society Environment. She is currently working on a project with the Political Science department and Archives, which focuses on the significance of women’s participation in government.

Dr. Dušana Podlucká is an associate professor at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Drawing on recent advances in Vygotskian cultural-historical theory, especially the Transformative Activist Approach, and disability studies, her research focuses on the dynamic relationship between learning, development and disability. She founded and mentors the Disability Research Group at LaGuardia CC. In 2021 she received the AERA Cultural Historical SIG Early Career Award for her contributions to the field.

Julia Miele Rodas is Professor of English at Bronx Community College. She is a co-editor of Palgrave Macmillan’s Literary Disability Studies book series and co-editor of The Madwoman and the Blindman: Jane Eyre, Discourse, Disability. Her most recent book is Autistic Disturbances: Theorizing Autism Poetics from the DSM to Robinson Crusoe.​

Nichole Shippen is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Political Science at LaGuardia Community College. She is the author of Decolonizing Time: Work, Leisure, and Freedom (2014), for Palgrave Macmillan’s Critical Political Theory and Radical Practice book series. Her current research focuses on bordertown violence through the lens of settler colonialism and critical Indigenous theory and its politics of recognition critique.

Cheryl Hogue Smith is a Professor of English and Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum Co-Coordinator at Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York and a Past Chair of the Two-Year College English Association. She is a Fellow of the National Writing Project (SCWriP).

Derek Stadler is an Associate Professor at LaGuardia Community College, serving as the Library’s Web Services Librarian and Head of Media Services. At LaGuardia, he has organized and co-led several workshops on accessibility and universal design for learning. His library research has been published in Journal of Library Administration, Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, The Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy, and Computers in Libraries.

Priscilla Stadler is the Associate Director of Instructional Design at the LaGuardia Center for Teaching and Learning, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. She provides pedagogical, technical, and design support for LaGuardia faculty. Priscilla directed the Designing for All project, a collaboration of students, faculty and staff dedicated to making learning materials accessible and to providing a welcoming learning environment for all students. She has led multiple seminars and workshops focused on Access, Ableism, and Universal Design for faculty and staff.

Dr. Jan Valle is a professor of Disability Studies and Inclusive Education at The City College of New York where she teaches graduate courses in childhood education, educational theatre, and STEM. Her research is focused on inclusive schooling and the politics of difference. She is co-author of Rethinking Disability: A Disability Studies Approach to Inclusive Practices, co-editor of Practicing Disability Studies in Education: Acting toward Social Change, and author of What Mothers Say about Special Education: From the 1960s to the Present. Since earning a second master’s degree in applied theatre in 2018, her work has centered on integrating disability studies and applied theatre to interrogate ableist practices within public schooling.

Anne Gay Wilgus is associate professor in the Graduate Program in Early Childhood Education at CCNY. She is co-editor of Imagining Motherhood in the 21st Century: special issue Women: A cultural review (March, 2018), co-author of Investment in Early Childhood Education: India, China and the US(2019) and editor of Knowledge, Pedagogy and Postmulticulturalism: shifting the locus of learning in urban teacher education (2013).



Baglieri, S., & Lalvani, P. (2019). Undoing ableism: Teaching about disability in K-12 classrooms. Routledge.

Connor, D. J., & Bejoian, L. (2007). Cripping school curricula: 20 ways to re-teach disability. Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, 3(3).

Connor, D. J., & Bejoian, L. M. (2006). Pigs, pirates, and pills: Using film to teach the social context of disability. Teaching Exceptional Children, 39(2), 52-61.

Connor, D. J., & Gabel, S. L. (2013). “Cripping” the curriculum through academic activism: Working toward increasing global exchanges to reframe (dis) ability and education. Equity & Excellence in Education, 46(1), 100-118.

Connor, D. J., & Valle, J. W. (2017). Rescripting crips: Reclaiming disability history and a disability studies perspective within public school curriculum. Kulture-Geschichte-Behinderug/Culture, history, disability, 201-220.

Connor, D. (2022). Journal of Teaching Disability Studies. Revamping a Graduate Course to (In)Fuse Disability Studies: The Politics of Representation in “The Study of Learning Disabilities in Children and Adolescents” Program.

Podlucká, D. (2020). Transformative Anti-Ableist Pedagogy for Social Justice. Outlines. Critical Practice Studies, 21(1), 69-97.

Valle, J. W., & Connor, D. J. (2019). Rethinking disability: A disability studies approach to inclusive practices. Routledge.