Disability

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Project Team Leader: Fiona Whittington-Walsh, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, KPU,  Fiona.Whittington-Walsh@kpu.ca

My primary areas of interest are: Media; Disability; Gender; Marxist Theory; Popular Culture; Film; Collaborative Research Methodology. My research includes: disability and media; gender and media; gender and cosmetic surgery; freak shows; disability and institutionalization; inclusive post-secondary education; Universal Design Principles for Learning. I am currently the vice-president of Inclusion BC, a provincial non-profit organization that strives for the full inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of life. I am actively engaged in creating ways to support students with disabilities in post-secondary education including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. My current research involves two research projects: The Bodies of Film Project and Including All Citizens Pilot Project.

1)     The Bodies of Film Project examines the history of disability representation in Hollywood films. A key aspect to this project is the collaboration with five (5) young adults with intellectual disabilities who are in my Bodies of Film Club where we watch films and critically analyze them.

2)     Including all Citizens Pilot Project is transforming post-secondary educational opportunities for all students including students with intellectual disabilities. The pilot was launched in January 2016 on the Langley Campus and involves the full inclusion of five students (pilot students) with intellectual disabilities into a first-year sociology course on equal basis with other students. Under my instruction and in partnership with Teresa Morishita, co-chair KPU’s Access Program for People with Disabilities (APPD), Inclusion BC, and the Langley Association for Community Living, Including All Citizens is the first fully inclusive, for-credit university course in North America.  Using a qualitative, ethnographic, and participatory action research methodology, I am investigating and assessing the teaching strategies and techniques that support student learning of essential knowledge and skill sets in each of the courses that are and will be part of the Including All Citizens Pilot Project. The research approach is two-fold: Case study and Action Research. The courses that are part of the pilot are the foundation for the unfolding case study.