Complicating Normalcy: Disability, Technology, and Society in the Twenty-First Century

Image of a woman scuba diving in a wheelchair next to a coral reef
Artist: Sue Austin, copyright: , Photo: Norman Lomax
(Photo Caption: Image of a woman scuba diving in a wheelchair next to a coral reef.)

2014 University of Rochester Disability Studies Cluster Symposium

Friday, November 14, 2014
8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
University of Rochester
School of Nursing
255 Crittenden Blvd.
Rochester, N.Y.

Register for the Symposium

Please join us for the University of Rochester’s first Disability Studies Cluster Symposium on November 14. Themed “Complicating Normalcy: Disability, Technology, and Society in the Twenty-First Century,” the symposium is organized around the documentary film FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement. The film explores the meaning of “disability” and “normalcy” in contemporary times through the examination of technological and pharmacological advances designed to “fix or enhance the human body” and the bioethical implications and social tensions that arise from these scientific advances.

Registration is free. Coffee, a light breakfast, and lunch will be provided.

Keynote Speakers:
Regan Brashear, producer and director of Fixed, has been working on disability, economic, racial, LGBTQ, and youth justice issues for over two decades through documentary film, theater, union organizing, community forums, and grassroots activism. Previously, Brashear served as a producer and community engagement coordinator at Open Eye Pictures, a documentary-production company in Sausalito, Calif., doing community engagement for the Academy Award-shortlisted film Under Our Skin and as co-producer for The Grove, a film about the National AIDS Memorial Grove. Both films aired on PBS stations across the country in 2011. She is the founder of Making Change Media, a documentary-production company that specializes in educational media on urgent and complex social issues of our time.

Gregor Wolbring is an associate professor in community rehabilitation and disability studies within the department of community health sciences at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is also a visiting professor of ability expectation and ableism studies at American University of Sovereign Nations; scientific staff at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis in Karlsruhe, Germany; a Fellow at the Institute for Science, Policy and Society at the University of Ottawa, Canada; adjunct faculty in Critical Disability Studies at York University, Toronto, Canada; and affiliated scholar at the Center for Nanotechnology and Society at Arizona State University. He serves on a number of boards, including the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada, the Centre for Disability Studies in Winnipeg, Canada, and the Society for Disability Studies, USA. He is a 2013 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the government of Canada.

Sponsored by the University of Rochester’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, School of Nursing, Warner School of Education, the Teaching and Curriculum Program at the Warner School, Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, Institute for Innovative Transition, Training Program in Cellular Biochemical and Molecular Sciences (NIH Grant T32 GM068411), Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Film and Media Studies Program, and the UR Office of Human Resources—Organizational Development and Staff Diversity. ASL Interpreting Services provided by Interpretek.

8:30    Registration, Light Breakfast, and Welcome
9:00    FIXED Screening, Keynote, and Discussion
10:45  Break
11:00  Breakout Session 1
12:15  Lunch and Poster Session
1:30    Breakout Session 2
2:45    Break
3:00    Breakout Session 3

For more information on the Symposium, contact Julia M. White, program chair, at

Download the Conference Program

Download the Event Poster

Directions to the School of Nursing

Tags: disabilities, inclusion, Julia White, symposium