Cal Poly to Host Communications and Disability Expert on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, May 18
Contact: Jason Peters
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Guest speaker Suresh Canagarajah will draw from disability studies, his own cancer diagnosis, and his research on the communication practices of a group of international STEM scholars during a talk on Thursday, May 18, at Cal Poly.
Cal Poly will host Canagarajah, the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Applied Linguistics of English and Asian Studies at Penn State University, on Global Accessibility Awareness Day. The 12th annual event shines a light on digital access and inclusion for people with disabilities.
Canagarajah will present “Crip Writing: Communication Through a Disability and Decolonial Lens” from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Advanced Technology Laboratories (No. 7), with a reception to follow. In his talk, Canagarajah will “demonstrate the importance of centering vulnerability and relational ethics in all effective communication.”
“Pedagogies for teaching language and writing often impose the language and rhetorical norms of privileged social groups onto minoritized and multilingual students and treat deviations from those norms as linguistic or cognitive deficiency,” Canagarajah said.
“This talk will propose an alternate way of thinking about language and ability by drawing on how my cancer diagnosis and resulting impairments transformed my writing practice, as well as on my research on the writing and communication practices of international STEM scholars,” Canagarajah added. “The talk will argue that diverse languages and proficiencies motivate people to cultivate the dispositions needed to practice relational ethics and vulnerability when interacting with each other, and that these practices are crucial for successful communication.”
This event is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Office of Writing and Learning, the College of Liberal Arts, the English and Political Science departments, and the Disability Faculty-Staff Association. The event is accessibly designed, featuring an ASL interpreter and CART real-time captioning. Attendees may email John Lee at [email protected] with questions about event accessibility or requests for disability-related accommodations. Learn more about the event.