Disabled Faculty Equity Council

Current Work

The Disabled Faculty Equity Council advises the executive vice president and provost on best practices in campus accessibility, disabled representation, and equity for its members. The Disabled Faculty Equity Council also works in collaboration with colleges/schools, departments and programs to support the development of programs and policies to improve the campus-wide climate and institutional reputation for equity relating to disability, access, accommodations, and ableism; monitor progress and sustain successes through data collection and benchmarking. They are tasked with developing actionable policies that academic leaders will implement.

The Disabled Faculty Equity Council will complement other disability efforts on campus including student effort to create a Disability Cultural Center for students, a Disabled Faculty Staff association (University Resource Group), and the Disability Studies Program (School of Social Work).


Background

To address, improve, and advance accessibility and equity for disabled faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, disabled UT faculty met in Spring 2021 to get organized, and through the leadership of Drs. Alison Kafer, Grayson Hunt, and Stephanie Cawthon, and with the approval of Executive Vice President and Provost Sharon Wood, the Disabled Faculty Equity Council was formed in August 2021.

Work to form the council involved, with the encouragement of the Senior Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs and the Vice Provost of Diversity, a group of 25 faculty who convened in March and April 2021 to discuss issues related to disability, ableism, and faculty experience at UT Austin and to decide whether a faculty equity council centering disability was needed. Participants represented a broad range of departments across the campus and with varying positions and time in service at UT Austin. Nine colleges and schools and 20 departments were represented. The facultymirrored the diversity of disability experiences at UT as a whole: participants spoke of mental disabilities and mental illness, mobility disabilities, chronic illness and chronic pain, memory loss, neurodiversity and neuroqueerness, sensory disabilities, and more. The group was overwhelmingly supportive of organizing as disabled faculty.

The council will serve in an advisory capacity to the executive vice president and provost and will serve as a catalyst for advocacy on accessibility and equity issues on campus. Like its Equity Council siblings, Council for Racial and Ethnic Equity and Diversity (CREED), University Faculty Gender Equity Council (UFGEC) and Council for LGBTQ+ Access, Equity, and Inclusion (Q+AEI), the Disabled Faculty Equity Council will be working with the support of the Offices of the Vice Provost for Diversity and the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs to create a council that is aligned with these goals and to communicate findings and reports in an advisory role to the Provost.

The Disabled Faculty Equity Council will also complement other disability efforts on campus including student effort to create a Disability Cultural Center for students, a Disabled FacultyStaff association (University Resource Group), and the Disability Studies Program (School of Social Work).


Membership

Co-chairs
Stephanie W. Cawthon, Educational Psychology & Special Education, College of Education
Alison Kafer, Department of English , College of Liberal Arts

Members
Danielle A. Berg, College of Natural Sciences
Andrew Brodsky, McCombs School of Business
Michael J. Churgin, School of Law
Ken Fleischmann, School of Information
Debadyuti (Rana) Ghosh, College of Pharmacy
Jo Hsu, College of Liberal Arts
Peniel Joseph, LBJ School of Public Policy
Jung-Fu “Afu” Lin, School of Geosciences
Min Liu, College of Education
Christopher Moreland, Dell Medical School
Nico Osier, School of Nursing
Amy Kristin Sanders, Moody College of Communication
David Soloveichik, School of Engineering
Nick Winges-Yanez, Steve Hicks School of Social Work
Vacant, School of Architecture
Vacant, College of Fine Arts

Ex-Officio
Christopher McCarthy, Office of the Faculty Ombuds
Tasha Beretvas, Faculty Affairs
Marquita Booker, Office for Inclusion and Equity
Andrea Gore, Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility
Domino Perez, Faculty Council
Mark Smith, Graduate School
Del Watson, Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity
Latoya Smith, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
Grayson Hunt, Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity

 

 

SHARE YOUR DISABILITY UT STORY

The Disabled Faculty Equity Council is collecting community stories - experiences of being disabled at UT Austin. Whether stories are celebratory or challenging, the Council wants faculty input to help inform best practices and policies.

Submit Your Story
Campus Resources

A list of campus-wide formal and informal resources available to support faculty members throughout their careers at UT Austin.

View Campus Resources