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At Georgetown

At Georgetown, there are many organizations, offices, and individuals doing important work on a variety of issues that relate to disability and people with disabilities. Here, we seek to highlight resources related to disability in some way that currently exist across Georgetown.

Inclusion on this page in no way implies endorsement (in either direction) or any formal relationship between the Disability Justice for Georgetown campaign and the organizations or individuals described on this page. 

Student Organizations

A group of seven people sprawled out on the floor of a classroom with various art supplies and large pieces of paper. The door opening to the classroom has a colorful handdrawn sign that says, Diversability Art Night! Come in and Join!

Diversability

Originally founded in 2009 by Tiffany Yu (MSB 2010), Diversability is a student organization that serves as Georgetown’s disability awareness forum. Their mission statement is, “Diversability is a student organization dedicated to bringing together students with disabilities and their allies to raise disability awareness on campus and reshape conceptions of what it means to have a disability. The organization works toward celebrating a more inclusive and diverse campus community.” You can find Diversability on Facebook, HoyaLink, and Twitter, and they can be reached at diversability@gmail.com or diversability@georgetown.edu

Image: A group of seven people sprawled out on the floor of a classroom with various art supplies and large pieces of paper. The door opening to the classroom has a colorful hand-drawn sign that says, Diversability Art Night! Come in and Join!

 

Georgetown University Signs

A group of seven people sitting around a wooden table indoors, the GU Signs Board.

Originally founded in 2013 by Nia Lazarus (COL 2016), Courtney Nugent (‘2015), and Yui Leh “Timothy” Loh (SFS 2015), GU Signs is Georgetown’s American Sign Language and Deaf culture club. Their mission statement is, “GU Signs aims to promote American Sign Language, Deaf culture and deafness within Georgetown University. Washington, DC is the center of the Deaf community and GU Signs plans to take advantage of the many resources that DC has to offer and share them with Georgetown students, as well as to connect with the Deaf community at large.” You can find GU Signs on Facebook, and they can be reached at gusigns@georgetown.edu or georgetown.signs@gmail.com.

Image: Nia Lazarus, Sam Fiorillo, Jennifer LeBeau, Rachel Brooks, Timothy Loh, Courtney Nugent, and Molly Smith, the members of the GU Signs Board, at their first Board Dinner. They are sitting around a wooden table indoors and smiling at the camera.

 

 

Five young people sitting in Red Square in front of a tree, at a table wiht a sign that has the Active Minds logo and the handwritten note, "changing the conversation about mental health."

Active Minds at Georgetown

Originally founded at Georgetown several years ago, Active Minds is newly active on campus under the leadership of co-chairs Madeline Ringwald and Ben Saunders. Active Minds is a national organization that works to de-stigmatize issues surrounding mental health through fostering a more open dialogue. Their mission at Georgetown states, “Of the numerous issues arising from the topic of mental health, how one will be negatively perceived if he or she pursues treatment need not be one of them. In order to achieve our goals and bring this dialogue and greater appreciation for the importance of the subject to Georgetown, we’ll need as much help as we can get, as establishing a presence and demonstrating that there are many who are interested in the discussion is paramount to ending the social stigmas surrounding mental health.” You can find Active Minds at Georgetown on Facebook, and they can be reached by emailing Ben at bws34@georgetown.edu.

Image: Five people, including Sam Ricciardi, Madeleine Ringwald, Ben Saunders and Chris Rom, smiling and sitting at a table in front of the big tree in Red Square. Their sign has the Active Minds logo in blue and green and a handwritten note that says, “changing the conversation about mental health.” 

 

Best Buddies at Georgetown

A group of eight smiling people standing in front of a wall that has a poster with the Best Buddies logo. Two of them are wearing Georgetown apparel. One of them is holding a mounted plaque with the Best Buddies logo. From the Best Buddies 2013 Leadership Conference. Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). At Georgetown, Best Buddies enables students to partner with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the greater Washington area. You can find Best Buddies Georgetown on Facebook and HoyaLink, and they can be reached at bestbuddies@georgetown.edu.

Image: A group of eight smiling people standing in front of a wall that has a poster with the Best Buddies logo. Two of them are wearing Georgetown apparel. One of them is holding a mounted plaque with the Best Buddies logo. From the Best Buddies 2013 Leadership Conference. 

 

 

 

Faculty

A young light-skinned woman with dark brown hair slightly shorter than shoulder length, wearing a dark red and blue knit cap, a red light jacket, and a black shirt, in a black chair outdoors against a backdrop of flowers.Julia Watts Belser
Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies, Department of Theology

Professor Julia Watts Belser works in Jewish Studies, with a focus in Talmud, rabbinic literature, and Jewish ethics. Her research brings ancient texts into conversation with disability studies, queer theory, feminist thought, and environmental ethics. Her work focuses on classical Jewish responses to drought and disaster, portrayals of sexual violence in rabbinic responses to enslavement and empire, as well as gender, disability, and the dissident body in late antiquity. An ordained rabbi, Professor Belser also writes queer feminist Jewish theology and brings disability culture into conversation with Jewish tradition. Before joining the Theology Department at Georgetown, Professor Belser held a research fellowship in Women’s Studies and Religion at Harvard Divinity School and taught in the Religious Studies Department at Missouri State University. She serves on the board of the Society for Jewish Ethics and holds leadership positions in the American Academy of Religion. She is also a board member of Nehirim, a national community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews and allies.

Image: A young light-skinned woman with dark brown hair slightly shorter than shoulder length, wearing a dark red and blue knit cap, a red light jacket, and a black shirt, in a black chair outdoors against a backdrop of flowers.

 

An older white man with combed short white hair and round glasses, wearing a black cassock.Rev. Rick Curry, S.J.
Adjunct Professor of Catholic Studies, Department of Theology
Founder/Director, Academy for Veterans at Georgetown

In addition to directing the Academy for Veterans, Fr. Curry is founder/director of the National Theatre of the Handicapped in New York City and the Dog Tag Bakery in Georgetown. Fr. Curry founded a bakery where disabled and returning veterans bake delicious bread. He has authored books on bread-baking and soup-making and is preparing a book on desserts. Fr. Curry teaches both theater and theology. He collaborated with Professor Susan Lynskey on the 2011 production of Visible Impact, an ensemble-created production that weaves monologue and memoir, scene-work and Shakespeare, poetry and movement,to explore and enact diverse experiences and perspectives from the d/Deaf and disabled communities.

Image: An older white man with combed short white hair and round glasses, wearing a black cassock and clerical collar.

 

A light-skinned woman with very short cropped blondish brownish hair, wearing glasses, a red shirt, and a patterned black, white, and red draped scarf.Chai R. Feldblum
Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Director, Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic
Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Chai R. Feldblum is currently on leave as a Professor of Law at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C., while serving as a Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A former law clerk for First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Frank M. Coffin, and Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Professor Feldblum has been a leading advocate and scholar in the areas of disability rights, health and welfare rights, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, and workplace issues. She played a leading role in the drafting and negotiating of both the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. She also helped draft and negotiate the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and various medical privacy bills and regulations. Professor Feldblum is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on sexuality, morality and the law, disability law, and legislative lawyering. From 2002 through 2010, Professor Feldblum founded and co-directed Workplace Flexibility 2010, a public policy enterprise that developed workplace flexibility ideas in a manner that worked for employees and employers.

Image: A light-skinned woman with very short cropped blondish brownish hair, wearing glasses, a red shirt, and a patterned black, white, and red draped scarf.

 

Tawara D. Goode
Director, National Center for Cultural Competence

Associate Director, Center for Child & Human Development
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center

A Black woman with shoulder-length rope-braided hair, wearing a sleeveless turquoise top and matching necklace, sitting at a desk in an office.

Ms. Goode is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She has been on the faculty of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD), for the past 30 years and has served in many capacities. She has degrees in early childhood, special education, and human development and over 32 years of experience in the field. Ms. Goode is Director of the National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) at GUCCHD. The NCCC has been in existence for the past 15 years during which Ms. Goode was the director for 13 years. The mission of the NCCC is to increase the capacity of health care and mental health care programs to design, implement, and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery systems to address growing diversity, persistent disparities, and to promote health and mental health equity. Ms. Goode has been actively involved in the development and implementation of programs and initiatives in the area of cultural and linguistic competency at local, national, and international levels. These efforts address the needs of diverse audiences including health care, mental health, social services, early childhood and special education, community/advocacy organizations, professional societies/organizations, and institution of higher education. Ms. Goode has conducted research on cultural and linguistic competence and its role in addressing health care disparities and is currently involved in a collaborative effort to create validated instruments to measure cultural and linguistic competence in health care settings.

Ms. Goode is nationally recognized as a thought leader in the area of cultural and linguistic competency and had a primary role in creating four instruments and protocols to assess cultural and linguistic competency within organizations and for health providers, and a series of checklists for professionals in the health, mental health, and education fields; conceiving and serving as the lead author or co-author of a curricula enhancement module series for leadership education for health professionals focused on cultural and linguistic competency; developing a professional development/inservice training series for personnel of the Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health & Human Services; developing the Policy Brief Series that centers on organizational policy and structures to support cultural and linguistic competency as essential approaches in the goal to eliminate disparities in health and mental health care; and building the National Center for Cultural Competence into a nationally and internationally recognized and award winning program.

As Associate Director of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD), Ms. Goode is responsible for short-term and ongoing programs for individuals at risk for and with developmental and other disabilities and their families. Ms. Goode’s duties include program development, administration, and teaching, within the University and community settings. In this capacity, Ms. Goode provided leadership in a multi-year effort to assist the District of Columbia Government to close two institutions for individuals with developmental disabilities and establish residences and services in community settings. Ms. Goode assumes administrative responsibility for the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research & Service at the GUCCHD, funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Goode has a long history of involvement in the provision of training and technical assistance to Head Start, early intervention, and childcare programs locally, regionally, and nationally. These training and technical assistance activities focused on models and approaches for the early identification and inclusion of children with developmental delays and disabilities within home and community settings.

Ms. Goode has and continues to serve on numerous boards, commissions and advisory groups at the local, regional, and national levels that include but are not limited to: member, Technical Advisory Committee, Project ACTION, Center for Health Professions, University of California-San Francisco; member, Association of American Medical Colleges, Medical School Objectives Project on Health Literacy; member Steering Committee, National Quality Forum, Measuring and Reporting Cultural Competence in Health Care Quality; expert panel member, National Committee for Quality Assurance, Recognizing Innovation in Multicultural Health Care 2009 awards; member, Scientific Advisory Board, NCI Minority Institution Cancer Research and Education Center Collaboration between Xavier University and Tulane University School of Medicine; member, External Advisory Committee, Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Center on Education and Research, Xavier University, School of Pharmacy; member and Chair Cultural and Linguistic Competence & Eliminating Disparities work group, Council for Coordination and Collaboration, Child, Adolescent and Family Branch, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration; Board of Directors, American Association of University Centers on Disability; Chair, AUCD Multicultural Committee; member, Center for the Study of Diversity in Healthcare, University of Wisconsin Advisory Committee; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Hablamos Juntos: Improving Patient Provider Communication for Latinos Program, national advisory committee member; HRSA’s Measuring Cultural Competence in Health Care Delivery Settings Project, advisory committee member; member, Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs; member, American Public Health Association; Chair, Early Intervention Coordinating Council for Part C; member, District of Columbia Developmental Disabilities State Planning Council; and member, the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Early Childhood Development, District of Columbia.

Ms. Goode has published articles, monographs, policy papers and curricula on such topics as policies and practices that support cultural and linguistic competence and its role in eliminating health care disparities, children and families who are homeless, community-based service delivery models and the inclusion of children with disabilities and their families in child care.

Image: A Black woman with shoulder-length rope-braided hair, wearing a sleeveless turquoise top and matching necklace, sitting at a desk in an office.

 

Erin LevetonA white woman with glasses and shoulder length curly dark brown hair, wearing a black sleeveless dress.
Legislative & Policy Analyst, State Office of Disability Administration, D.C. Department on Disability Services

Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Erin Leveton is a legislative and policy analyst at the State Office of Disability Administration at the District of Columbia Department on Disability Services, supporting the agency in policy and legislative affairs, program development, federal compliance, grant writing, stakeholder relations, and helping DDS to accelerate gains in performance and best practice. Previously, she worked as the Legal Director at Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities. Quality Trust is an independent, non-profit advocacy organization advancing the interests of District residents with developmental disabilities (DD).Professor Leveton has over 20 years experience working with people with disabilities. She has been a legal services lawyer – in Florida, Maryland, Virginia and DC – for more than 15 years. She has experience handling a range of disability-related legal issues such as capacity and decision-making, public benefits, discrimination, and individual rights in institutional and community settings, including the right to be free from seclusion, restraint, and forced medications. Before attending law school, Professor Leveton worked throughout college as a paraprofessional in special education.Professor Leveton graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School; and magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Binghamton University.

Image: A white woman with glasses and shoulder length curly dark brown hair, wearing a black sleeveless dress.

 

A middle-aged white woman with very short blond hair, wearing a medium brown suit jacket.Toby M. Long
Director of Training, Center for Child and Human Development
Associate Professor on the Research Track, Department of Pediatrics

Toby Long is the director of both training and physical therapy at the Center for Child and Human Development. Her work focuses on the evaluation and assessment of early intervention and service delivery to children with disabilities as well as the training of the professionals. Her research interests include the outcome of infants born prematurely, and family-centered, community-based, comprehensive, integrated care for children with disabilities. She completed her PhD in 1995 at the University of Maryland, studying human development. She also teaches a course on Children with Disabilities.

Image: A middle-aged white woman with very short blond hair, wearing a medium brown suit jacket.

 

A white woman with medium length blondish brown hair and glasses, wearing a long-sleeve curved neck black shirt.Susan Lynskey
Instructor, Department of Performing Arts

Susan Lynskey joined the faculty in 2003. She teaches acting, dialects, and serves as the Artistic Advisor to Co-Curricular Theatre. She holds a B.A. from McGill University and an MFA from the University of Iowa. Dedicated to new play development Lynskey has spent 15 years as part of artistic initiatives which foster new work including: The Kennedy Center’s New/Visions/New Voices, KC Young Playwrights’ Workshop, ACTF, Millenium Stage and the Page to Stage Festival; Center Stage’s First Look Series; five years with the downstairs series at the Old Vat, at Arena Stage; and at GU, Lynskey serves as Faculty Advisor for the Donn B. Murphy One Acts Festival. Lynskey fosters new plays onstage as well, including performances in World,US, and DC premieres. Recent productions include: Naomi Iizuka’s Citizen 13559, Lanford Wilson’s Book Of Days, Morris Panych’s Girl in The Goldfishbowl, the regional premiere of Lisa Kron’s Well and the world premiere adaptation of Sophie Treadwell’s Intimations for Saxaphone developed with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company. Lynskey serves nationally on the Task Force for Theatre as Social Change and The Association For Theatre in Higher Education’s Actor Training Focus Group. This summer, she was also appointed to serve on the Artistic Advisory Board of Imagination Stage. Her work as an Arts-In-Education Consultant with the Educational Testing Service in Princeton helped to develop National Guidelines for aptitude assessment in Theatre, Music, Visual Arts, and Dance (Grades 4, 8, and 12) for NAEP: “The Nation’s Report Card”, an effort to solidify the inclusion of these subjects in the curriculum of our public schools. Lynskey is a working professional actor. She performs regularly at area theaters including The Kennedy Center, Center Stage, Round House, The Studio Theater, Signature Theater, and Arena Stage (where she is an Affiliated Artist). Her radio/voicework has been featured on NPR, PBS and the CBC. (She is also known to turn up in roles in film and on television.) Lynskey is a proud member of Actor’s Equity, The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), and (SAG) the Screen Actors’ Guild. Lynskey has received special recognition in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Washington Theater Review Magazine, and American Theatre Magazine. Her work as an actor has also garnered a Helen Hayes nomination, the Art and New Media Award, and two Artist Fellowship Awards from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Areas of research and interest include acting pedagogy and practice, new play development, gender and comedy, ethnography, devised performance, and the reinvention of radio theatre in a new media context.

Image: A white woman with medium length blondish brown hair and glasses, wearing a long-sleeve curved neck black shirt.

 

A middle-aged white woman with very short white hair and glasses, speaking and gesturing.Allison Nichol
Deputy Chief, Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice
Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Prof. Nichol is a Deputy Chief of the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice where she oversees litigation under Titles I, II and III of the ADA. She joined the Department in 1994, and served as lead counsel on some of the Department’s first ADA cases. Prior to that she was a trial attorney with Chicago District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where in 1993, she was counsel in EEOC and Charles Wessel v. AIC Security Investigations Ltd., the first case in the nation brought to jury verdict under title I of the ADA. She is a nationally known trial lawyer and lecturer on ADA issues and trial practice, tactics and strategy.

Image: A middle-aged white woman with very short white hair and glasses, speaking and gesturing.

 

Middle-aged light-skinned woman with shoulder length medium brown hair, wearing a white shirt.

Sylvia Wing Önder
Visiting Associate Professor of Turkish
Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies

Dr. Sylvia Wing Önder has been teaching Turkish Language and Culture at Georgetown since the Fall Semester of 1998, when she created Georgetown’s first Intensive Beginning Turkish class (6 credits per semester) and developed Intermediate and Advanced levels for growing numbers of students. Along with language classes, she has taught a range of classes in Turkish Culture, Cultural Anthropology, Central Asian Cultures, and seminars for the School of Foreign Service’s Culture and Politics major. She offered a new course on Medical Anthropology in the Spring and Fall of 2009. In the Spring of 2010 she will offer “Europe and Islam: Orientalist Fantasies and Turkish Realities” (Anth-436) and “Central Asian Cultures” (TURK-362). Dr. Önder’s research is primarily ethnographic, including long term stays in a Turkish Black Sea village to study women’s lives and traditional healing practices. Her current research interests include political cartoons, popular music videos, and political and artistic expressions of Turkish youth groups in Turkey and in Germany. Dr. Önder has served for several years as Co-Director for the State Department’s CAORC Turkish Critical Language Scholarship program, which has allowed up to 52 students from around the United States to study Turkish in the summer.

Image: Middle-aged light-skinned woman with shoulder length medium brown hair, wearing a white shirt.

 

White woman with very short curly medium brown hair and glasses standing at a podium with a built-in computer, wearing a black and white checkered-ish dress.

Libbie S. Rifkin
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of English

Libbie Rifkin’s most recent work focuses on gender and poetic friendship. She has also written extensively about avant-garde poetic careers in the 1950s and 60s, as well as about intersections between poetry and institutions, both mainstream and “anti-Establishment” in the post-War era. She is currently working on a project exploring “disabled time.” She teaches an Introduction to Disability Studies course for undergraduate students.

Image: White woman with very short curly medium brown hair and glasses standing at a podium with a built-in computer, wearing a black and white checkered-ish dress. 

 

A middle-aged white woman with very short-cropped medium brown hair, wearing a dark mauve suit with black trimming.Sara D. Schotland
Adjunct Lecturer, Department of English
Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Sara D. Schotland is currently teaching Writing in an Interdisciplinary Environment, Death Penalty, War Stories, and Utopia Studies at Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies. She is Senior Counsel at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, & Hamilton LLP and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. She earned her B.A. from Harvard College, her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, her M.A. in English literature from Georgetown, and her PhD in English literature from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Mrs. Schotland has authored numerous articles, including “Justice for Undergraduates: Incorporating Law and Literature in the Undergraduate Curriculum.” Teaching Currents 2.1 (Fall 2009); “Who’s That in Charge: It’s Jenny Wren, ‘Person of the House’.” Disability Studies Quarterly 29.3 (2009); “Africans as Objects: Hogarth’s Complex Portrayal of Exploitation.” Journal of African American Studies 13 (2009) 147-63; “When Feminist Jurisprudence and Ethical Principles Collide: An Unorthodox Reading of Susan Glaspell’s ‘A Jury of Her Peers’.” St. John’s Journal of Legal Commentary 24.1 (Summer 2009); “The Slave’s Revenge: The Terror in Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya.” 33.2 Western Journal of Black Studies (2009): 123-31; “Defiled and De-Sexed: Dickens’s Portrayal of a Woman Waging Law in The Old Curiosity Shop.” American Journal of Legal History 49.4 (October 2007);”The Animal in Wordsworth’s Poetry: Man as Brute, Beast as Exemplar.” New Perspectives on the Eighteenth Century (February 2010); “Women on Trial: Representation of Women in the Courtroom in Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama.” Women’s History Review 21.1 (February 2012); “Breaking Out of the Rooster Coop: Violent Crime in Aravind Adiga’s White Tiger and Richard Wright’s Native Son.” Comparative Literature Studies 48.1 (April 2011).

Prior to embarking on an academic career, Mrs. Schotland was a senior partner in the Washington office of the international law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton where she specialized in litigation.

Image: A middle-aged white woman with very short-cropped medium brown hair, wearing a dark mauve suit with black trimming.

 

Other Campus Resources

Academic Resource Center (ARC)
Location: Leavey Center, Suite 335, Box 571235, 37th & O St, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20057
Phone: (202) 687.8354
Fax: (202) 687-0077
Email: arc@georgetown.edu
Website: http://academicsupport.georgetown.edu/

Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development 
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
Location: 3300 Whitehaven Street, NW, Suite 3300 Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 687-5000
Email: gucdc@georgetown.edu
Website: http://gucchd.georgetown.edu/

Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS)
Location: Back of Darnall Hall, Main Campus, 37th & O St, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20057
Phone: (202) 687-6985
After-Hours Emergencies: (202) 444-7243 (ask for the oncall CAPS clinician)
Website: http://studenthealth.georgetown.edu/mental-health/

Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Affirmative Action
Location: M-36, Darnall Hall, 37th & O Streets NW, Washington, DC 20057
Phone: (202) 687-4798
Fax: (202) 687-7778
Website: http://ideaa.georgetown.edu/

Office of Disability Services, Georgetown University Law Center
Location: 600 New Jersey Avenue NW McDonough Hall, Room 210 Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 662-4042
Fax: (202) 662-4067
Email: Laura Cutway, Director of Disability Services, lmc228@ law.georgetown.edu
Website: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/campus-life/disability-services/