Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature Spring 2021 issue is now live via Wordgathering’s website. The 57th issue of this quarterly digital, open access journal is made possible by generous support from Syracuse University’s Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach  at the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI), headquartered in the College of Law, and Syracuse University Libraries. Wordgathering provides an accessible venue for featuring the work of emerging and well-known disabled writers committed to disability poetry, literature, and the arts.

This academic year marked the 30th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). The team at the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach, in collaboration with College of Law IT Services AV Media Specialist, Kyle Jaymes Davis, created an accessible video production of “A Crip Reckoning: Reflections on the ADA@30,” along with an accompanying resources guide created by Rachael Zubal-Ruggieri, Administrative Assistant. The video, with American Sign Language interpretation, English captioning, and image descriptions, features a distinguished panel of disabled thought leaders and scholar-activists discussing ableism, cultural change, equity, creativity, and intersectionality in the context of the 30th anniversary of the ADA. The panel was moderated by Stephen Kuusisto, University Professor and Director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach at the Burton Blatt Institute. Poetry is a major theme within and happens multiple times during the video. 

Diane R. Wiener, Editor-in-Chief and Research Professor and Associate Director of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach, said “There is a pragmatic magic for me in having the opportunity to underscore that this issue marks 15 years since Wordgathering opened its accessible, digital doors into the world. This is a world that has become increasingly digital and virtual, but not nearly as accessible as many of us would prefer and, in fact, demand. I am moved by and grateful for the abiding ethics, good humor, vast generosity of spirit, and boundless kindness of our editorial team’s members, as each of us does (and has been doing) our best to live, create, love, and work deeply in the non-idealized ‘new world-in-the-making,’ a year since COVID-19. I remain deeply grateful for ongoing and outstanding collaborative support from my esteemed colleagues at Syracuse University—Kate Deibel, Patrick Williams, and Rachael Zubal-Ruggieri.”

About the Burton Blatt Institute:

The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) headquartered in the College of Law at Syracuse University reaches around the globe in its efforts to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities. BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, former dean of SU’s School of Education and a pioneering disability rights scholar, to better the lives of people with disabilities. BBI has offices in Syracuse, NY, New York City, Washington, D.C., Lexington, Kentucky, and Atlanta, GA.

About the BBI Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach:

The Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach creates and advances interdisciplinary, intersectional educational programs, research, and pedagogy focused on disability justice, identities, cultures, and studies. The office also engages with a wide array of University constituents to interface, network, and collaborate with local, regional, national, and global partners, and pursue development and advancement opportunities that underscore, celebrate, and enhance the rich and nuanced experiences of disabled people. Disabled students, faculty, staff, and alumni—including the significant experience and contributions of veterans—is at the heart of this initiative. 

Image by Chanika Svetvilas titled “What I have learned (Psychiatric Nursing)”