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Accessibility in NCORE presentation spaces & actions: Facilitation as Anti-Ableist Practice

Thursday, April 4, 2024  |  10:00 AM – 11:30 AM HST  |  Free  

Webinar is listed in Hawai‘i Standard Time Zone (HST). (1:00-2:30 PM Pacific, 2:00-3:30 PM Mountain, 3:00-4:30 PM Central, 4:00-5:30 PM Eastern). Check other time zones here.


(You will need to register with the email address you use to log into Zoom.)

Webinar Description:

This session, which is strongly recommended for accepted presenters for the 2024 NCORE conference, will benefit facilitators and educators seeking to actively reduce ableism** in shared learning spaces. Focusing on aspects of ableism connected to physical space, expectations of engagement, communication modalities, and interpersonal dynamics, this session will invite presenters to consider the ways ableism might be proactively reduced during the planning and design process. Utilizing concrete examples of conference engagement choices to deepen our awareness, session attendees will have the opportunity to critically analyze and collectively discuss ways ableism is unintentionally reinforced through the choices and assumptions we make as facilitators. Webinar facilitators will also share examples of tools that conference presenters can use to respond to ableist pressures, comments or language in the moment. This session is intended to create space for practitioners to hone their already considerable skills to include practices informed by an understanding of the structures, normed procedures, and social forces of ableism.


**Ableism as defined by TL and colleagues (link here<>)


Ebonee T. Johnson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

facilitator Ebonee T. Johnson

Ebonee Johnson is an assistant professor in the Department of Community & Behavioral Health in the College of Public Health at The University of Iowa.  Her training in the fields of rehabilitation counseling and rehabilitation psychology have led to long-term work in developing, implementing, and evaluating community-level interventions for persons living with or who are vulnerable to the experience of chronic illness or disability.  She served as principal investigator/project director/project evaluator on several federally disability-related projects from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research, and the Department of Education. She currently serves as study section member for NIH’s Social and Community Influences Across the Life Course review panel.  Lastly, she serves as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Accessibility for NCORE.  

Rana Yaghmaian, PhD, CRC, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Counselor Education, College of Education, Portland State University, Portland, OR

facilitator Rana Yaghmaian

Rana Yaghmaian is an Associate Professor and Department Chair of Counselor Education at Portland State University. Dr. Yaghmaian received her PhD in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Dr. Yaghmaian’s research focuses on the psychosocial experiences of people with disability at the intersection of race, gender, disability, and sexuality. Specifically, she centers the experiences of women of color with chronic illness and disability and their experiences in medical settings, as well as college students of color with disabilities and how they navigate campus support spaces and resources. Her work has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration and the Spencer Foundation’s prestigious Racial Equity Grant program. She is also a member of the National Advisory Committee on Accessibility for NCORE.

Emma J. Coddington Brown, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology & Biology, Programs in Neuroscience, Ethnic and Women&Gender Studies. Founder of Corvallis, OR

facilitator Emma Coddington Brown

Emma is an Assistant Professor of Biology, Neurosciences, and Gender & Ethnic Studies, a member of the National Advisory Council for NCORE, and founder of, a community of artists with somatic practices, and art-therapists dedicated to, and experienced in, painting a way towards liberation.  She is an Ocean Nomad, who is settler and Māori, Aotearoa, queer, HoH/deaf and other cryptic disabilities. And, a scientist & artist who joins you in reckoning with colonial and capitalist structures & forces that organize our lives, entraining oppression as the norm. Using creative & empirical, contemporary & Mātauranga Māori methods, Emma is committed to finding the AND; realizing (the lies) & re-framing, decolonizing & de-programming, re-imagining & practicing relational ways of being in the self, relationships and organizations. 

Emma’s part in the labor of community is participating in the re-imagining of how we do science, elevate indigenous science, and shift the ableist & racist social morays in our institutions of knowledge building. Her intention is always to reintegrate the flow and rhythm of, within, and among humans, communities, organizations, institutions and culture. She consults with institutions and science programs to build more relational anti-racist practices and structure. As an associate professor she was fortunate to spend 30+ years weaving the frameworks and methods of ecophysiology, biophysics, endocrinology, ethology and indigenous methods to explore and inquire into the nature of being - how do animals relate to each other? and how do they respond to the organizing forces of stress and love? It was in collaboration with many awesome students, mentors, and colleagues that we have some answers to offer. The juiciest being that the experience of a loving embrace (newts clasping) acts as a time-limited antidote to the effects of acute stress!  My take home – hug regularly and love always.

This life journey has bifurcated many times – magnetized by one question: How do the forces of stress and love organize this body & relationships, whanau and community?  This inquiry has led to a life with many homes, a lot of dancing & song, a fulfilling career in science research & teaching, disability, immigration, friends and whanau, and now as an artist and through offerings that bring a kind of ICU for the life-journey (; Art and Somatic therapy for liberation.

Renee Wells, MFA, Assistant Vice President of Education for Equity and Inclusion, Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT

facilitator Renee Wells

Renee Wells serves as the Assistant Vice President of Education for Equity and Inclusion at Middlebury College. She develops and facilitates workshops for faculty, staff, and students on topics such as facilitating difficult dialogues, inclusive design for learning, hiring for cultural competence, identity-conscious supervision and mentoring, and interrupting interpersonal and institutional oppression. She works with faculty, staff, and administrators to advocate for inclusive policies and practices, provides one-on-one and departmental consulting related to classroom and workplace inclusion, supports unit-level strategic planning, and facilitates small- and large-group dialogues in response to campus climate concerns. She chairs the Community Bias Response Team; co-chairs the Advisory Group on Disability, Access, and Inclusion; and serves on the Restorative Practices Steering Committee. She she serves as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Accessibility for NCORE.  


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