From Rachel Sobelsohn ’17:
Audition to be part of a staged reading of The Laundry Room, playwright Rachel Sobelsohn’s Senior Honors Playwriting Thesis, directed by Sam Morreale ’19!
The Laundry Room subverts the girl-meets-boy character convention to be a queer love story between two women with disabilities. This thesis aims to normalize disability onstage. It is a comedy, and the entire play takes place in a college laundry room.
To audition, we ask that you be a female-identifying actor. We are especially excited about working with actors who identify as having a disability, being that the goal is to normalize disability onstage. Disability can include, but is not limited to, mental illness, physical impairments, and even dietary restrictions like food allergies or celiac disease.
We are also looking for actors of color because disability is conventionally figured as white, and we wish to push against this stereotype through visible representation onstage. Even if you don’t identify as having a disability (or you do, and identify as white), we would still love to see you at auditions! We want to further a conversation about disability, and if you’re excited about that, then we’re excited about you!
The two-character play will only run about an hour. We will rehearse for two to three hours for the first two weeks, and four to five hours the second two weeks. We will present the staged reading on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 at 8pm!
No need to prepare anything as we will provide sides to read. We welcome both new and experienced actors.
Please sign up to audition here. Walk ins are more than welcome! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Sam (smorreale[at]wesleyan[dot]edu) or Rachel (rsobelsohn[at]wesleyan[dot]edu).
Date: Wednesday and Thursday, March 29-30th
Time: 4:30-6:30 and 5:30-7:30pm respectively
Place: Theater Studios, East Room
“[The administration] told someone with a documented anxiety disorder to just wait and chill.”
Author’s note: This article discusses sexual assault and trauma.
You’ve probably noticed by now that household animals are not a totally uncommon sight around Wesleyan. Some people like to keep pets for the fun of it (which you’re technically not supposed to do), but for other students, these animals are helping them cope with and recover from traumatic events and other serious psychiatric illnesses that may arise.
Students with disabilities are allowed to bring an emotional support animal (ESA) to campus to provide emotional support, stability, and other means of help. But as nice as that sounds, the process of getting an ESA approved is incredibly grueling and emotionally draining. It requires a great deal of effort on the part of the student (who is already dealing with a lot) to provide a gargantuan amount of documentation, which can then be denied by the university for any number of reasons.
According to Wesleyan’s ESA policy, this includes, “…1) verification of the student’s diagnosis, including severity of condition, and impact on major life functions, 2) statement on how the animal serves as an accommodation for the documented disability, and 3) statement on how the need for the ESA relates to the ability of the student to use and gain benefit from University housing.”
If a student houses an animal without the approval, heavy fines are sanctioned ($300 for just the first offense), and if the animal isn’t removed, suspension and other disciplinary penalties are put on the table.
From Chando Mapoma ’16:
Members of Reslife staff as well as members of Wesleyan Students for Disability Rights will host a lively conversation about the politics, history,and controversies surrounding language used to talk about disabilities and people with disabilities. Information about disability services also will be available. Afterwards,students with disabilities will be available to discuss their experiences on campus.
Time: 6-8 pm
Place: Clark Hall. Basement Lounge
April Fawn Scheller, a Middletown woman, member of Wesleyan Students for Disability Rights, and former employee at the Red and Black Cafe, has chained herself to a tree in front of the Middletown courthouse in protest of human rights abuses against people with psychiatric disabilities She seems to have a small gaggle of supporters surrounding her holding signs and chalking messages on the pavement. According to a press release, Scheller wants to “end mental apartheid.” Her grievances include “discrimination through the insane defense, involuntary detention, and forced electroshock therapy.” Some students might remember Scheller from her “madpride presentation” on campus last March, 2012.
Scheller’s full statement can be seen on her website.
UPDATE: Reports state that Scheller has now been surrounded by police.
UPDATE: Threats that she is on state property, subject to arrest.
UPDATE 2:01 pm: Eyewitness says, “A number of cops showed up, 10 or 15. They asked us to move off the property, and all of us agreed except for April. They brought out some huge bolt cutters, but they didn’t use them. For a while they mostly just milled around. and talked. One of them was on the phone with a superior for a while. Then one of their superiors came out of the courthouse wearing a suit and spoke with the other cops, telling them to leave her. All the cops slowly left the area, we moved back onto the lawn, and April remains chained to the tree. It doesn’t seem like they are going to do anything more.
Catherine Maclean ’14 writes in about a student group discussion happening this Thursday night. There will be free food:
Join members of Wesleyan Students for Disability Rights for dinner and a lively conversation about the politics, history, and controversies surrounding language used to talk about disabilities and people with disabilities. Information about disability services will also be available. Afterwards, students with disabilities will be available to discuss their experiences on campus. All are welcome! Dinner will be provided.
Date: Thursday, Sept. 6
Time: 6 – 7:30 pm
Place: Clark Lounge
This Friday, a Wesleyan parent drops some TV history on us:
Laurie Everett P ’15, mother of Holly Everett ’15 and co-founder and director of Descriptive Video Service (DVS) from 1988-1998, will be coming this Friday to talk about how, in 1988, public television station WGBH set out to use new audio technology to make television accessible to blind viewers through a new national broadcast project known as DVS.
Hear first hand the technological, legislative, and funding history of a groundbreaking new service that has permanently changed the lives of blind people by providing access to television, movies and other visual media.
This event is sponsored by Wesleyan Students for Disability Rights and SALD.
Date: Friday, April 20
Time: 12 – 1 pm
Place: 41 Wyllys Room 114
From Catherine MacLean ’14:
Join members of WSDR for a discussion of accessibility and disability issues on campus, our current work and upcoming projects, and how you can help create a more accessible and inclusive campus community. Feel free to bring your dinner, and snacks will be provided.
Date: Tuesday, April 17
Time: 5:45 PM – 6:45 PM
Place: Usdan 110
Submitted by Allegra Stout ’12:
Come to our weekly meetings! We are a group dedicated to increasing understanding of disability as a social justice issue and improving life for students with disabilities at Wes. We focus on all types of disabilities (learning, psychiatric, mobility, chronic illness, sensory, and more). All are welcome, whether you have a disability or not!
Check out our website or email astout[at]wesleyan[dot]edu for more information or to get on our listserv!
- Date: Friday, September 23
- Time: Noon – 1:00 PM
- Place: Usdan 136
- Cost: Free!
- Website: Here
Allegra Stout ’12 writes in about an accessibility workshop happening tomorrow:
Are you interested in starting more cross-group dialogue and learning about the way ableism plays into a variety of spaces on campus?
Do you want to brainstorm about how to bridge gaps between student groups and work towards making campus activism more dynamic and inclusive?
Then come to our workshop! We will explore the relationship between disability and other categories of identity while working to envision a fully accessible model of social justice organizing. There will be pizza.
Date: April 28
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Place: Usdan B25
Wesleyan Students for Disability Rights and ResLife are sponsoring a disability rights dinner, featuring rights activist Melissa Marshall and free food from Haveli.
Melissa Marshall is a life-long disability rights activist and a part-time wheelchair user. She started a disability rights group while at Hampshire College and was one of the first people in the country to major in disability studies. She wrote Getting It: Persuading Individuals and Organizations to Be More Comfortable with People with Disabilities, a book about her adventures as a disability awareness/ADA trainer. She will be talking about employment opportunities for people with disabilities. She will also discuss parenting, navigating UConn Law School and the 2008 Presidential Campaign from the perspective of a person with a disability. She will be leading an interactive dinner discussion and invites you to bring questions, thoughts and ideas.
What: Disability Rights and Employment: A Discussion with Melissa Marshall
When: Tuesday, March 31, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Usdan 110