Spotlight on Diversity: DisABILITY Is Diversity

The Inclusive Possibilities Cluster meets the second Monday of every month from 2:30-3:30 pm:

January 13, 2014, 2:30-3:30 (URMC Campus, Room 2-1359)
February 10, 2014, 2:30-3:30 (River Campus, Dewey 1-160A)
March 10, 2014, 2:30-3:30 (URMC Campus Room 2-1318, ACF B)
April 14, 2014, 2:30-3:30 (River Campus, Dewey 1-160A)
May 12, 2014, 2:30-3:30 (URMC Campus, Room 2-1318, ACF B)
June 9, 2014, 2:30-3:20 (River Campus, Dewey 1-160A)

Anyone interested in being a member of the cluster or for further information, please contact: Julia White at

We are interested in reaching out to the UR community at large and want to highlight disability related research across the university. Please send a short description of your research or any other initiatives, and we will highlight it on our website.

We eventually want to be able to be a resource where different areas of the university community can connect through common interests and complementary projects related to disability, diversity, and inclusion.


Wretches & Jabberers
Documentary film screening and panel discussion

Thursday, Nov. 14, 7:30 pm, Hoyt Auditorium
Co-sponsors: UR Cinema Group, Active Minds, Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, Psychology Undergrad Council, and the International Services Office

The mission of the Inclusive Possibilities Cluster (IPC, formerly the Interdisciplinary Disabilities Cluster) is to inform, educate, and connect employees and students across the University of Rochester in order to provide a welcoming, comfortable, and inclusive environment for all people, with a particular emphasis on individuals with disabilities, who are traditionally marginalized in academic and other communities. The IPC is composed of staff, faculty, and students from all areas of the University, as well as community agencies and partners that represent people with disabilities, or that have an interest in contributing to the mission of this group.

The University of Rochester seeks to define, establish, and maintain an inclusive and productive environment for all people: students, staff, faculty, volunteers, contractors, and vendors. Toward this end, the UR has several goals, one of which is to create an inclusive community. “Members of the University’s community come from different geographical areas, represent differences in ethnicities, religious beliefs, values, and points of view; they may be physically different, have different intellectual interests, or have different abilities.”† The Inclusive Possibilities Cluster (IPC) will:

  Laura Robinson— Co-Chair Julia M. White— Co-Chair
  Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities (SCDD)
Division of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Inclusive/Special Education
Warner School of Education
LeChase 470
  Box 671 Box 270425
  585-275-1048 585-273-5090


The 2011 World Report on Disability produced jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank, estimates that there are over one billion people with disabilities in the world today, of whom nearly 200 million experience significant difficulties. A common conceptual model for “disability” has been described by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) by the World Health Organization (WHO) whereby disability is an umbrella term covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a barrier experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations (WHO,

The ICF proposes a paradigm which views disability not as a state that separates a person from being healthy, or as a condition that only impacts specific individuals, but as a common experience across age, gender, and culture/ethnicity.

Despite numerous agencies, legislation, and policies focused on disability-related issues, people with disabilities in the US continue to experience discrimination in and barriers to employment and social opportunities, unequal access to educational resources, disparities in health outcomes, and higher levels of poverty than do other minority groups (USDHHS, 2005; Fremstad, 2009). The conscious and unconscious attitudes of “ableism” in the US are entrenched in our environments, unspoken expectations, and institutionalized systems, (e.g., the deficit-based medical model) such that those who are not “normally or typically developing” are at a significant disadvantage. Thus, the experience of disability is one that isolates and denies people access to the places, services, relationships, and benefits experienced by people who are (temporarily) able-bodied.

Click here for the Campus Accessibility Map

Past Meetings/Events

November 13, 2012, Inaugural Meeting and Public Address: Diane Coleman, JD, and Stephen Drake from Not Dead Yet (