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vimeo.com/.../436881468

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    My name is Natalia Rivera.
    I'm a doctoral student.
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    And well, doctoral graduate, actually.
    And in the Department of Hispanic
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    Languages and Literature at the
    University of Pittsburgh.
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    I'm also a Spanish Instructor and I
    specialize in Latin American,
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    Italian literature and
    critical disabilities studies.
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    So my interests, my academic interests
    are intimately tied to my personal
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    experience as a student and
    now instructor with
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    a learning disability and co-occurring
    anxiety.
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    So, the first memory that I remember,
    just on a personal level,
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    recognizing that there was some access
    issues or some degree of
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    especially in the high school level.
    Some degree of
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    a lack of knowledge, really, of
    different types of learning styles
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    and different types of processing speeds
    because of my diagnosis of Attention
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    Deficit Disorder. One of the key
    components of how that,
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    you know, how ADD affects me is that
    I have a slower processing speed.
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    So while my reading comprehension is
    strong,
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    my processing speed affects my
    writing speed so I'm not always
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    able to produce a paragraph in a
    timely manner. So, we often
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    had problems in English class. This
    was in tenth grade and
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    the expectation was that we would be
    able to write a paragraph in half-hour.
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    And often times I would need double
    amount of time. I would need an hour.
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    And sometimes I wouldn't even be able
    to finish one simple paragraph
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    in an hour.
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    And I remember my English instructor,
    at the time,
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    after class when I sort of approached her
    and said,
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    "Uhm, hey. Not withstanding the
    original time. I wasn't
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    really able to finish my paragraph."
    And I remember she looked at me
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    incredulous and said to me,
    "If you can't even write a paragraph,
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    a simple paragraph in one hour,
    I don't know what to tell you.
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    So, I remember that moment. I
    also remember later on
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    when I was preparing for her AP Exams.
    This also happened in high school.
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    This was my junior year. I was taking
    an AP World History class
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    And I remember that I approached my
    instructor, already knowing on my own
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    'cause I had already had plenty of
    experience advocating for myself since
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    I was a child. I already knew that
    all standardized testing
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    had a process for requesting
    accommodations.
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    So, I remember approaching my AP
    World History Exam and-
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    I meant, my AP World History teacher
    and explaining to him
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    that I was registered with disability
    resources, that I had a documented
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    disability and that these were
    the particular accommodations I needed
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    time and a half. It was a very common
    accommodation.
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    And I remember him telling me, "I don't
    have a problem providing you
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    classroom accommodations. I'm just not
    sure that
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    that extended time is provided on the
    AP Exam." And I was just
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    flabbergasted that an instructor would
    actively misinform me that way
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    because even I knew at the tender age
    of, I don't know, sixteen!
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    that ATS always provided a process
    for requesting
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    accommodation. So, I was stunned
    that an adult felt that he could
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    just misinform me that way. And I
    know
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    that misinforming me not necessarily
    with a negative intent, but he
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    genuinely had no notion of the
    process. And
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    yeah. So, it's un-willful misinformation,
    but
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    the effect is similar. Because imagine
    had he said something like that
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    to a student who had no idea how
    to request accommodations.
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    You know, how to attain an
    evaluation to substantiate
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    the need for accommodations. So
    it's just a lot of misinformation
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    Enabled with ignorance, not so much
    malice.
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    But just the complete lack of information
    out there just really compromises
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    student's ability to advocate for
    themselves
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    In my personal work with the
    disability rights
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    community because I worked two
    and a half years at a disability
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    rights organization called Autistic
    Self Advocacy Network
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    and meeting a lot of people my age
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    a lot of students don't find out that
    they have a diagnosis until much later
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    in life. Once they start noticing, picking
    up on their own symptoms they seek
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    out individually supports. So I
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    certainly, on a personal level, benefited
    from my
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    mother's knowledge and from her
    experiences as a parent advocate.
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    I think my awareness of a level
    of discrimination
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    even if it was kind of on the
    level of microaggression,
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    I think I had more awareness of
    discrimination at the high school level
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    but, my initial exposure to advocacy
    really happened when I was young
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    and I remember going...
    There were some days off from school
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    and I remember going to the office with
    my mom. And I remember meeting
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    other moms and seeing her work part
    time at
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    this parent advocacy group for parents
    with disabilities
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    so I thank my mother for, you know,
    introducing me
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    to the concept of self advocacy and
    for empowering me
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    to use it in every aspect of my life and
    at a professional level
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    and an academic level, as well.
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    So, I don't really remember the day of
    the Americans with Disabilities Act
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    'cause I was just a couple of months
    old.
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    But, the impact on me, basically
    I sincerely
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    doubt had I been born, I don't know,
    forty years ago
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    as opposed to thirty years ago, there's
    a possibility that I would not have
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    attended college. And even if I had
    attended college,
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    I just sort of feel that I would have
    never considered doing a
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    PhD, if it hadn't been for the Americans
    with Disabilities Act.
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    Because graduate school, the level of
    support at the undergraduate level
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    at least at a liberal arts college
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    that tends to be more supportive is
    radically different from graduate school
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    where the level of support is practically
    non-existent, I feel
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    and I think a lot of graduate students
    feel the same way.
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    So without the ADA, I'm not even sure
    I would have been fortunate enough
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    to attend college so I think that it
    offered me
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    the protections that I needed to go
    beyond what my
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    wildest dreams, right? So I feel like...
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    I've had a very privileged life and I'm
    grateful for my academic
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    opportunities that I know there are so
    many deserving students
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    who didn't have the opportunities that I
    had and I'm not only grateful to my family
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    for their unyielding dedication
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    to advocacy and also very
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    grateful for the ADA as well. I mean,
    disabilities definitely run in my family
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    neuro-developmental disabilities, learning
    disabilities. I do have a cousin who
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    was on the autism spectrum and
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    I don't think, by no means, benefited
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    by the protections offered by the
    Americans with Disabilities Act in the
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    same degree that I did. I think
    unfortunately because I think there
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    still cultural stigma
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    particularly if an autism spectrum
    disorder
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    co-occurs with a intellectual disability,
    but he
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    finished his associate's degree with
    minimal supports.
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    I think because the ADA empowered me,
    I feel like
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    I'm prepared as an instructor to offer
    support
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    to students with other disabilities. I
    have
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    students with documented disabilities
    and I feel that because
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    of my personal experience as a
    student
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    with disability, I feel much more
    prepared to work with
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    a wider range of students who need
    different needs and I'm prepared
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    to be accommodating, I'm prepared
    to
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    at least endeavored to make students
    feel like they're valuable members of
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    my classroom. I'm not a perfect
    instructor. I still have a lot to learn
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    but, I think that level of
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    humanity, I think, that speaks to a
    lot of students and I think that I'm
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    better able to connect to connect with
    my students. So,
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    the ADA allowed me to be useful as
    an instructor, basically. But, I
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    remember one interview I did with
    a student on the
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    autism spectrum, who was attending
    a
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    college specifically for students with
    learning disabilities.
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    And she made a very astute observation
    about
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    learning disabilities under colleges and
    sort of their
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    focus on vocational training as opposed to
    academic training and
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    this was a smart girl who wanted to
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    pursue a degree in humanities and she was
    doing an interdisciplinary liberal arts
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    degree, but she couldn't take philosophy,
    for instance. Or
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    she couldn't do a major in history.
    And I think the way
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    the classes, the course work, the
    curriculum...
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    just how all the academic options were
    structured in this particular college
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    it sort of reinforced this idea that
    traditional academic
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    disciplines are somehow out of reach
    for a student who
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    reads as having an intellectual disability
    or who reads as having
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    potential learning difficulties and she
    lamented and I
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    wholeheartedly agreed with her appraisal.
    She lamented the fact that she couldn't
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    pursue a traditional discipline she would
    have wanted. She wanted to be a historian.
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    So I think that in a way, people wouldn't
    really read the legislation
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    very carefully.
    I guess in their attempt
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    to sort of include people, they're
    inadvertently limiting the options
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    for a lot of students because there
    are students who may need to
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    do- There are students who may
    want to pursue
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    physics, right? But they need a longer
    timeline to complete
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    their coursework, but it's just in a
    traditional four-year
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    college. Those mechanisms just
    aren't in place to provide
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    that support system for a student who
    needs additional support, but
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    who wants to pursue a traditional
    academic discipline. So, I think in that
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    regard, even though the spirit of the
    ADA, you definitely get the sense
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    with the wording of the legislation
    that it's intended to
Title:
vimeo.com/.../436881468
Video Language:
Korean
Team:
ABILITY Magazine
Duration:
18:26
klincecum edited anglicky subtitles for vimeo.com/.../436881468
Stephanie Requena edited anglicky subtitles for vimeo.com/.../436881468
Stephanie Requena edited anglicky subtitles for vimeo.com/.../436881468
Stephanie Requena edited anglicky subtitles for vimeo.com/.../436881468

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