“I think that a simulation event of any kind -- whether it’s try on poverty for a day, or try on race for a day, or try on a queer identity for a day -- raises problems,” said Jillian Weise, an assistant professor of English. “It assumes that a nondisabled participant can understand disabilities totally and completely by wearing goggles or by wearing headphones.”
Weise, who walks with a prosthetic leg, said the event negates the personal experiences of living with a disability, instead promoting a superficial understanding of disabilities through a kind of parody. Relegating students with disabilities to the role of “shadows” will also fail to raise awareness, Weise said.
“We need to be more visible, and ‘shadow’ implies a nonperson, a nonentity, and the word ‘shadow’ is related on a literary basis to ghost, to death,” Weise said. “At this moment, we need to see persons with disabilities being successful and in positions of power.”
March 8, 2013
The event — awkwardly titled Walk & Roll in My Shoes — was to have professors/administrators paired with disabled students and somehow simulating the disability. Put a person who doesn't need a wheelchair in a wheelchair and so forth.