I teach social studies at University Laboratory High School, where I also serve as head of the Department of Social Studies and as faculty sponsor for the WILL internship program. As part of my “Introduction to Social Studies” course, I work with students each year on an extensive oral history project on some aspect of local history.
My interest in the rights and experiences of people with disabilities was sparked by the oral history project on inclusion in college sports that the Uni High Class of 2011 began in 2006-7. Impressed by the stories recorded through that project, I was eager to delve further into the history of efforts to make post-secondary education accessible to people with disabilities through this project, conducted in 2009-10 with the Class of 2014, under the direction of senior student producers Katherine Floess and Sheela Gogula. While there are multiple benefits of learning about the past by doing oral history, I especially enjoy listening to interviews as they unfold, and working with students to figure out how to connect specific audio segments to the broader history addressed in each project. I am very proud of the work that Uni students have done on this and other projects.