Beyond Compliance: Centering Disability in the Classroom

Monday, January 30, 2023
12:00 PM - 12:50 PM


Center for Teaching Excellence
Thomas Cooper Library, Room L511

This session is being delivered in a face-to-face format. 
You'll need to come to the offices of the Center for Teaching Excellence to attend. There is not a virtual option available to attend this presentation.


According to the CDC, “26 percent (one in 4) of adults in the United States have some type of disability.” However, according to the National Institute for Education Statistics, “A majority of college students with disabilities at both 2- and 4-year institutions do not inform their college of their disability.” This means that the number of disabled students in our classes far exceeds the number of accommodation reports we receive from the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC), making accessibility a crucial need in every classroom. What can we do to increase accessibility in our classrooms beyond complying with official SDRC requests. Why do some students choose not to disclose? In this presentation we offer answers to these questions by centering the perspectives and experiences of our disabled students.

In addition to offering pragmatic advice for implementing accessibility measures grounded in the principles of Universal Design for Learning and exploring barriers to disclosure, we discuss how to incorporate disabled pedagogy into your course. To paraphrase the late Black feminist scholar bell hooks (1994), disability pedagogy is against all forms of oppression, domination, and repression and is for the development of educational spaces that are safe, inclusive, and liberatory. Furthermore, disability pedagogy takes an intersectional approach to recognizing how multiple identities influence student experience and learning. Drawing upon our own experiences as disabled educators, we examine how disabled pedagogy breaks down traditional student-teacher hierarchies and empowers students to serve as actors in the co-creation of knowledge. Finally, we discuss how to “crip the curriculum” in order to demonstrate to students that disability is an integral part of knowledge production. This session will allow instructors to gain a greater understanding of how to serve their disabled students and create a more accessible and equitable classroom experience.


This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence.


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Alexandria Carrico
Assistant Professor
Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Music History
School of Music

Alexandria Carrico is an ethnomusicologist who specializes in traditional Irish music and disability studies. She earned her doctorate from Florida State University where she wrote her doctoral dissertation, “Musical Bridges to Inclusive Communities: Promoting Neurodiversity Acceptance through Traditional Irish Music in Limerick, Ireland,.” This work builds upon her earlier research from her Master’s thesis, which examined the musical experiences of individuals with Williams Syndrome (WS) at Whispering Trails, a summer music camp sponsored by the Williams Syndrome Association. She has published findings from this document in Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. Her secondary research area focuses on the intersections of race, gender, and social justice in American opera as explored in her recent article published in Folk Life: Journal of Ethnological Studies.

Carrico has taught voice lessons to both neurotypical and neurodivergent students and now serves as the Director for the Williams Syndrome Association Whispering Trails summer music camps for children and teenagers with WS. She has taught courses in world music cultures, music literature, modern popular music, music bibliography, music and disability studies, and traditional Irish music (ensemble). She is one of the founders of the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Disability and Deaf Studies Special Interest Group, for which she served as co-chair, communications coordinator, and secretary. Additionally, she is a classically trained vocalist and professional singer of traditional Irish music and bodhrán player (Irish frame drum). Carrico was the lead vocalist in the Tallahassee-based Irish band, Sligo Line.

Lia Snead
DMA Graduate Student
School of Music

Lia Snead is currently a DMA graduate student in conducting. Her research focuses on the experience of disabled and impaired conductors in K-12 and university settings and explores issues surrounding lack of accommodations for disabled educators in these environments. This research is not only informed by her scholarship but also by her many years spent on the podium as a high school band director.