Building the World We Long for: Disability-Centered Design for World Language Learning

A workshop for language educators

Dr. Tammy Berberi

Associate Professor of French
University of Minnesota Morris

Friday, October 20, 1:00 pm
Van Hise 1418

About the workshop

As Jay T. Dolmage points out in Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education (2017), because we have the chance to redesign them with each new semester, our classrooms may be the single most transformative element of campus access. This workshop explores the ethical and practical rationale for disability-centered course design and connects Universal Design for Instruction to specific strategies that engage every student in their learning. Participants will consider specific classroom strategies, teaching practices, policies, and assessment approaches that acknowledge disability as diversity and pave the way for every student’s growth, belonging, and success. Positing disability as an opportunity for creative adaptation and meaning making, this presentation aims to demonstrate how attention to disability in our classrooms and in the world supports student learning as well as the development of global citizenship skills. By modeling an accessible and inclusive community, we evolve expectations and empower students to be change agents in making future communities.

About the speaker

Dr. Tammy Berberi is an associate professor of French at the University of Minnesota Morris who serves the University of Minnesota President’s Initiative for Student Mental Health (PRISMH). As an appointee to the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Disabilities and through service to professional organizations such as the Society for Disability Studies, the Modern Languages Association, and the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), Dr. Berberi has worked for more than two decades to advance the interdisciplinary field of disability studies as well as opportunities for disabled people.

With Jennifer Row, Dr. Berberi recently curated a special issue of L’Esprit Créateur dedicated to French disability studies (winter 2021), a companion to the 2016 issue of JLCDS that she co-edited with Christian Flaugh. Other recent publications have appeared in Teaching Diversity and Inclusion in the French-Speaking Classroom (Routledge, 2021) and Honing Our Craft: World Language Teaching in the U.S. (Klett World Languages, in press). With co-editors Elizabeth Hamilton and Ian Sutherland, Dr. Berberi published Worlds Apart: Disability and Foreign Language Learning (Yale UP, 2008).

For her local efforts to advance intercultural skills and understanding through community- engaged learning, Dr. Berberi was awarded the University of Minnesota President’s Award for Outstanding Service.


Sponsor: Language Institute

Funding: Anonymous Fund, International Division

Contact: Jana Martin

The UW-Madison Language Institute is committed to inclusive and accessible programming. To request an accommodation for this event, please contact Language Institute associate director Jana Martin three business days in advance.