Kate Welling Distinguished Scholar in Disability Studies

The Kate Welling Disability Awareness Lecture was endowed by Helen and Tom Welling in memory of their daughter Kate, a Miami University student who died in a 2005 off-campus fire. Kate discovered a passion for disability issues while taking an introduction to Disability Studies course and was involved in campus advocacy for disability rights. She was inspired to make disability rights her life’s work. Since 2007, the endowed lecture brings leaders and innovative thinkers in the area of Disability Studies who are able to share their ideas and passion with the Miami community.

2021 - 2022 Professor

Victoria LeiwsVictoria Lewis

Victoria is the editor of Beyond Victims and Villains: Contemporary Plays by Disabled Playwrights, Theatre Communications Group, 2006, the first anthology of American plays by writers with disabilities. Her scholarship has focused on lost histories of disabled artists and citizens in essays such as "Radical Wallflowers: Disability and the People's Theater" for the Radical History Review, “Hands like starfish/ Feet like moons’: Disabled Women Theatre Collectives” in Women and Collective Creation, as well as training and casting of disabled theatre artists—"Disability and Access: A Manifesto for Actor Training" in The Politics of American Actor Training and “A Great and Complicated Thing: Reimagining Disability,” in Casting a Movement: The Welcome Table Initiative. Her most recent project is a verbatim play One Day On the Road to the ADA: a reenactment of the congressional hearing of September 27, 1988 with text provided by the congressional record and a format designed for a community ensemble and audience.

Past Lectures

  • 2019 - Micah Fialka-Feldman: "Intelligent Lives, a Film by Dan Habib"
  • 2018 - David “Deej” Savarese: “Deej: Inclusion Shouldn’t be a Lottery”
  • 2017 - Andrew Solomon: “Far From the Tree: Parents, Children & the Search for Identity”
  • 2016 - Steve Silberman: “The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity”
  • 2015 - Simi Linton and Christina Von Tippelskirch: “Invitation to Dance”
  • 2014 - Harilyn Russo: “Don’t Call Me Inspirational”
  • 2013 - Jonathan Mooney: “Re-drawing the lines on Neurodiversity: A Compass to a Changing World”
  • 2012 - Dr. Joseph Hill: “When Worlds Collide: Insights at the Intersection of the Deaf, Disability, and Dominant Cultures”
  • 2011 - Greg Fehribach: “The Disability Culture: Enhancing Today’s Economy”
  • 2010 - Ken Petri: “Rewiring (Dis)Ability: Access Goes Mainstream”
  • 2009 - Ann Palmer: “Realizing the College Dream with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome”
  • 2008 - Simi Linton: “My Body Politic: An Illustrated History”
  • 2007 - Jeanne Kincaid: “The Changing Face of Disability”