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Tamara Koren’s DePaul Speech: A Disability Studies Analysis of a Nontraditional Academic Work And Why It Matters

ekoren's picture

Here is the link to my midterm project, to be updated with any feedback from my sister! I tried to use cognitively accessible language and found it more difficult than I had anticipated to avoid jargon but maintain my persuasive voice. I'd love feedback on that or anything else you notice!

Have a great break!


embrody's picture

Hi Eliza! I really love your project. I think it is really helpful that you were able to talk to your sister and use her work to give us more insight into the world of disability studies from someone with a disability. I also appreciate that you acknowledged, as the author, that you are ablebodied and neurotypical. I also thought that it was really interesting to hear that even going to a school that is geared toward people with learning disabilities, Tamara did not have any classes on disability studies. I think that would be something very interesting to examine, specifically if it is standard in schools like Tamara's not to teach anything about disability studies. Although I think everyone should be taught disability studies, I think it especially pertinant to those with diabilities as a source of community and empowerment. 

I am also particularly intrigued with when you mention the email that Ariel recieved from the editors. The idea that a learning disability could be cause for protecting themselves against a defamation lawsuite is astounding to me, but also unfortunately understandable the more I think about it. I don't think is SHOULD be something that is necessary, but the discrimination and negativity that people with learning differences face is still very much apparent in our society. I think it would be interesting to see the precedent for this and look into how people with learning differences are seen. 

In Tamara's speech, I really love how she explained her struggle with recieving the help of hearing aids and worrying about losing her hearing, but that she added that she has learned that she can still "have a successful life." I have a question that I think could be interesting to add or discuss if you were to do another itteration of this (/just something that I would be interested in knowing): does Tamara have the same kind of difficulties with processing sign language as she does speech? is it easier or harder (or the same)?

Thank you and Tamara for sharing!


Tamara Koren's picture

Hi, I saw this article, and I was so surprised that it went online, but thank you for showing interest in my speech for DePaul, Eliza is right I never had a class on disabilities, but it inspires every day, since the day I even knew I figured out I had a learning disability. I have always been proud of it. I have come across plenty of people with other disabilities for example my mom took me and Eliza to a chinece e restaurant to meet with a family with physical disabilities. I remember keeping up with him after dinner that night and being so happy. Then we just stopped texting each other, I'm not clear why, though. Bur to answer your question processing sign language is gift so I can if I set my mind to it, but for language, it's even harder. :)