2018 Annual Meeting Nov 17-20

Mark your calendars for the 2018 Annual Meeting! Plan to join your colleagues in Denver November 17-20. More info to come soon!

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Status of People with Disabilities in the Profession Committee

Charge: The Status of People with Disabilities in the Profession Committee (PWD) works to assure the full access of people with disabilities within the Academy and to advance their status within the profession.

Composition: Up to seven members.

Terms of Office: Four years, non-renewable.

Member: Position: Term:
Julia Watts Belser Chair 2013–2017
Darla Schumm Chair-Elect 2017
Monica A. Coleman   2015–2018
Preston Parsons   2015–2018
Nicholas Shrubsole   2016–2019
Raedorah Stewart   2017–2020
Kirk VanGilder   2013–2019
Soraya Shahrak AAR Staff Liaison  

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Strategic Plan:

  • Consult with AAR staff regarding best practices for accessibility related to the Employment Center, the website, the Program Book, and the Call for Papers
  • Address accessibility issues regarding Annual Meetings, through advance site visits and proactive efforts to ensure access for all members
  • Provide advisory assistance to Program Unit Chairs, including best practices for promoting the full inclusion of members with disabilities
  • Support students with disabilities seeking advanced degrees in Religious Studies and Theology, assist with mentorship and career planning, and encourage their full integration into the Academy
  • Address employment barriers faced by scholars with disabilities and facilitate scholars’ advancement within the profession
  • Assist employers with best practices for interviewing and hiring candidates with disabilities, including resources for addressing preconceptions, avoiding illegal questions, and providing reasonable accommodations during the interview process at the Annual Meeting as well as at home institutions
  • Promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the Academy and the profession, highlighting the importance of disability cultures and Deaf cultures, and emphasizing disability as an oft-overlooked diversity issue
  • Collaborate with the other AAR committees to ensure the full inclusion of all members of the Academy, and explore the intersection of disability and Deaf culture with other identities

Committee Activities:

2017 Teaching Religion and Disability Studies Workshop

2016 Teaching Religion and Disability Studies Workshop


Guidelines for Accessible Presentations

Accessibility Information for Annual Meetings