The 22nd annual Society for Disabilities Studies (SDS) conference was held in Tucson, Arizona from June 17-20, 2009 in the beautiful El Conquistador
Hotel. This year's theme was "Its 'Our' Time: Pathways To and From Disabilities Studies Past, Present, Future". Three CUNY students traveled to the
SDS conference as part of the Accessible New York project. Accessible New York is a
CUNY IVE leadership project composed of CUNY students
to making the Tourism and Hospitality industry in New York City more accessible.
SDS is a scholarly organization that is dedicated to the cause of promoting disability studies as an academic discipline.
The conference unites national and international researchers, artists, teachers and activists with the goal of increasing the understanding about
disabilities. It is unique in its approach and variety of topics. The organizers of the conference seek to make the conference as accessible as
possible. All program materials are offered in alternate formats, such as large print or Braille. In addition they have orientation and mobility
sessions for individuals who are visually impaired. All conference sessions feature ASL interpretation and captioning. Also unique to the SDS
conference is a quiet room. The Quiet Room is a place for individuals to relax and de-stress.
Presentations at the conference topics varied. They included technology, politics, arts, disability in other countries, race and
gender issues. Many of the presenters shared their story about their journey in life as a disabled person many times touching upon how they came to
terms with accepting and being proud of their identity as a disabled person. Attendees also got a chance to share their stories at lunch and dinner
networking opportunities provided by the conference. They were also treated to an evening of Mariachi followed by the widely anticipated SDS Dance.
The Dance highlights that having a disability is not an impediment to enjoying life. Many agreed that the SDS dance is one of the best aspects of the
For more information regarding the SDS conference please visit: www.sds.org. Pictures of this year's conference can be viewed in the Media Gallery.