I photographed this Tulip Poplar tree in the above banner image on a hike through the beautiful Alley Pond park in Queens, New York. It is quite possibly the oldest living thing in the New York City area. It is a reminder to me that amid that tenuous and fragile place we have on this earth, there is always room for unfettered growth; a place where we can still be astonished by our own possibilities.
Welcome to Mark's EPortfolio
I am a student in the Master's Program for Disability Studies in the School for Professional Studies at the City University of New York. While I have worked in the field of disability services for over fifteen years, it has only been in the last three years as a student in the disability studies program that I have finally begin to fully grasp some fundamental notions about what disability means. My previously held perspectives were dismantled. I began to understand how disability was contstructed and who shapes this definition. Most importantly, I discerned how people employed in fields like mine can further the cause of disability rights or they can reinforce oppressive stereotypes and medicalized views of disability. Isn't disability simply another condition of difference?
The following content reflects my three years of study in this program. I have included several writings from my classes and descriptions of how each class impacted my understanding of disability. As I near the end of my program I sense that what I have learned will not simply remain on a bookshelf or be stored away in a binder. It will serve as a working body of knowledge that will shape my future. I will use this information as a way of seeing; a lens to bring into focus how to foment ways of destabilizing outdated and denigrating ways and attitudes of viewing people with disabilities. This EPortfolio serves as a testament to this understanding.