Current and former McMaster students with lived experiences of disability, disablement, inaccessibility, and/or ableism are invited to contribute to a zine on Disability, Accessibility & Teaching and Learning at McMaster University.
We understand ‘disability’ as a broad umbrella term for diverse experiences of difference, including people who may identify as living with a physical, learning, sensory, developmental, and/or mental health disability or chronic pain, as well as people who identify as disabled, chronically ill, sick, immunocompromised, D/deaf, hard of hearing, Mad, in recovery, and/or neurodivergent.
Zine submissions should engage with one or more of the following prompts:
The zine welcomes individual and group submissions in textual (words) and/or visual formats that can be printed. Formats may include, but are not limited to:
There is a maximum of 1500 words (for literary pieces) or up to 3 letter-sized pages (for visual pieces) per submission, though we especially welcome shorter pieces! Our goal is to include submissions from a wide variety of individuals/groups and to accept as many as we can.
Authors of accepted pieces will be asked to provide material for accessibility purposes at a later time and/or consulted in the preparation of these components (e.g., alternative text for images).
We will accept submissions via our Author Bio Information and Submission Form.
NOTE: submission via this form requires a Google account. If you encounter any difficulties or have any questions, please contact us at MacDisZn@mcmaster.ca.
In addition to uploading your submission, you’ll be asked to:
We are looking for submissions that cover a variety of topics. Some examples of different forms and content could include, but are NOT limited to, the following:
Please note that the examples provided here are intended to offer a starting point for submission concepts. Submissions do not need to adhere to these themes or specific mediums.
The zine will be published open access and circulated widely to students, staff, and faculty at McMaster University through the MacPherson Institute, Equity and Inclusion Office, and campus partners (e.g, as part of the MacPherson’s 50th anniversary activities; embedded in the university’s required Accessible Education training for faculty, teaching assistants, and other instructional staff; on the Accessibility Hub website; as part of McMaster’s Annual Accessibility and Disability Inclusion Update).
The Zine Team will be conducting some research about engagement with and the ‘impact’ of the magazine (e.g., through surveys/focus groups of its readers) and the ways in which it might support the advancement of equity and accessibility on campus.
Uncovering Histories of Disabled Student Organizing at McMaster
Students with disabilities have been attending and advocating for greater accessibility at McMaster University for a long time, with accounts appearing in the Silhouette newspaper by at least the 1960s (and probably much earlier – once we’re able to access the archives again, we’ll go looking!). From what we have found thus far, disability-related clubs and groups at McMaster have included the following:
This zine project, led by disabled students and alumni (some now working as staff), seeks to uncover and document the labour and legacy of these disabled student initiatives and others (individual and collective; formal and informal) we haven’t heard of yet. “Groups” need not be official – even a small social network of disabled students is a form of student organizing!
Disabled student contributions have been vital to McMaster’s history of teaching and learning, resulting in greater accessibility and disability inclusion in the classroom, curricula, and on campus. As such, this zine project aligns with other work to mark 50 years of teaching and learning stories at McMaster in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of McMaster’s teaching and learning centre.
Developing Disabled Student Resources to Inform Teaching and Learning
This zine builds off of prior work by disabled students at McMaster to share their voices, including stories printed in the Silhouette newspaper, the Hamilton Mad Students’ Collective’s 2014 zine on Mad student experiences, and Open ACCESSibility: An illustrated story of disability advocacy @McMaster created by Michelle Sayles in 2018 based on interviews with disabled students, staff, and faculty. Some of these pieces have been successfully integrated into McMaster’s mandatory accessible education training for educators. Our zine-in-production will further document and share the experiences and wisdom of disabled students and their hopes and visions for the future of teaching and learning at McMaster.
The project is additionally inspired by a partnership at the University of the Arts London between their teaching and learning centre and student union to co-design zines to inform curriculum and education. We’re excited about the possibility of zines and other creative formats for building student community and supporting teaching and learning by sharing disabled students’ experiences and insights with student peers, as well as faculty, teaching assistants, and other educational staff. We wonder, what might the gathering of student voices through ‘zines’ do that more conventional trainings, tip sheets, or professional development for educators might not?
Zine Team Members
Contact the Zine Team at MacDisZn@mcmaster.ca with any questions, to request a Word/PDF version of this Call for Submissions, or to chat through any initial ideas and whether they would fit within the scope of the zine.
We are grateful for financial support provided by McMaster University:
** Image credit: LQ – from This Insane Life: MadStudents zine, 2014. http://hdl.handle.net/11375/25051