DePauw’s Prindle Institute to host symposium on ‘Representing Disability’

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Prindle Institute for Ethics

“Representing Disability” will be the focus of this year’s ethics symposium at the Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University on April 19-20.

Three keynote talks will address the ethics of representing disability in the media, the workplace and American culture.

Of particular interest to the Putnam County community will be a keynote talk by James Emmett, the owner and CEO at James Emmett Corp., a disability inclusion consulting firm. His talk, “Moving Disability Inclusion from Charity to Business Imperative,” will take place Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the Prindle Institute for Ethics, located at 2961 W. CR 225 South, Greencastle.

Emmett will highlight the strategic significance of businesses recruiting individuals with disabilities as both customers and employees.

“Companies across the country have historically approached the disability community as a place of charity, but this is beginning to change,” Emmett said. “More and more companies are recognizing the customer and labor power of the disability community. Companies like Walgreens, Microsoft, Pepsi and Amazon are building strategic disability inclusion efforts. These company initiatives are helping create an overall empowerment movement where the disability community is seen as a critical customer and labor market.”

Emmett will discuss strategies to support inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of business and will highlight the importance of addressing fear and stigma when creating a truly inclusive environment.

Two other keynote addresses are scheduled. Keah Brown, a journalist and creator of the viral Twitter hashtag #DisabledAndCute, will be speaking on Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the Prindle Institute. Her talk “This Is Where We Are Now” will address media representation of people with disabilities.

Brown argues that “when we exclude people with disabilities from the important cultural conversations ... we are effectively creating a world of half-truths and encouraging the damaging idea that the only worthy bodies are thin and non-disabled bodies.”

Kevin Timpe, chairman of Christian Philosophy at Calvin College, will address the connections between philosophy and disability in his talk, “The Impact of (Some) Disabilities on Virtue and Well-being.” His talk takes place on Friday, April 20 at 4:15 p.m. in the auditorium at the Prindle Institute.

More information about the symposium is available at

The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics is one of the largest ethics institutes in the country. It fosters ethics education, dialogue and research locally and globally. It is dedicated “to inspiring everyone to grapple with the critical issues of our time in a deliberate way and better reason through the moral complexities of personal, public and professional life.”

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