Kate Welling Disability Awareness Lecture Series

The Kate Welling Disability Awareness Lecture was endowed by Helen and Tom Welling in memory of their daughter Kate, a Miami University student who died in a 2005 off-campus fire. Kate discovered a passion for disability issues while taking an introduction to Disability Studies course and was involved in campus advocacy for disability rights. She was inspired to make disability rights her life’s work. Since 2007, the endowed lecture brings leaders and innovative thinkers in the area of Disability Studies who are able to share their ideas and passion with the Miami community.

2019 Lecture

Micah Fialka-Feldman: "Intelligent Lives, a Film by Dan Habib"

Three pioneering young adults with disabilities challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce.

Micah Fialka-Feldman is a self-advocate, teaching assistant, outreach coordinator, national speaker, and pioneer who fights for disability-pride, justice, and inclusion. He is part of the first wave of adults with intellectual disabilities who have attended college and has been fully included in school and community. Micah’s disability advocacy has a foundation in the creation of the “Beloved Community” and the notion that “A community that excludes even one of its members is not a community at all.”

Micah earned a certificate in Disability Studies from the Syracuse University School of Education in 2015. Micah currently lives in Syracuse N.Y., where he co-teaches classes in inclusive education and disability studies. He is an outreach coordinator at the Lawrence B. Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education. In May of 2014, Micah was appointed by President Obama to President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. He is featured in the documentary by Dan Habib, “Intelligent Lives.”

Past Lectures

  • 2019 - Micah Fialka-Feldman: "Intelligent Lives, a Film by Dan Habib"
  • 2018 - David “Deej” Savarese: “Deej: Inclusion Shouldn’t be a Lottery”
  • 2017 - Andrew Solomon: “Far From the Tree: Parents, Children & the Search for Identity”
  • 2016 - Steve Silberman: “The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity”
  • 2015 - Simi Linton and Christina Von Tippelskirch: “Invitation to Dance”
  • 2014 - Harilyn Russo: “Don’t Call Me Inspirational”
  • 2013 - Jonathan Mooney: “Re-drawing the lines on Neurodiversity: A Compass to a Changing World”
  • 2012 - Dr. Joseph Hill: “When Worlds Collide: Insights at the Intersection of the Deaf, Disability, and Dominant Cultures”
  • 2011 - Greg Fehribach: “The Disability Culture: Enhancing Today’s Economy”
  • 2010 - Ken Petri: “Rewiring (Dis)Ability: Access Goes Mainstream”
  • 2009 - Ann Palmer: “Realizing the College Dream with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome”
  • 2008 - Simi Linton: “My Body Politic: An Illustrated History”
  • 2007 - Jeanne Kincaid: “The Changing Face of Disability”