BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – “Ableism,” a form of discrimination that defines people based on their disability, often goes undetected, including in much of our everyday conversation. Examples of this might include suggesting that someone is “turning a blind eye” to a problem or “acting crazy.”
Frequently, those who make such a reference to a disability in their speech don’t intend to hurt others and have no idea they are doing so, said Angélica Guevara, assistant professor of business law and ethics at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
Guevara will address ableism and how language usage impacts business at the next event in the national online speaker series Equity Now, a national online speaker series co-sponsored by the school.
The webinar event, “Disability: Language and the Law,” will begin at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 18. Registration is free and open to the public through the series’ website.
“At times, one does not realize when ableist language is being used,” Guevara said. “This talk will address such language and provide a crash course on some disability models to better understand the shortcomings of current disability anti-discrimination law, which is all the more relevant given the recent pandemic.”
Guevara, who describes herself as a “proud neurodivergent Latina with a reading and writing disability,” will share brief stories to show how to counter the negative stereotypes of people with disabilities, “in hopes of providing avenues to equity now.”
Before coming to Kelley, Guevara served as a business development specialist for the U.S. Department of Labor in the Office of Disability Employment Policy.
She was awarded the William H. Hastie Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she also received the Institute for Legal Studies Law and Society Fellowship and earned a Master of Laws degree. She also has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles, a law degree from the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education.
Guevara taught the courses, “Politics of Educational Inequality,” at UC Berkeley and “Disability Anti-discrimination Law and Maximizing Human Potential”at the Wisconsin School of Law. Her areas of interest include Disability Studies and Critical Race Theory (DisCrit), business law and ethics, and disability anti-discrimination law.
She is a member of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, American Bar Association, Society of American Law Teachers, Latina & Latino Critical Legal Theory Community, and Law & Society Association.
Since 2020, the Equity Now speaker series has focused on race, gender, and how law and policy can facilitate equality, fairness, and inclusion in organizations. Kelley co-sponsors the series along with the business schools at the University of Connecticut, Virginia Tech University, Temple University, Boston University and the Academy of Legal Studies in Business.