2024 Call for Proposals is now OPEN!

Award Description

The Harlan Hahn Endowment Fund was established by a generous gift to the University of Washington’s Disability Studies Program from the late Harlan D. Hahn, disability activist, political scientist, and disability studies scholar.

2024 Call for Proposals

The Harlan Hahn Fund call for proposals is now open for 2024. Current students, faculty, and staff from all three University of Washington campuses are invited to submit a grant proposal. Applications must describe research, writing, or activist projects that are framed within, aligned with, or informed by the academic field of Disability Studies. Harlan Hahn awards typically range between $500 and $5,000. The number and amount of the grants awarded depends on the quality of the individual projects and the overall number of eligible proposals received.

Harlan Hahn funds may be used for:

  • Support of academic research projects, pedagogical research, or writing projects in Disability Studies or informed by Disability Studies.
  • Travel to conferences in the field of Disability Studies or related to Disability Studies, to present research or to participate in the Disability Studies academic community.
  • Support for the development of a course with Disability Studies content.
  • Support for disability related activist endeavors (e.g. web development, meeting support) that are aligned with Disability Studies.

Application Process


  • Applications are due April 10, 2024 by 11:59 pm.
  • Grants may commence June 1, 2024.
  • All grant-funded activities must be completed by June 30, 2025.

Submission Requirements

  1. A brief (1-2 page) proposal outlining the specific activities that will be funded by the Harlan Hahn grant, how the project fits the award criteria, and the expected outcomes.

  2. A brief personal statement including a description of the applicant’s Disability Studies related experience, research, teaching, and/or career goals, and an explanation of how the grant support will advance the applicant’s research and/or education.

  3. Resume/CV.

  4. Official or unofficial academic transcript (for students).

  5. Name and contact information for one professional and/or academic reference.

  6. A detailed narrative budget justification. Request a specific total amount of funds needed for the project, and provide estimates for how funds will be spent on particular needs. Sample spending categories are outlined in “Selection criteria.”

Eligibility Requirements

  1. You must be an enrolled University of Washington undergraduate or graduate student at the time of application.

  2. Eligible applicants should have a minimum 3.0 GPA in Disability Studies courses or equivalent demonstration of academic excellence in areas related to Disability Studies (e.g. courses completed in related disciplines, courses taught as a graduate teaching assistant, or scholarly work conducted as a research assistant).

  3. Eligible applicants may also provide evidence of commitment to issues of social justice related to people with disabilities (e.g. work, volunteer, or activist experiences) and/or Disability Studies scholarship.

Faculty and Staff
  1. You must be a University of Washington academic or staff employee with a minimum 50% appointment at the time of application OR a Disability Studies Program Affiliate.

  2. Eligible applicants should have exhibited sustained efforts towards incorporating the Disability Studies approach into research and/or teaching and contributing to the knowledge base of Disability Studies.

  3. Eligible applicants may also provide evidence of commitment to issues of social justice related to people with disabilities (e.g. work, volunteer, or activist experiences) and/or Disability Studies scholarship.

NOTE: Everyone interested in submitting a proposal is welcome to consult with members of the Harlan Hahn Fund Committee about the grants and/or the application process. Please request a consultation as early as possible in the preparation process. For 2024, the contact person is Ronnie Thibault.

Selection Criteria

Disability Studies Content

We are interested in proposals that have potential to contribute to the field of Disability Studies (DS). DS focuses on the social, cultural, political, and historical meanings of disability. DS is not medicine, special education, or professions oriented towards prevention or treatment of disabilities, but it should inform those disciplines. The field of Disability Studies explores how disability has been constructed, demarcated, and represented in culture and art, laws and policies, professional practices, and everyday life. The intersections between disability and other identity categories such as gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity are addressed in DS teaching, scholarship, and activism. The voices and roles of disabled people themselves are emphasized in defining problems and evaluating solutions. For more information about the field, please visit the website of the UW Disability Studies Program.

Concept and Impact

We will be looking for proposals with a well-conceptualized research methodology or manuscript idea. For research and/or writing projects, explain how you plan to disseminate your findings or what other concrete products you anticipate. If you propose attendance at a conference, explain how this conference will inform your future work or how your contribution to the conference disseminates Disability Studies content. If you propose to develop a course, explain how the course will be implemented and made sustainable.

Budget Justification

We will evaluate whether the proposed budget is appropriate to meet the stated goals of the project. Include in your narrative explanation: clearly defined and realistic expenditures; a plan of action to implement spending; exact dates or clearly defined time frames for completion of segments of the project; full description of the conference, people who will be hired and for what skills, survey population, etc. Also identify whether Harlan Hahn funds will be sufficient to cover all costs of the activities, and what additional sources of funding you have sought and/or received for the project. Provide approximate values for expenditures in any of the following categories:

  • Personnel (i.e. salaries and benefits for faculty, staff, and students)
  • Equipment, materials, and supplies
  • Travel, including airfare, transportation, and other expenses
  • Conference expenses, including fees, lodging, and per diem
  • Other costs

Previous Grantees

Past performance with Harlan Hahn Fund awards will also be taken into consideration when assessing an application by a previous winner.

Additional Information for Applicants

Payment of Grants

After the decision process is complete, each grant recipient will be required to consult with the Disability Studies Program fiscal administrator, and devise a precise budget.

Required Outcomes

Recipients of the Harlan Hahn Grant are expected to give a Disability Studies Program brown bag talk or other public presentation, as well as submit a short written summary of how the funds were spent. Funds must be used for the proposed project.

Time to Completion

All grant-funded activities must be completed by June 30, 2025.


If you have any questions about the grants and/or the application process, please contact Ronnie Thibault (ronnie22@uw.edu).

Submit all application materials by April 10th, 2024. 



List of Previous Grantees:



  • Anna Noel Pickett (JD and LLM Law): Anna will attend the UN’s Conference of State Parties to the CRPD in New York and National University of Ireland’s International Disability Summer School.
  • Maddie Zdeblick (PhD Education): Dissertation exploring how theater teaching artists, high school interns, and adults with disabilities can work together to design inclusive theater learning experiences grounded in Disability Justice.
  • Megan McCloskey (PhD Law): Megan will participate in the upcoming Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in NY.
  • Melody (Bishan) Yang (PhD Rehab Science): A dissertation project that uses a community-engaged approach and mixed methods study design to understand environmental influences on community participation among people with Multiple Sclerosis. I would also like to say that I am so thankful for the Harlan Hahn Award that supports me to conduct a research project that I am very passionate about
  • Or Vallah (PhD Art History): On-site research in Italy for her dissertation on early modern notions of art-making through the lenses of DS and art history.
  • Ryan DeCarsky (PhD Sociology): “Queering Deafhood: Identity Formation and Community Building by Deaf-LGBTQ+ Folk in the US”
  • Tiffany-Ashton Gatsby (PhD Socio-Cultural Anthropology): At the American Anthropological Association in Toronto, will be chairing a graduate student roundtable focusing on ableism in the anthropological canon and examining anti-colonial, anti-racist, and anti-ableist ways to reevaluate graduate school education. They will also be presenting a paper focusing on inequity in access to psychedelic therapy.


  • Ashley D’Ambrosio & Christine Lew: Course development for co-instructors in the Disability Studies Program in 2023-24 academic school year - this is a pedagogical model which embraces the interdependence championed by the disability justice movement.  Through the development and utilization of this co-teaching model, the project aims to work towards ending the segregation and exclusion of students and faculty with remote access needs from institutions like the University of Washington, starting with the Disability Studies Program.
  • Danbi Lee: In collaboration with the Occupational Therapy and Disability Studies Network, the project will develop a website to promote disability studies informed occupational therapy education. The goal is to assemble lecture packets, practical guides, and other resources for educators and make them available via the website to make disability studies perspectives and content accessible and easy to integrate into OT education.
  • Stephen Meyers & Shixin Huang: An exploratory field visit to establish relationships with grassroots organizations, providers, educators, and policymakers for a comparative research project on the rights of persons with disabilities and older persons in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The project also offers an opportunity for the UW DSP to increase its relationships both on-campus in Seattle and across the Pacific in Greater China.



  • Hannah Garland (Juris Doctor Candidate) will use the grant to attend the 13th International Disability Summer School through the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland Galway.
  • Megan McCloskey (PhD Candidate in Law) will use the grant to attend the 13th International Disability Summer School, as well as The Conference of States Parties to the CRPD, an annual meeting held at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
  • Shannon Meyer (Master in Cultural Studies at UW Bothell) will use the grant towards her capstone research project at the intersection of disability justice and reproductive justice.
  • Natalie Stagnone (graduating with Majors in Disability Studies and Neuroscience) will use the grant towards books and other materials for her nonprofit Thurston County Inclusion.
  • Sarah Arvey Tov (PhD Candidate in Special Education) will use the funding for the Disability Justice in Schools project.


  • José Alaniz (faculty in Slavic Languages & Literatures) is using the grant to attend the “Comics and the Invisible” conference.
  • Stephen Meyers (faculty in Law, Societies & Justice, and International Studies) will use the funds to bring two international disability advocates to UW, regarding the rights of persons with albinism in Africa and children with disabilities in Jamaica.
  • E.T. Russian (artist and writer who is affiliated with UW Medicine) will use the grant to help create original comics and illustrations for the book All of this Safety is Killing Us: Health Justice through Prison, Police, and Border Abolition.



  • Ryan Decarsky (MA/PhD in SOC): “Queering Deafhood: Identity Formation and Community Building by Deaf-LGBTQ+ Folk in the United States.” This project explores identity formation and community building, critically examining how Deaf-Queer folk navigate life as Deaf in a hearing world and (simultaneously) Queer in a heteronormative one. This work centers community perceptions of Deaf culture and Queer culture, and examines how these cultural landscapes are shared through community interaction.

  • Christine Lew (DS and PSYCH Majors): This research investigates the concept of “Disability Gain,” seeking contexts where disabilities become advantageous to the individual and to society, through interviews, qualitative data analysis, and cultural artifact analysis. Christine is also a recipient of the Dennis Lang Award, the Husky 100, and the Breaking Barriers Award from Disability Rights Washington.
  • Christine Lew, Megan McCloskey, and Alizay Sajjad: The objective of the project will be to provide a baseline assessment of the accessibility and inclusiveness of campus sexual assault prevention efforts and response services at UW to support student advocacy efforts.
  • Annette Malakoff (DIS ST and SOC Majors): "The Effects Stigma as Experienced by Vulnerable Populations in Light of the Reclassification of CPTSD and PTSD." The research is a qualitative study exploring the lived experiences of two vulnerable populations, women trauma survivors and refugees, and their self-reported barriers to educational potential, accessibility to medical services, and life opportunities in light of the 2018 ICD-11 reclassification of CPTSD and PTSD. This study will examine the effects of circular stigmatization and discrimination from the voice of the participant. Barriers will be evaluated in association with mental disability and the intersectionality of gender and immigration status. Annette also received the 2021 Pamela E. Yee Award in Gender and Disability Studies from the UW GWSS Department.


  • José Alaniz (Associate Prof of Slavic Languages & Literatures): Publication of The Compleat Moscow Calling, a collection of comics and essays. This partly fictional work deals with a North American Latinx protagonist with disabilities in 1990s Moscow.
  • Heather Feldner (Assistant Prof of Rehab Medicine): Development and implementation of a new graduate course, cross-listed in the DS Graduate Certificate program and the Department of Rehab Medicine: “Disability and Health: Tensions, Intersections, and Future Opportunities.”



  • Chanhee Choi is a doctoral student at the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS). She received an award that will support a virtual reality project, a game-performance art hybrid which explores the experiences of her mother, an elderly Korean woman living with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Sayaka Omori is a doctoral student in in Learning Sciences and Human Development in the College of Education. She received an award to disseminate a Japanese comic (“manga”) resource for Japanese parents to learn about special education advocacy and parent rights.
  • Ishira Parikh is an undergraduate student in Biology and Disability Studies. She led the development of an interactive, activity-based K-12 synthetic biology curriculum for the purposes of reducing socioeconomic disparities in STEM education by providing free teaching resources to low-income schools. Her Harlan Hahn award will support adapting the curriculum to be more inclusive, especially for people with visual impairments.
  • Nixi Wang is a doctoral student in Measurement and Statistics in the College of Education. She received funding to address accessibility issues in testing and contribute to the research and practice of Culturally Responsive Assessment (CRA) in the field of education.


  • Kiana Parker, Global Opportunities Adviser in the UW Study Abroad office received an award to plan a pilot project for a winter transit assistance pilot program that would serve both individuals with disabilities and seniors by utilizing on-demand ride technology to provide free direct rides to and from the nearest Link Light Rail station or transit center at a time of year when rainy weather and extended periods of darkness make being a pedestrian more dangerous.
  • Stephen Meyers, Assistant Professor in the Department of Law, Societies and Justice, and the Jackson School for International Studies received an award that will support ongoing work with the UW Disability Inclusive Development Initiative (DIDI) including the development of a multi-disciplinary and multi-regional edited volume for Palgrave that focuses on the “biggest research gaps” in disability inclusive development.



  • Sarah Arvey: Doctoral student in the Special Education department in the UW College of Education, researching the use of disability history and pride in teacher education and K-12 curriculum.  In this work she foregrounds the voices of youth with disabilities, contributions of people with disabilities throughout history and civil rights movements, and intersectionality as an integral aspect of disability justice.  Her Harlan Hahn project will fund a writing retreat for disabled scholars to build community and explore creative writing processes beyond ableist and racist paradigms of knowledge construction.  The writing retreat will be a launching point for a disabled scholars and disability studies focused writing group in the upcoming academic year.
  • Isatou Jallow: Ph.D. student in the UW School of Law, with a research focus on inclusive education. She was born and raised in the Gambia and continues to advocate for a policy change in the Gambia that can create inclusiveness for persons with disabilities. She was a recipient of the UW Husky 100 award in 2017 for her work on behalf of women and currently serves as a commissioner on the City of Seattle Immigrant and Refugee Commission. Her Harlan Hahn award will fund a trip to Senegal for preliminary research on inclusive education at the primary level, as hindered by attitudes, cultures, poverty and stigma.
  • Megan McCloskey: Completing a PhD in law at UW, she is Senior Fellow with the Disability Inclusive Development Initiative at the International Policy Institute in the Jackson School of International Studies, and Fellow at the Comparative Law and Society Studies (CLASS) Center. Her Harlan Hahn award will to support her attendance at the Gender, Disability and Development Institute hosted by Mobility International USA July 22-25, 2019 in Eugene, Oregon. The GDDI brings together senior development professionals and participants in MIUSA’s Women’s Institute for Leadership and Development (WILD) to engage in dialogue about including women and girls with disabilities in development and humanitarian projects around the world.  In addition to contributing to the development of an international collaborative research network of women working in the nexus of feminist advocacy and disability rights, the trip will help Megan to draft syllabi for proposed seminars on Feminist Theory, Disability and Law and Human Rights and Development. 
  • Shixin Huang: PhD student in the Jackson School for International Studies.  With the support of the Harlan Hahn award, she will travel to China this summer to  undertake three months of ethnographic fieldwork for her doctoral dissertation Contested Space of Rights: International Norms, Authoritarian Politics, and Disability Activism in China.
  • Nataiie Stagnone: Freshman at the University of Washington with a plan to double major in Disability Studies and Neuroscience. She is also in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program and minoring in Spanish. After launching a summer camp last summer for youth with and without disabilities, Natalie was driven to make programming available, inclusive and accessible year-round. At UW, she participated in a student-led initiative to have people with intellectual disabilities at the UW as students. With the Harlan Hahn award, Natalie will be launching a nonprofit organization called Thurston County Inclusion (T.C. Inclusion) based in Olympia, Washington. The organization will offer summer camps that are accessible and inclusive, programs to form mentorships between older and younger people with disabilities, and networking opportunities.
  • Gina Tersoriero: PhD student in Learning Sciences program in the College of Education. Gina will be traveling to the SciAccess conference at The Ohio State University this summer to present research related to teacher professional development at the intersection of science and inclusion. SciAccess brings together researchers, graduate students, scientists, special education teachers, and informal science educators (all with varying experiences of ability and disability) to discuss how science and STEM as a whole can be made more inclusive.
  • Ronnie Thiubault: PhD Candidate in the UW Interdisciplinary Individual PhD Program, with support from the departments of Geography, History, and Disability Studies. Ronnie’s dissertation is a digital histories project with a central focus on comparing how domestic charity and humanitarian aid institutions in the U.S. have drawn upon, reinforced, or contested common misunderstandings about developmental and intellectual disabilities (DD/ID). With support from Harlan Hahn Endowment, Ronnie will travel to New York to explore the physical archives of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Eugenics Records Office.


  • Jose Alaniz: Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Comparative Literature (adjunct) at the University of Washington, Seattle, he has published two books, Komiks: Comic Art in Russia (University Press of Mississippi, 2010) and Death, Disability and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond (UPM, 2014).  His Harlan Hahn award will support his participation in two 2019 disability studies-related conferences: the Pacific and Western Disability Studies Symposium in Spokane, Washington and the Graphic Medicine Conference in Brighton, England.
  • Mark Harniss, Director of the UW Disability Studies Program and Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine, and Stephen Meyers, Assistant Professor in the Department of Law, Societies and Justice, and the Jackson School for International Studies, have received a Harlan Hahn award to foster an international disability studies teaching and research collaboration. Their funds will bring two renowned disability studies scholars to UW: Floyd Morris, Director of the Centre for Disability Studies, University of West Indies (UWI), and Brian Watermeyer, faculty member in the Division of Disability Studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. Both visitors will give talks, mentor students, and contribute to the development of disability-related Collaborative Online International Learning activities (COIL) that will create a coalition with UCT and UWI to allow some form of shared learning experiences between Jamaica, South Africa, and the USA.
  • E.T. Russian: Multi-sensory artist based in the Pacific Northwest, Russian has been making zines, comics, video and installation art about disability, queerness, and life since the mid-90s. Russian is the author of The Ring of Fire Anthology and has been published in a number of books and periodicals including Disability in American Life: An Encyclopedia of Concepts, Politics, and Controversies, PEN Magazine, The Stranger, The Seattle Weekly, Real Change, When Language Runs Dry, The Graphic Medicine Manifesto and Gay Genius. This Harlan Hahn award will support a public multi-sensory art installation, including several disability justice scholars, artists and activists, on the theme of “Choosing What You’re Living For” at the Hedreen gallery on Capitol Hill in December 2019.