The UW Disability Studies Program was delighted to announce the 2020 Dennis Lang and Harlan Hahn awardees at our graduation event. Please read below to learn more about the students, faculty, and staff receiving these awards and the important work in which they are engaged.



Dennis Lang Student Award in Disability Studies

This award honors Dennis Lang, a co-founder of the UW Disability Studies Program, for his dedication and service in the creation and growth of the UW Disability Studies community and program. It was established by the generous support of the University's Disability Studies community:


Anisa Proda is an experienced disability rights scholar, advocate, and professional. She is currently working on a master’s degree in Applied International Studies at the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies and is a Graduate Disability Inclusive Development Fellow with the Jackson School’s Disability Inclusive Development Initiative (DIDI). At the University of Washington, her involvement in disability studies teaching and research includes as a TA for the College of Education’s Education, Disability, and Art course and as an Access ISL Intern for the DO-IT Center. Her scholarly research focuses on Albanian immigrants/refugees with disabilities throughout the European Union. Professionally, Anisa was an officer in the Albanian Ministry of Welfare and Health’s Department of Social Protection Policies, where she developed best practice for disability inclusive services and provided training to health care practitioners, social workers, and others in the social model of disability and disability rights.

Natalie Stagnone is a sophomore double majoring in Disability Studies and Neuroscience and is part of the UW Interdisciplinary Honors Program. Outside of classes, she is the Co-Chair of The Align Program, a student-initiated program dedicated to inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities at the University of Washington. She is founder and Co-Executive Director of Thurston County Inclusion, upcoming Director of Programming UW Special Olympics, and a Research Assistant in the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Language and Learning Lab.



Harlan Hahn Endowment Fund Grants

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. It supports research, travel, course development, and disability related activist endeavors aligned with Disability Studies:


Faculty/Staff Awards

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.


Student Awards

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.


Support Disability Studies

You can support the Disability Studies Program by donating to one of our gift funds.  Your donations can be directed to general support of the Disability Studies Program, which we use to support events and activities related to disability studies, or you can donate directly to the Dennis Lang Student Award in Disability Studies fund or the Harlan Hahn funds to support scholarships, research, and disability activism.