Category: Giving News

Title:Bringing disability ethics into mainstream curriculum

Disabilities and Ethics | A New Learning Module in the Ethics Lab at Georgetown

Today, one in five Americans lives with a disability, but many decisions and policies are made without considering the unique experiences and needs of those individuals. Georgetown seeks to address this challenge by bringing disability ethics into the mainstream curriculum so that future leaders in science, government, and industry have the background needed to build a society that is equitable and accessible to all people.

Matt Ruesch, a member of the Board of Regents, wants students to look at things through the eyes of those with disabilities, as he has, growing up with a brother who is physically disabled. He believes that the disabilities module will be a natural extension of Georgetown’s commitment to cura personalis, or care of the whole person.

“Accessibility just gets you in the door,” says Ruesch. “I think it’s important to recognize that disabled persons are full humans to celebrate.”

“Georgetown is a fantastic home for this kind of work,” he says. “This is the type of philanthropy that I find really exciting. It’s working with effective people on a meaningful mission.”

Ethics Lab Founder and Director Maggie Little notes that “There’s a beautiful intersection between social justice movements and disabilities studies.” In addition to her work in the Ethics Lab, she is a professor of philosophy and senior research scholar at the Kennedy Institute for Ethics. She teaches the Bioethics course where the new Disability Ethics module will be piloted.

Current-use gifts like this one from Matt and Jenae Ruesch enable recipients “to be agile, to address what the world needs next,” explains Little, who is excited to get to work.

Watch the video to learn more from Matt Ruesch and Maggie Little about how this gift will advance the partnership between the Ethics Lab and Disability Studies at Georgetown.