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Episode Info:

Today’s episode is about is employment with two professors from the University of Illinois at Chicago about their research. First, Rooshey Hasnain will talk about a recent pilot project in partnership with the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services called ADOPT (Asians with Disabilities Outreach Project Think-Tank). Next, Kate Caldwell tells me about her research on disabled entrepreneurs with a project called CEED, Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Education for People with Disabilities project. We’re gonna discuss barriers, underrepresentation, structural issues, the need for research, and much more.


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Related Links

Institute for Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois, Chicago

National Council on Disability: Employment publications

ADOPT (Asians with Disabilities Outreach Project Think-Tank)

Illinois Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS)

Center for Capacity Building on Minorities with Disabilities Research, University of Illinois, Chicago

CEED (Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Education for People with Disabilities) 

Entrepreneur Profiles

Understanding Disability & Entrepreneurship (​Infographic):

Disability Holiday Gift Guides:

Morris, Amanda. (January 13, 2019). Deaf And Unemployed: Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands. NPR.

Disability Visibility Podcast. (October 21, 2018). Ep 36: Disabled Entrepreneurs with Mary, Hannah, and Emma Layden and Tinu Abayomi-Paul.

About Photo of Dr. Rooshey Hasnain, a South Asian woman with should-length black hair. She is wearing eyeglasses and a black shirt. She is smiling at the camera.

Rooshey Hasnain. Ed.D., M.A. is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Department of Disability and Human Development and the Undergraduate Rehabilitation Sciences Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her primary professional interest is in understanding the lives, challenges, and strengths of people with disabilities and mental health conditions, especially those from refugee and immigrant backgrounds. She works on finding ways to reduce cultural stigma associated with disability and mental health issues, and ways to promote a human rights perspective on behalf of underserved individuals, their families, and their communities. Most of the projects she has founded attempt to bridge the service and opportunity gaps between U.S. disability service systems and hard-to-reach disabled people and their families. Currently she is the Principal Investigator for a NIDILRR field-initiated project called Partners of Refugees in Illinois Disability Employment (PRIDE), which aims to support Illinois-based job-seeking refugees with disabilities in accessing employment and career opportunities.


Photo shows a close up image of a Kate, a not-as-young-as-she-used-to-be white person wearing thick rimmed glasses. She is smiling while sitting on Chicago public transit in her grey pea coat. She has short cropped brown hair that is trimmed close on the sides, but longer on top and swept over and back to one side.

Kate Caldwell is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she received her doctorate in disability studies and worked on the Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Education for People with Disabilities project ( Having also received a master’s degree from the University of Chicago in interdisciplinary social sciences, she brings this expertise to approaching complex issues where various fields intersect and facilitating dialogue across disciplines. Her research in the area of employment and social policy has focused on the experiences of people with disabilities, and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) in particular, in entrepreneurship. This is a topic that allows her to bridge the fields of disability studies and entrepreneurship studies by integrating theoretical advancements that have been made in feminist theory, citizenship theory, and social justice. Kate has served on the National Task Force on Workforce Development and Employability for People with Disabilities as an advisor for the Subcommittee on Entrepreneurship, Tax Incentives & Procurement. For two and a half years she served as the Editorial Coordinator for the AAIDD journal, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Kate is a theorist, having written on the intersection of bisexuality and disability. Her work has contributed to the inclusion of disability in The Bisexuality Report and the inclusion of bisexuality in the Global Disability Rights Library. She is also a methodologist and developed the technique for conducting Dyadic Interviews with individuals with intellectual disabilities, which is informed by critical disability studies. She also developed the best practice recommendation for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), and currently in use by the Institute on Disability and Human Development at UIC, for creating plain language summaries for academic articles.


Twitter: @cycleberry

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Cheryl Green, Audio Producer and Text Transcription

Alice Wong, Writer, Producer, Interviewer

Lateef McLeod, Introduction

Mike Mort, Artwork

Theme Music (used with permission of artist)

Songs: “Dance Off” and “Hard Out Here for A Gimp”

Artist: Wheelchair Sports Camp


Elmore Heights,” “Greylock,” “Shifts of Currents,” and “Vittoro” by Blue.Sessions. (Source: licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License.)


“VOCODER countdown” by Jack_Master. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons 0 License.

8 Bit Beeping Computer Sounds” by sheepfilms. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons 0 License.

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