Disabled Faculty and Staff Association

The UC Disabled Faculty and Staff Association (DFSA) was established in 2021 with the support of the Office of the Provost.


The Disabled Faculty and Staff Association is an advocacy group that supports faculty and staff with all disabilities by supporting professional growth, educational pursuits, and striving for access across campus. We provide a unified voice for disabled faculty and staff in order to:   

  • Create opportunities for disabled faculty and staff to gather with peers, have a place where disability is not the “other,” and create a community of connection and belonging
  • Promote an environment of access, inclusion, and equity for all disabled individuals at the University of Cincinnati
  • Bolster advocacy efforts to elevate disability resources and support across campus
  • Provide models of access, advocacy, and inclusion for disabled students, faculty, and staff by demonstrating success in the workplace
  • Increase understanding of disability culture and the impact of disability on university culture

Disability Identity and Culture Statement

We subscribe to the social model of disability, which states that individuals with impairments are often disabled, not by their own bodies, but by environments that create barriers based on the norms of society which do not take disability into account.  Following that, we use the term “disabled” as an identity-first perspective, recognizing that separating the individual from their experiences is both impossible and detrimental to creating and respecting an inclusive culture. While we use the term “disabled” we understand and respect any person’s right to self-identify according to their own preference.

Information & Membership

If you have questions about the DFSA or would like more information, please email

Interested in joining the DFSA? Please fill out the DFSA Membership Interest Form and a member of our E-Board will reach out to you.

Meet the E-Board

Headshot of Emma Kist

Emma Kist

Faculty Co-Chair

College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services, American Sign Language, Faculty

Headshot of Whitney Saunders

Whitney Saunders

Staff Co-Chair

Accessibility Resources, Staff

Headshot of Margaret Fogler

Margaret Fogler

Training Committee Chair

Housing Operations, Staff

Headshot of Samantha Groh

Samantha Groh

Consultation and Advocacy Committee Chair

College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies, Faculty

Headshot of James Kellaris

James Kellaris

Membership Coordinator

Lindner College of Business, Marketing, Faculty

Headshot of Lee Owens

Lee Owens

Community & Celebration Chair

UC Online, Staff

Headshot of Diana Riggs

Diana Riggs

Communication Chair

Accessibility Resources, Staff

Headshot of Treasurer - vacant

Treasurer - vacant