On the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s See Thru Edu blog, George Leef discusses a uniquely foolish idea – even for academia. At Clemson University, the Office of Student Disability has created a “Walk and Roll in My Shoes” day. This means faculty members and administrators will be paired with students who have disabilities, then adopt their disabilities for the day.
Let’s ignore George’s key point, that this is just one more example of a useless bureaucracy finding an excuse to justify its existence, even though he makes a lot of sense. Let’s think about the implementation — how close does this supposed show of empathy come to mockery? Could there be anything more cringe-worthy than watching somebody assume the condition of somebody who is disabled? Will some faculty unintentionally overact and imitate their partners? It almost reminds me of the sort of thing that attention-hungry junior-high-school class-clown wannabes do for cheap and inappropriate laughs.
It would seem that the most disabled people on the Clemson campus are in the Office of Student Disability, at least when it comes to thinking things through. I wonder how much they get paid to come up with monumentally stupid ideas.