Parenthood, disability, ethics, and the crooked way of grace


Looking for a speaker for your conference, church, community group, or class? I’m available to talk to any size group, from college students on up, about the ethical (and if it’s a faith-based group, theological) issues raised by reproductive technologies, and/or other topics related to disability, faith, parenting, and writing. I have gained a reputation for being an engaging speaker (even funny, despite the serious nature of my core topics), and would be happy to provide references from previous speaking engagements. Previous speaking venues include numerous churches in the greater Hartford area, the University of Hartford, Brandeis University, the Festival of Faith and Writing, the Sojourners Summit for Change, and Speak Up, a Hartford-based storytelling event.

Please contact me to discuss the possibilities. While speaking opportunities within a few-hour drive of my central Connecticut home are the easiest to manage, I am interested in opportunities further afield if we can work out the logistics.

Upcoming Events

Festival of Faith and Writing, Grand Rapids, MI
Panel: How Chronic Conditions Challenge & Enrich the Writing Life, with Daniel Bowman, Jr. and Jessica Mesman Griffith
Friday, April 15, 8:30 a.m.

Ellen captivates her audience. She is both erudite and humble, a fine speaker who invites question and discussion. Ellen’s presentations explore our presumptions with such care, that you come away with a deeper and wiser and fresher perspective on her topic—and find yourself wondering about things you never before considered.
The Reverend Hope H. Eakins
Interim Rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church
West Hartford, Connecticut

Ellen spoke with my university honors seminar on the topic “Are We There Yet?: Reproductive Technologies, Dystopic Visions, and the Quest for the Ideal Child.” Students were in awe of the skillful research and deep reflection represented in her book, No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Parenthood, and Faith, and they loved when she read aloud to them. Through her presentation and the following discussion, students were able to ponder the complexities of modern reproductive choices, the intersection of technology and ethics, and profound questions about human value and suffering. As one student said, “I was seriously skeptical about this topic. But this talk was amazing. Ellen Dollar made me question all of my assumptions.”
Beth Richards
Director, First- and Second-Year Writing Programs
University of Hartford




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