Disability Symposium

20th Annual Weingarten Center Disability Symposium

Reflecting on the Past, Planning for the Future

In higher education, the work of disability advisors, advocates, educators, and leaders continues to evolve in different directions. Students are better informed about their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and might pursue legal channels to resolve an issue. Faculty want to understand their role in the accommodation process to support students in the learning environment.  As a result of increased interest in studying disability as an identity, disability studies has become part of curricular offerings in the academy. An unexpected phenomenon–the COVID pandemic—disrupts every aspect of our world. The ripple effect of COVID has created a new challenge for higher education in many ways, and disability advisors continue to learn how to address a student’s accommodation request in a legally sound, empathic manner.

Disability advisors possess a wealth of strategies in their toolkits, often using their past experiences to formulate a response to a concerned parent, for example. Individually, each advisor makes an impact on a student’s educational journey. Collectively, each professional in the field of disability support has added to the movement to recognize disability as part of diversity, to educate students, parents, faculty, and staff about disability rights, and to celebrate the intrinsic value of recognizing and respecting differences.

Reflecting on the Past, Planning for the Future serves as the theme for the 20th Annual Disability Symposium. Instead of an in-person event, the Weingarten Center will hold 5 virtual presentations from noon – 1 p.m. on the following Thursdays: February 24th, March 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th.  A celebratory program is scheduled for April 1st.

If you are interested in attending a virtual Symposium event, please contact vpul-wlrc@pobox.upenn.edu.

Best,
Weingarten Center

Graphic for 20th Annual Weingarten Center Disability Symposium

Deep appreciation to Mary Landy C’83 and Joseph Landy W’83 for their generous gift that supports and contributes to the Symposium’s ongoing success.

Event Details

Presentation Recordings

Being a Catalyst for Change: Strategies for Developing an Inclusive Campus Culture

Presenters: John Woodruff, MS, Health Education, Rowan University; Dr. S. Jay Kuder, Professor, Department of Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education, Rowan University; Dr. Amy Accardo, Associate Professor, Department of Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education, Rowan University

Presentation Slides – Being a Catalyst for Change

Leadership in Academic Resource and Accessibility Spaces: Navigating Turnover, Burnout, and the Hybrid Work Model

Presenters: Kimberly Doan, MA, Associate Director, Accessibility Services, Tufts University; Katie Swimm, Ph.D., Associate Director, Academic Support, Tufts University

Presentation Slides – Leadership in Academic Resource and Accessibility Spaces

The Future of Leadership in Disability Services

Presenters: Aaron Spector, MS Ed, Director, Disability Services, University of Pennsylvania; Danielle Frank, MS, Academic Adviser and Student Disabilities Coordinator, Peirce College; Maxine Lomax, MSW, Access Coordinator, University of Colorado; Ethan Wasserman, MS, Moorhead Academic Coach, Vassar College; Schyler Ellerbee, Accommodations Specialist, University of Pennsylvania

 

Access vs. Content: Contemporary Lens on Disability Equity Beyond the Litigious Accommodation

 
Presenter: Kate Fialkowski, MTS, Ed.D. candidate, Associate Director of Academic Programming
 
 
 

Born Since the ADA: Student Activism and Leadership Panel

 
Presenters: Cypress Marrs, University of Pennsylvania; Charlie Crawford, Haverford College; Kruti Desai, University of Pennsylvania; Tamara Garfield, Drexel University; Leah Samples, University of Pennsylvania

Disability Culture and Its Impact Upon Higher Education

 
Presenter: Rebecca Cokley
 
 
 

Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal

 
Presenter: Naomi Jackson

Blueprints for the Future: Disability and Innovation

 
Presenter: Rebekah Taussig