20th Annual 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-1pm on the following Thursdays: February 24th, March 3rd, 10th ,17th, and 24th.  A celebratory program is scheduled for April 1st.  Details of the event will be forthcoming.

If you are interested in presenting at one of the virtual Thursday events, please submit a proposal no later than January 10th, 2022. Keep in mind the Symposium’s theme in designing your proposal. What lessons have you gained over the past 20 years? What are issues that continue to inform the work of disability advisors/educators? What strategies will be invaluable as you continue to undertake the work of advocating for students? Please click on proposal to complete the form.

Weingarten Center