Toward an Anti-Ableist Academy Conference [2021]

A virtual colloquial series of events throughout Disability Community Month, Toward an Anti-Ableist Academy invites the campus community to learn more about creating a welcoming University climate that actively works toward embracing disability culture and experiences. Ableism is defined as discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities and/or people who are perceived to be disabled.

These virtual events encourage open dialogue and discussion with students, staff, faculty and disability experts, providing opportunities to learn about best practices that ensure the disabled community can fully participate in campus life at the University of Michigan.

The conference was created to provide an update on the work of the Student IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) Board, their recommendations and the ongoing work to implement them. The charge of the Student IDEA Board was, broadly, to assess the current state and capacity of the University’s infrastructure to support and include students who are, or may become, impacted by barriers within the University and/or the University culture regarding disability and accessibility.

This title was chosen by the thirteen members of the planning committee for The Student IDEA Board conference. We brainstormed ideas for a conference title reflective of the progress made and much work to be done on reducing and eliminating accessibility gaps for disabled students, faculty, and staff. This title is indicative of the forward movement towards disability inclusion on campus

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