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2021 Disability Summit Archive

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Access and Crisis: Disability and the Collapse of Everything

The 4th University of Maryland (UMD) Disability Summit will be held April 12th-14th, 2021 via Zoom.


To get updates about the summit. Stay tuned for the next online summit in 2023.

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The twinned crises of a global pandemic and a re-awakening to systemic racial injustice have reignited previously illuminated disparities for the disability community, compounded by a violently exclusionary presidential administration. These crises simultaneously highlight the marginalization of and provide new opportunities for disabled people. Now, it is a time of absurd, but very real, paradoxes. The “disposability” of certain bodies over others has elucidated deep ableism that undercuts both American, and global culture. While this has been met with resistance as well as widespread institutional change, just how many members of society are willing to recognize disability as part of social justice remains an unanswered question. Accommodations that were thought impossible for people with disabilities have now been made widely available. A swath of American employees can now work from home, yet the return to some sort of normalcy is also a threat to the health of many.

Crises of this magnitude will inevitably reshape society: How will they impact the lives of people with disabilities? How do we contribute to their well-being in the future?

The UMD Disability Summit was established in 2016 as a forum for professionals, educators, academics, service providers, allies, and advocates focusing on disability issues to dialogue and collaborate across types of disability and institutions. The goal of the summit is to bring focus to and promote discussion of key current events and research impacting disability in society.

Keynote speakers

Dr. Ashley Shew and Dr. Angel Love Miles will be joining us as keynote speakers for this event. They will share their expertise, insight, and experience as thought leaders and champions of intersectional disability justice.

In the wake of the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, many are questioning how to continue to carry this energy forward. How can we foreground access in crisis? There are many skills that we need to carry into the ‘new normal’ which must center intersectional applications of racial and disability justice.

Please join us and bring your vision of inclusive and accessible resources, skills, and actions that can propel the disability justice movement forward.

Questions? Please contact us at

2021 Disability Summit Homepage Registration 2021 Disability Summit Program Support the Disability Summit About the Disability Summit Disability Summit Organizing Committee
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Recording the Summit:

We will be recording all sessions and providing the links several weeks after the Summit. In order to get access to the UMD Disability Summit recordings, please fill out the registration form.