Purpose and Mission
Established in 1986, the President’s Commission on Disability Issues is responsible for advising the President on issues of concern to people with disabilities and bringing awareness to the campus community on disability and equal access issues. The Commission investigates and studies these issues as part of the University’s commitment to the full participation of all members of its community in the educational, cultural, and social life of the campus. Its mission is to provide programs, advocacy, recommendations, and resources that will help the University create a respectful, inclusive, and universally accessible environment for people with disabilities. The Commission works collaboratively with other UMD departments and units that support community members with disabilities including but not limited to the ADA/504 Coordinator, and Accessibility and Disability Services (ADS). We are part of a larger disability support network and complement other resources.
PCDI fulfills an important leadership role in advancing the goals of the University’s Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion and in ensuring proactive compliance with federal legal requirements.
What Do We Do?
The Commission meets monthly, and members represent a variety of campus units that may interact with or impact individuals with disabilities. Commission members, including the Student Advisory Council (PCDI SAC), can raise issues they have become aware of during these meetings as well as receive updates from service providers.
Since its inception, PCDI has been involved in numerous scholarly, advocacy, and awareness-raising activities. We led the creation of the UMD Accessibility Hub, now Accessibility, to consolidate information and resources for University community members and visitors with disabilities. Continuing activities include:
Programming, Training, and Outreach
Co-sponsor the Disability Summit, a free conference organized bi-annually.
Coordinate the Disability Awareness Month each October
Sponsor the campus vigil for Disability Day of Mourning, annually on March 1
Collaborate on training programs (e.g. Mental Health First Aid Certification)
Outreach and education throughout the community (e.g. class presentation and guest lectures, panel members for projects, club/organization events, athletics staff training, etc.)
Coordinate programs for and about people with disabilities (e.g. Launching a Career in the Federal Government for Students with Disabilities, a panel presentation with representatives from the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy, etc.)
Building a Disability Community
Partner in building the UMD Cultural Center for Students with Disabilities,
Manage disability community listserv, UMD-Disability@umd.edu.
Provide “listening sessions” on the climate for University community members with disabilities.
Represent the disability community in different campus-wide groups (e.g. search committees, advisory committees, task forces, strategic planning initiatives, and others).
Last update: Apr 04, 2022