Investing in Ability Events

The Council for Disability Concerns produces an annual series of events designed to raise awareness of disability topics on campus and in our community. The events include speakers, demonstrations, films, and the presentation of the James T. Neubacher Award. 

The events are presented by the University of Michigan Council for Disability Concerns in collaboration with University Human Resources, Michigan Medicine, and University Health Service. All events are free and everyone is welcome. If accommodations are needed, contact disability@umich.edu  at least one week in advance.

View and share the 2018 event flier. 

This year’s Investing in Ability events once again explore how disability is an important dimension of diversity: 

October 4: Michigan Medicine Inclusion and Growth for Healthcare Transformation (M.I.G.H.T.) Disability Awareness Symposium

  • Time: 2:30 - 5:30pm
  • Location: Frankel Cardiovascular Center, Danto Auditorium 
  • Keynote speaker: Karin Muraszko, M.D., Julian T. Hoff Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Michigan

October 5: Chronic Fatigue and Related Syndromes: An Expert Panel Discussion

  • Time: 11:00am - 12:30pm
  • Location: Frankel Cardiovascular Center, Danto Auditorium 
  • Presenters: Tiffany Braley, MD – Clinical Assistant Professor, Medical School, Department of Neurology, Daniel Clauw, MD – Director of Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center, Professor, Medical School, Department of Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine (Rheumatology), and Department of Psychiatry, Ann Kratz, PhD - Assistant Professor, Medical School, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ace Anbender, sports blogger and individual with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Moderator: Donna Omichinski

October 8: "Unrest" (documentary film) 

  • Time: 11am - 1pm
  • Location: Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery

Jennifer Brea's Sundance award-winning documentary, Unrest, is a personal journey from patient to advocate to storyteller. Jennifer is 28, working on her PhD at Harvard, and months away from marrying the love of her life when a mysterious fever leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her it's "all in her head," she picks up her camera as an act of defiance and brings us into a hidden world of millions that medicine abandoned. 

October 10: "Dance the freaking music, baby:" LGBTQ Identities & Intersectionalities (co-sponsored by the Spectrum Center)

  • Time: 11am - 12:30pm
  • Location: Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery
  • Panel: Petra Kuppers, Shanna Kattari, Evan James Copeland 
  • Moderator: Patricia F. Anderson 

This panel will explore the question of being human through the facets of LGBTQ and disability, discovering threads of meaning in our lives, and how the intersections of our experiences can inform and lend new meaning to our multifaceted identities. The discussion will range from acceptance to microaggression, from making space for personal expression to the role of scholarly enquiry and activity in building awareness and acceptance.

October 11 - 13: Disabled & Proud: Leading Change (Online Conference) 

  • Time: 3 - 9:30pm
  • Location: Online

Disabled & Proud: Leading Change is an online conference for college students with disabilities, happening October 11-13, 2018. This is a conference for students by students with disabilities, focused on building up students as leaders for campus change to improve accessibility, inclusion, and the campus climate for people with disabilities. Students in any type of degree program, of any age, with any type of disability are welcome. Nondisabled student allies are also welcome to attend. A limited number of free registrations are available for interested students; please email jeffrede@umich.edu to inquire. 

October 12: Dogs on the Diag

  • Time: 11am - 1pm
  • Location: Diag/Duderstadt

October 15: Updated ADA information: Assistive Animals and Emotional Support Animals (ESA)

  • Time: 1 - 2:30pm
  • Location: Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery
  • Panelists: Christina Kline, Disability Coordinator, U-M Office for institutional Equity; Jack Bernard, U-M Associate General Counsel; Randi Johnson, U-M Housing Accommodations
  • Moderator: Jeff Edelstein

Do you know the difference between Emotional Support Animals and assistive animals? Do you know which animals can legally be kept in dorms or in rentals? Which animals can be taken into public spaces such as restaurants and stores? Our panel can provide the answers.

October 16: "Deej" (documentary film) 

  • Time: 7 - 8:30pm
  • Location: Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery

Deej is DJ Savarese, a non-talking autistic man who was abandoned by his birth parents and remained uneducated until his adoptive parents helped him pursue an education. This film deals with Deej's transition to college life and the difficulties and growth that Deej pursues at Oberlin. He is a wordsmith who uses a machine to talk and he and his community know something you don't.

October 18: Telling Our Own Stories: A Visual Storytelling Workshop on Disability Life at U-M

  • Date: October 18, 2018
  • Time: 12 - 3pm
  • Location: Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery
  • Panelists: Victor Strecher, Ph.D., Professor, Health Behavior & Health Education and Director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship; and Patricia F. Anderson, Emerging Technologies Informationist for the Health Sciences; with surprise special guests

Comics allow us to explain feelings and events in ways that bridge time and space and identity in unexpected ways. Comics can give us a way to tell stories we might not tell in other ways, or which might not be heard if we did. In this two part workshop, we’ll first hear from people about why and how comics worked for their stories, followed by a workshop activity for artists and storytellers to collaborate on telling stories about life with disabilities.

October 22: Active Minds Panel Discussion

  • Time: 12 - 1:30pm
  • Location: Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery
  • Student panelists tell their own stories

October 24: Neubacher Ceremony

  • Time: 9:30 - 11:30am
  • Location: Rackham Assembly Hall 

The Ceremony recognizes U-M affiliates (faculty/staff/students/alums) who have been nominated and selected for their contributions to disability issues.

October 24: Disability and Accessible Teaching: Current Perspectives and Best Practices

  • Time: 2:30 - 4:30pm
  • Location: CRLT Seminar Room, Palmer Commons
  • Facilitators: Grant Jackson (CRLT) and Stephanie Rosen (University Libraries)
  • Free session but registration required at crlt.umich.edu

October 29: Updated ADA information: Assistive Animals and Emotional Support Animals (ESA)

  • Time: 7 - 8pm
  • Location: Ann Arbor District Library, Main Branch, 4th floor 
  • Panelists: Christina Kline, Disability Coordinator, U-M Office for institutional Equity; Jack Bernard, U-M Associate General Counsel
  • Moderator: Jeff Edelstein

Do you know the difference between Emotional Support Animals and assistive animals? Do you know which animals can legally be kept in dorms or in rentals? Which animals can be taken into public spaces such as restaurants and stores? Our panel can provide answers.

October 30: Language and Disability: An Exploration

  • Time: 1 - 2:30pm
  • Location: Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery
  • Panelists: Petra Kuppers, Lloyd Shelton, Dessa Cosma, Pam McGuinty, Luke Kudryashov

This event will explore language and disability experiences through multiple lenses, including poetry, political implications, access to the nuances of English for people with hearing loss, and a discussion panel on linguistic authority, implications of language choice, and building community across differences.