Disability Symposium

22nd Annual Weingarten Center Disability Symposium

Shared Responsibility and Collaborative Partnerships

Friday, March 8, 2024

Location: University of Pennsylvania, Houston Hall

Call for Proposals

Creating an accessible, inclusive environment does not solely rest on the shoulders of a university’s disability staff. It is a shared responsibility for all members of a college/university community to work towards the common goal of creating facilities, programs, and services that are accessible and welcoming for people with disabilities. Reflect upon those occasions when a university employee called your office to inform you that an elevator was not working, or a restroom failed to have a paper towel dispenser at an appropriate height for wheelchair users. It is those moments that you probably wondered, “What are the expectations of a disability office?”  Many times, people assume the disability office does it all when it comes to handling ADA issues. Even though most disability offices go beyond the norm, there are many issues that do not fall under the responsibility or authority of the disability office. Nonetheless, disability offices usually serve as the nexus in bringing people together, to discuss the issue, dissect the challenge, and determine steps to effect change.

Reflect upon your role as a disability advisor, educator, administrator, activist, or advocate. How have you created collaborative partnerships with campus partners to foster an accessible, inclusive, welcoming environment that promotes belonging?  What steps did you take to solicit partnerships? How have these partnerships impacted the university environment? What guidance can you provide to Symposium participants that will aid them in undertaking similar initiatives at their institutions? These questions serve as inspiration in drafting a proposal that illustrates shared responsibility in creating an accessible, inclusive environment for all. Please submit your proposal by November 27, 2023.

Deep appreciation to Mary Landy C’83 and Joseph Landy W’83 for their generous gift that supports and contributes to the Symposium’s ongoing success.