The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. We embrace disability as a natural part of diversity and seek to build capacity to appreciate and value individual differences, including differences in ability, to create inclusive community.
For more information on accessibility at UMass, or to report accessibility barriers, visit Accessibility at UMass Amherst.
The Beautiful Intersections of Identities; Affirming Disability Identity and Culture
Wednesday, October 6, 4:00pm Via Zoom
Watch the recording of the talk here.
Our multiple and intersecting identities should be affirmed and celebrated. In this talk, liz will highlight the impact of their identities both personally and professionally. They will give a preview of their PhD research on disability cultural centers and assert why disability culture and community is vital today more than ever. This talk will have something for everyone.
Presented by Elizabeth (liz) Anh Thomson (they/them/theirs). liz identifies as a disabled, bi/queer, gender non-conforming, Vietnamese adoptee. They have over 20 years of working in higher education mostly with underrepresented students. liz has taught Asian American Studies, Disability Studies, and Women and Gender Studies. Currently, liz is the Director at the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Intercultural Programs and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Minnesota Morris, a small, public liberal arts university in west central rural MN and on the land of Dakota/Lakota and Anishinaabe peoples. Their PhD research focuses on disability cultural centers in higher education and will be defending this fall 2021.
Superfest Disability Film Festival
Friday October 15th through Sunday October 17th, Virtual Event
Superfest Disability Film Festival is the longest running disability film festival in the world. Since it first debuted in a small Los Angeles showcase in 1970 it has become an eagerly anticipated international event. The Office of Equity and Inclusion is purchasing tickets for anyone who would like to watch the Superfest Film Festival. To request a ticket, please complete this form by October 13.
Film Screening of 'Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution'
Thursday, October 21, 4:00-6:00pm, Campus Center 163
Down the road from Woodstock, a revolution blossomed at a ramshackle summer camp for teenagers with disabilities, transforming their lives and igniting a landmark movement. Co-directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Nicole Newnham and film mixer and former camper Jim LeBrecht, this joyous and exuberant documentary arrives the same year as the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, at a time when the country's largest minority group still battles daily for the freedom to exist.
Disability and Accessibility Groups at UMass
Alliance Against Ableism
- The Alliance Against Ableism(AAA) aims to:
- Have conversations around disability identity and inclusion and discuss its intersection with other identities.
- Address ableism and barriers to inclusion and equality on campus and within the community.
- Incorporate disability into larger systemic conversations and help create a campus built for all people.
- Engage in programmatic and educational opportunities surrounding disability on campus and within the community.
UMAIDA (UMass Allies for Illness and Disability Access Network)
UMAIDA promotes a supportive network and work environment that is inclusive and accessible for all individuals with lived experience of disability, deafness, illness (chronic and mental), injury, neurodiversity and their allies. The group also focuses on ways to support the recruitment, retention, professional development and career advancement of employees with disabilities. Email email@example.com
Disability Cultural Club
The Disability Culture Club was founded to spread disability culture and disability history throughout the UMass community. They aim to promote awareness of what "disability" means as a lived experience, as a social identity, and as a vibrant group with a shared heritage as well as to to support members and the disability community as a whole through fun activities and social events. Subscribe to the Disability Culture Club Listserve.
The Boltwood Project
The Boltwood Project is a student-run civic engagement and leadership program designed to provide enrichment, recreation, and socialization for adults and children of intellectual or physical diverse ability.
Podcast Episode with the UMass Allies for Illness and Disability Access (UMAIDA) Network (Air Date 9/29/2021)
Dr. Nefertiti Walker interviews Melinda LeLacheur, Michele Cooke, and Samm Delorey from the UMass Allies for Illness and Disability Access (UMAIDA) Network. In addition to discussing the work of UMAIDA, they discuss the living/learning/working challenges on-campus, the effects of returning to in-person work after a period of remote work, and their personal stories and experiences.
UMAIDA is an employee resource group cultivating a supportive network and work environment that is inclusive and accessible for all individuals with lived experience of disability, deafness, illness (chronic and mental), injury, neurodiversity and their allies. The group also focuses on ways to support the recruitment, retention, professional development and career advancement of employees with disabilities.
Podcast Episode with the UMass Alliance Against Ableism (Air Date 9/30/2020)
Dr. Nefertiti Walker interviews Jeff Edelstein and David Paquette from the Alliance Against Ableism (AAA), formed in February 2019. The AAA aims to hold conversations around disability identity and inclusion, address ableism and barriers to inclusion and equality on campus within the disability community, and incorporate disability into larger systemic conversations.