October is Disability Awareness Month

Outdoor Section 504 rally depicting the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD) at Lafayette Park opposite the White House on April 26, 1977.
American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD) at a Section 504 rally at Lafayette Park opposite the White House on April 26, 1977. Photo by HolLynn D'Lil

Upcoming Events

SuperFest Disability Film Festival 
October 16 - 18

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—hosted by Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State. For more than 30 years, Superfest has celebrated cutting-edge cinema that portrays disability through a diverse, complex, unabashed and engaging lens. Superfest is one of the few festivals worldwide that prioritizes access for disabled filmgoers of all kinds. 

The Office of Equity and Inclusion will be purchasing tickets for Superfest for anyone who wishes to participate at no charge to you. Request tickets for Superfest.

Structural Obstacles to Holistic Disability Support in Higher Education 
Wednesday, October 21, at 2pm via Zoom

How can existing resources and systems create a more inclusive and holistic model of support for students with disabilities? Moderator Dr. Amanda Kraus will facilitate a panel discussion with faculty and disability services professionals exploring the topic of holistic disability support in higher education. The panel will explore topics such as funding, disability identity, campus culture, faculty perceptions, and disability stigma. 

Everyday Ableism: Disability Through a Social Justice Lens
Thursday, October 22, at 2pm via Zoom

When we understand disability in a context of social justice, a cultural and political experience shaped by dynamics of power and privilege, we can begin to unpack the many ways ableism influences the system of higher education. This presentation will use relevant research to identify pervasive disability stereotypes and microaggressions and explore how these perspectives inform our personal and professional behaviors and attitudes.  In order to affect sustained access and inclusion on college and university campuses, we must recognize the pervasiveness of these ideas and reframe our work and attitudes to align with social justice values.

Podcast Episode with the UMass Alliance Against Ableism

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.

Listen to the Episode

For the captioned video podcast, go to https://vimeo.com/463603117

References from the Podcast Episode with the UMass Alliance Against Ableism

Information and Resources



YouTube Channels

UMass Disability and Accessibility Resources

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.

We are fully committed to to providing full and equal access to information and services for all current and potential members of our community. For more information on our accessibility practices, and where you can go for assistance and support, please review the resources below.

  • Accessible Workplace
    The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to being a workplace of choice for individuals of all ability levels. The Accessible Workplace unit, within the Office of Human Resources, is responsible for administering reasonable workplace accommodations for faculty and staff, including graduate and undergraduate workers.
  • Disability Services
    The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to being a destination of choice for individuals of all ability levels. Disability Services provides direct services to students for all types of disability, information and referral on issues of accessibility, as well as training and staff development to the University community.
  • Instructional Innovation
    There’s a lot you can do to make your course materials, websites, and media more accessible to people with different abilities, including vision, hearing, learning abilities, cognitive needs, mobility, speech,  and combinations of these. Instructional Innovation regularly offers workshops on a variety of accessibility topics.
  • IT Accessibility Resources
    The University of Massachusetts Amherst Information Technologies is committed to providing information and resources that support our institutional goals of accessibility. Please visit this webpage to learn about resources and support in the areas of websites and web-based software, multimedia, electronic documents, electronic instructional materials, classroom delivery techniques and considerations, and more.
  • Web Accessibility
    In order to meet its values of diversity and inclusiveness, UMass Amherst is committed to making its website accessible to all. To learn about our institutional commitment to web accessibility and to ensure that your UMass webpage is accessible, please use the information and resources provided.