OCTOBER 20 | The What and Why of Digital Accessibility: Unpacking U-M’s Newest Disability Policy

The What and Why of Digital Accessibility:
Unpacking U-M’s Newest Disability Policy

October 20, 2022 | 11am – 12pm EST

Digital accessibility is a hot topic, especially after the recent release of the associated Policy/Standard Practice Guide (SPG) at UMich. What is included in this umbrella term, and how does it relate more broadly back to disability justice and inclusion at the U of M? Our expert presenters will start by discussing what digital accessibility is and why it matters for more inclusive organizations and products. This will be followed by an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and describe their own experiences with digital barriers and successes.

  • Phil Deaton (he/him), Digital Information Accessibility Coordinator, ECRT
  • Kurt Murmers (they/them), Digital Accessibility Analyst, ITS
  • Jane Berliss-Vincent (she/her), Assistive Tech Manager, ITS

OCTOBER 21 | Care Infrastructure and MiDisability Support Staff

Care Infrastructure and MiDisability Support Staff

October 21, 2022 | 11:30am – 12:30pm EST

Across the United States and Southeastern Michigan, we are facing a critical shortage of care assistants for people with disabilities and older individuals. A working group and several incentives have been produced over the past year to address the role of the University in finding a solution to the direct care shortage. Many of our students and faculty do not know how to pay and locate staff that will help them with their personal health and community engagement. Our panelists will discuss methods of addressing systemic issues of lack of care support and how that impacts their access to the University. We will follow with a Q&A where the community can troubleshoot solutions to this incredibly complex issue.

  • Vincent Pinti, fourth-year honor’s student in LS&A, disability rights activist, and recipient of the 2021 Neubacher Award
  • Michael Wilson, second-year honor’s student in LS&A, member of the PCA Database Working Group, disability rights activist
  • Ashley Wiseman, Associate Director of the U-M Global Scholars Program (GSP), member of Disability Culture at U-M, Council for Disability Concerns Advisory Group, and disability rights activist
  • Caroline Dickerson, fourth-year nursing student, recipient of the 2021 Personal Care Assistant Scholarship through Central Student Government
  • Lloyd Sheldon, LSA Staff and Faculty Disability Navigator

OCTOBER 27 | Imagining a Disability Cultural Center at U-M

Imagining a Disability Cultural Center at U-M

October 27, 2022 | 4pm – 5pm EST

Disability as a cultural identity emerged in our nation’s perception 30 years ago, with the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and this perspective has only continued to grow over recent years. In response, disability cultural centers have begun to emerge as increasingly common fixtures at universities. Come join members of DC@UM (Disability Culture at the University of Michigan) to learn more about what a disability cultural center is and imagine what one could be like on our campus.

  • Pam McGuinty (she/her), Co-chair for the Council of Disability Concerns, College of Engineering
  • Patricia F Anderson (any pronouns), Emerging Technologies Informationist, HS-STEM Libraries
  • Marjorie Herbert (she/they), Phd candidate, Linguistics
  • Winter McLeod (she/her), Student IDEA Board Intern, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Vincent Pinti (he/him), fourth-year honor’s student in LS&A, disability rights activist, and recipient of the 2021 Neubacher Award

NOVEMBER 3 | Faculty and SAAS: Accommodate, Testing Centers, and Accommodation Letters, Oh My!

Faculty and SAAS: Accommodate, Testing Centers, and Accommodation Letters, Oh My!

November 3, 2022 | 12pm – 1pm EST

Working with students for effective accommodations is a partnership between the Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services (SAAS), which includes Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) and Testing Accommodation Centers (TAC), and faculty/instructors. This session will provide insight into how faculty and instructors can effectively navigate the SSD Accommodate system, which is the core electronic case management system used in requesting, approving, and implementing disability-related accommodations. In addition this session will offer an overview of the testing accommodation centers equipment and resources for students.

  • Colleen van Lent (she/her)
  • Allen Sheffeld (he/him)

All conference sessions will have CART and ASL provided. If you will be using a screen reader or have other accessibility needs, please contact disabilityconfinfo@umich.edu.

About the Conference

A virtual colloquial series of events throughout Disability Community Month, Toward an Anti-Ableist Academy invites the campus community to learn more about creating a welcoming University climate that actively works toward embracing disability culture and experiences. Ableism is defined as discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities and/or people who are perceived to be disabled.

These virtual events encourage open dialogue and discussion with students, staff, faculty and disability experts, providing opportunities to learn about best practices that ensure the disabled community can fully participate in campus life at the University of Michigan.

The conference was created to provide an update on the work of the Student IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) Board, their recommendations and the ongoing work to implement them. The charge of the Student IDEA Board was, broadly, to assess the current state and capacity of the University’s infrastructure to support and include students who are, or may become, impacted by barriers within the University and/or the University culture regarding disability and accessibility.

This title was chosen by the thirteen members of the planning committee for The Student IDEA Board conference. We brainstormed ideas for a conference title reflective of the progress made and much work to be done on reducing and eliminating accessibility gaps for disabled students, faculty, and staff. This title is indicative of the forward movement towards disability inclusion on campus.


  • Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI)
  • Office for Health Equity and Inclusion (OHEI)
  • Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) / Student Accessibility and Accommodations Services (SAAS)
  • Disability Culture at University of Michigan (DC@UM)
  • Council for Disability Concerns (CfDC)
  • The Student Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Board (IDEA Board)
  • Rackham Graduate School (RGS)
  • Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX (ECRT)