2nd Annual Yale Disability & Accessibility Symposium, 2023


Event Description

The first week of April marks the anniversary of the April 5, 1977 historic Section 504 sit-in and protest in San Francisco, CA. Last year, students, faculty, and staff at Yale organized a day-long series of discussions and panels to mark the 45th anniversary of this critically important action. This year, we’ve expanded the event to offer an entire week of panel discussions, research presentations, exhibitions, and more on the subject of disability activism, inclusion, equity, and liberation.

This year’s event is made possible by the generous support of our campus partners and sponsors:

  • The Department of History Diversity Committee 
  • FAS Dean of Science and Phyllis A. Wallace, Dean of Diversity and Faculty Development, Prof. Larry Gladney 
  • FAS Dean of the Humanities and Acting Dean of the FAS, Prof. Kathryn Lofton 
  • History of Science and Medicine Program
  • Section of the History of Medicine 
  • History, Health and Humanities Working Group
  • The Program for Humanities in Medicine
  • Yale Library
  • DiversAbility at Yale (DAY)


Please register for the virtual events online via Eventbrite. You will need to register for each day’s virtual events separately.  Please note that a few events may have their own registration process. Those are noted as needed. 

All in-person events require registration/RSVP at the appropriate links, below. 

Attendees at in-person events are required to wear high-quality masks (ASTM-rated masks or KN95 or N95 respirators) except when eating or drinking. Masks will be made available at the in-person events. Please note that the pop-up exhibit and reception are in spaces where masking will be strongly encouraged but not guaranteed because of the public flow through these spaces. Speakers will be masked or unmasked while presenting or speaking at their personal discretion. 

Attendees are strongly encouraged to refrain from wearing perfume, aftershave, or other fragrances, as these may affect other attendees with fragrance sensitivities.

To join the virtual events please refer to your Eventbrite confirmation email. Attendees can join the sessions through the “View the event” button, which will take you to the “Join now” button.

Schedule of Events

Monday, April 3, 2023

9:45 am - 10:00 am (Virtual)

Introduction & Welcome 

  • Members of the 2nd Annual Yale Disability & Accessibility Symposium Organizing Committee

10:00 am - 11:15 am (Virtual)

Panel Discussion:  Disability Advocacy Work: A Panel Discussion with Local and State Legal, Policy, & Service Organizations and Leaders 

  • Alvin Chege, Aging and Disability Services, Hartford, CT
  • Annie Harper, Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry, Yale University and Connecticut Mental Health Center
  • Deborah A. Dofman, Executive Director/Attorney, Disability Rights Connecticut
  • Gretchen Knauff, Director, Office of Services for Persons with Disabilities, New Haven
  • Billy Huang, Chair of the Commission on Disabilities, CT Office of Workforce Strategies, and Founder, Source Development Hub LLC, New Haven CT
  • Kristen Whitney Daniels, T1International’s Federal Working Group Co-Lead
  • Moderated by Michelle Morgan, Yale University

11:30 am - 12:00 pm (Virtual)

Keynote Speaker 

Sarah F. Rose, Historian and Author, No Right to Be Idle.

  • Introduced by Emily Yankowitz, Yale University

6:30 pm - 8:00 pm: (In-person. Sterling Memorial Lecture Hall, Enter at 120 High Street or at 301 York Street, New Haven)

Documentary Screening: “Calculus: Factoring in Disability at Yale,”  Directed by Kenya Loudd, 2023. Run time: 45 minutes.

Registration for in-person attendance is now closed. Remote livestream available: https://yale.zoom.us/s/96095080420

  • Light dinner fare will be provided

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Dr. Temple Grandin: Autism & Education–  New Book Release

10:30 am -12:15 pm  (Virtual) 

Panel Discussion: Accessibility in the Cultural Sector - Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums, and Theaters

  • Gracen Brilmyer, Assistant Professor, School of Information Science, McGill University
  • Charlotte Martin, Director of Access Initiatives at Intrepid Museum in NYC
  • Laura Kirk, Director of Audience Services, David Geffen School of Drama at Yale/Yale Repertory Theatre
  • Mara Mills, Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University
  • Georgina Kleege, Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley
  • Moderated by Kenya Loudd, Yale University

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm: (In-person. Yale School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven in SHM L 112A)

Pop-Up Exhibition and Reception

Register for the exhibition/reception 

  • 4:30 pm -5:30 pm: Panel on exhibition and related themes featuring:
    • Daniel HoSang, Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, Yale University
    • Chisom Ofomata, DEFY President
    • Emily Yankowitz, PhD Candidate in History, Yale University

​To learn more about this exhibition please visit Striving to Flourish: Intersectional Lived Experiences with Disability

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

11:00 am - 12:00 pm: (Virtual)

Research Panel: Disability Studies in Education: Conversations About Disability Studies and Representation at Yale University 

  • Lisbette Acosta (she/her/hers), Yale University: “An investigation into disability representation and scholarship at Yale College: Insights from members of the Yale community.”

  • Honor Callanan (she/her/hers), Yale University: ”Reciprocal friendships between those with and without intellectual disabilities within peer support systems.”

  • Eliya Ahmad (she/her/hers), Yale University: “From Education to Employment: The State of High School Transition Programs for Students with Disabilities.”

  • Moderated by Dr. Kimberley Tsujimoto, Yale University

3:30 pm - 4:15 pm:  (Virtual)

Research Panel: The Medicalization of Disability Discourse and the Need for Self-Definition

  • Callie M Ginapp: “Rethinking conceptualization of adult ADHD and how we provide care: a qualitative study.”

  • Chisom Ofomata: “The Necessity of Diverse Perspectives on Hearing Loss: How Medical Terminology Can Undermine Identity and Community for Deaf Individuals.”

  • Moderated by Michelle Morgan, Yale University

Thursday April 6

Remote livestream available: https://yale.zoom.us/j/97743348990?pwd=L0JiQWFzMGxUeGQ1MGI1Rm9KY2RIZz09

9:30 am - 10 am: (In-person. Sterling Memorial Lecture Hall, Enter at 120 High Street or at 301 York Street, New Haven)

Panel Discussion: Employing Differently Abled Bodies in New Haven

  • Lauren Pace, M.Ed, CESP, Vice President of Behavioral Health and Career Development, Marrakech Inc.
  • Heather Sandler, MSW, Employment Coordinator, Veteran Readiness & Employment Service, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Moderated by Julie Linden, Yale University

10:15 am - 11:00 am (In-person. Sterling Memorial Lecture Hall, Enter at 120 High Street or at 301 York Street, New Haven)

Panel Discussion: Deaf Identities: Working for Yale with a Disability

  • Cindy Greenspun, MBA. Project Portfolio Manager, Library IT

  • Julia Silvestri, Ph.D., Ed.S.,Lector, American Sign Language, ASL Program Director, Department of Linguistics 

  • Irene Jazowick, MLIS, Library Cataloging Assistant IV

  • Moderated by Kenya Loudd, Yale University

11:15 am - 12:00 pm (In-person. Sterling Memorial Lecture Hall, Enter at 120 High Street or at 301 York Street, New Haven)

Institutional Accessibility for Staff, Faculty, and Students at Yale

  • Faculty accommodations: Jamaal Thomas, Associate Director, OIEA
  • Staff accommodations: Colleen Gerbino, Staff Accommodations Manager, Benefits
  • Student accommodations: Kimberly McKeown, Director, Student Accessibility Services
  • Moderated by Julie Linden, Yale University

Noon: Lunch Social Hour

Register for lunch on Thursday, April 6, 2023

Performance by Shades

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm (In-person. Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, Room 120A , 301 York Street/attached to Sterling Memorial Library).

Reading and Discussion with Lillie Lainoff, Yale ‘18.

Remote option available. Register on Yale Connect for the link.

The first 20 respondents can reserve a free copy of One For All, to be picked up at the event. One For All  is described by the publisher as a “gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers, in which a girl with a chronic illness trains as a Musketeer and uncovers secrets, sisterhood, and self-love.” 

  • A former Div I fencer and NCAA Championship competitor for Yale, Lillie Lainoff is the founder of Disabled Kidlit Writers and the winner of the 2019 LA Review Literary Award for Short Fiction. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post Outlook, Washington City Paper, and via the Disability Visibility Project, amongst other places. She frequently writes articles for parents and families of kids with disabilities and about the representation of disability in the mediaOne for All, her debut novel, was named a Best Book of 2022 by NPR. More of her work is online at http://www.lillielainoff.com/, and @lillielainoff on Twitter and Instagram. She received her MA in Creative Writing Prose Fiction from the University of East Anglia.