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The Diversity & Inclusion Blog

Disabilities Committee 2018

Posted On: Thursday, July 26, 2018 Posted By: Sibgha Javaid, Intern DIO Tags: Committee on Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Disabilities

The Disabilities Committee is firmly committed to equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion in employment and learning for individuals with disabilities. The committee helps to support UMMS’ commitment to a welcoming and accessible environment that ensures that individuals with disabilities can participate in all of the benefits and opportunities afforded to the UMMS community.

            The Disabilities Committee accomplished many things this past year as they were led by co-chairs Linda M. Long Bellil, PhD, JD, and Melissa Anderson, PhD. They had an Assistive Technology Library Exhibit. They also co-sponsored a Book Reading on Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw, with the Civility Subcommittee at the Medical School Campus. They also had a discussion on Carry On: A Story of Resilience, Redemption, and an Unlikely Family with speakers including the Author herself: Lisa Fenn, and Sharon Silva, Director of Adoption, Department of Children and Families. In collaboration with medical students from UMMS, they hosted a film viewing of Lives Worth Living, a documentary chronicling the American Disability Rights Movement. The committee continued their work to improve the accessibility of online materials, which began with the Access at Work task force. The committee was also able to recruit some new members this year, which will help them further their mission. The Disabilities Committee’s goals for the upcoming year are to increase awareness about the realities of living with a disability by having at least three programs related to disabilities. They also hope to increase skills for employing people with disabilities by having at least one program related to the employment of individuals with disabilities, support efforts to make UMASS an “Employer of Choice” for peoples with disabilities, and raise awareness of the importance of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for people with disabilities.