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'Diversity in Disability' Symposium Brings Renowned Advocates to UB

Cofounder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network will be among presenters at event discussing how disability influences diversity and identity

Release Date: April 12, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Ari Ne'eman, founding president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, will be among speakers at "Diversity in Disability," a University at Buffalo symposium on the role that disability plays in diversity and the formulation of identity.

The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, at the Center for Tomorrow on UB's North Campus in Amherst, N.Y. Though the symposium is free and open to the public, space is limited. Registration is required at https://www.ubevents.org/event/ddsymposium.

The symposium, planned by UB students, will encourage attendees to think about the role that disability -- alongside characteristics such as race and religion -- plays in diversity. One focus will be on how disability influences identity: how people with disabilities see themselves, and how others within different communities see them.

"We'll be exploring the intersection of race and disability, and sexual orientation and disability," said David Dodge, a UB English major and one of the event's lead organizers. "People don't often think of disability as a part of identity, but it is."

Ne'eman, a member of the National Council on Disability, is one of the nation's leading advocates working to increase the representation of autistic individuals in public policy discussions.

Fellow presenters at "Diversity in Disability" will include Stacey Milbern, community outreach director for the National Youth Leadership Network, and Tammy Milillo, a senior research associate in UB's chemistry department. Milillo, an advocate for increasing opportunity for people with disabilities in science and engineering, will deliver a keynote address.

Sponsors include UB's Accessibility Resources, UB's Center for Disability Studies, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Wellness Education Services, Department of Linguistics, Student Life, Gender Institute and Humanities. Amherst's Museum of disABILITY History is bringing three exhibits to the symposium.

Dodge's co-organizers included Alec Frazier, Hope Supernault and Carly Skonecki, all UB students. Susan Mann Dolce, UB assistant director of Accessibility Resources, advised the planning committee.

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Charlotte Hsu
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