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Disability and the media focus of conference

Published October 10, 2013

How the disability community can empower itself through social media and the media’s perception of the disability community will be examined during “Disability & the Media: A Community Dialogue,” a conference to be held Oct. 24 at UB and at the Museum of DisABILITY History in Eggertsville.

The conference, which is free of charge and open to the public, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Morning sessions will be held in Harriman Hall on the UB South Campus; afternoon sessions will take place at the museum, 3826 Main St.

It is presented by DEAN (Disability Education and Advocacy Network) of WNY. Co-sponsor is the Center for Disability Studies at UB. Michael Rembis, UB assistant professor of history and director of the Center for Disability Studies, is a founding member of DEAN.

Beth Haller, professor in the Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies at Towson University, Maryland, will give the keynote presentation during the morning session. Haller, an authority on the media’s portrayal of people with disabilities, will discuss “Disability Advocacy in the New Media Environment.”

The morning session also will include a presentation by Ezra B. Zubrow, UB professor of anthropology, who will examine media representation of people with disabilities in various parts of the world.

Afternoon breakout sessions at the Museum of DisABILITY History will be led by Haller and by Buffalo News reporter Gene Warner and former News features editor Susan LoTempio. Tours of the museum will be available between 3-4 p.m. for the regular admission fee.

The conference includes catered breakfast and lunch at Harriman Hall. The event is accessible and barrier-free, with ASL interpreters. Shuttle service will be provided between Harriman Hall and the Museum of DisABILITY History.

Participants must register in advance at the conference website. Early registration ends Oct. 18.