Inaugural Disability Awareness Day is for learning – UND Today

Inaugural Disability Awareness Day is for learning

March 21, 2024

by Janelle Vonasek

Published in: College of Education & Human Development, Diversity & Inclusion

Global expert ‘reimagines’ movement where excluded groups join forces to advance change

UND student Emmalia Frei (right) talks to another student about the disability she was diagnosed with as a sophomore in high school. UND students, staff and faculty filtered in and out of the Memorial Union Ballroom all day Monday as they took part in the first Disability Awareness Day. Photo by Janelle Vonasek/UND Today.

Disability rights have come a long, long way since the shameful, shadowy days of institutional oppression, a sociologist and leading expert in inclusive learning said this week at UND. But, he added, there’s still much work that needs to be done.

Alan Bruce, keynote speaker at UND’s first Disability Awareness Day on Monday, told the crowd inside the Memorial Union that the powerful momentum sparked by the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 has stalled in recent years, and “it’s time to reimagine where we’re going in the future.

“For the people working in the disability movement, there is a crisis because we’ve run out [...]

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