The Disability Experience: State of the Arts in Research, Scholarship and the Arts

Thursday, October 31, 2013- Friday, November 1, 2013
Location: University of Pittsburgh

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Students for Disability Advocacy (SDA), a student-led organization at the University of Pittsburgh, is proud to announce the first-ever disability studies conference to be held at the University of Pittsburgh.  The title of the conference is "The Disability Experience: State of Scholarship, Research and the Arts."

The conference will be held on October 31 and November 1 at the William Pitt Student Union on the University of Pittsburgh's main campus in Oakland. Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Office of Disability Employment Policy, will deliver the keynote address. The conference is free and open to the public.  Registration is not required, but encouraged. To register, please visit or call (412) 822-3710.

The purpose of the conference is to advance the field of disability studies, incorporate the disability perspective into higher education curricula, and promote full inclusion of students with disabilities in higher education. 

Students with and without disabilities from six universities will present scholarly work in the fields of English and fine arts, disability narrative, assistive technology, health and wellness, education, employment, policy development, and community inclusion. University of Pittsburgh faculty from throughout the Humanities, Arts and Sciences will serve as panel facilitators/respondents.  An interactive round-table of students and faculty will discuss the relationship between students with disabilities and university faculty, and how to improve it.

The Disability Experience conference will bridge the town and the gown with active community participation by consumers, parents, friends and agencies who join SDA in support of advancement of  disability studies and inclusion. Underwriting for the conference has been provided by Bender Consulting Service, Inc., City of Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Task Force on Disability, FISA Foundation, Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, Three Rivers Center for Independent Living, Sodexo, University of Pittsburgh Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh Disability Resource Center, University of Pittsburgh Student Government Association and UPMC.

Students for Disability Advocacy (SDA) was established 2012 as a support group for University of Pittsburgh students with disabilities, to advocate for change and to educate so that the University of Pittsburgh is a more diverse, inclusive and accessible community for all students.  For more information, see, or search SDAPitt on Facebook or Twitter.