Disability Access and Belonging Month
UT has a long history of celebrating disability during the month of October, which is both National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Texas Persons with Disabilities History and Awareness Month. Previously celebrated as Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month, with the establishment of the Disability Cultural Center, we are excited to make a shift to celebrating Disability Access and Belonging Month. This new name better reflects the goals and priorities for events and activities happening on the UT campus during the month of October; engaging the entire campus community to continue to improve access and cultivating a sense of belonging for disabled students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors. We invite you to find a way to be part of celebrating Disability Access and Belonging Month as an individual, as well as within your classes, groups, teams, and networks. Every member of the UT community has a role to play in contributing to Disability Access and Belonging at UT not only in October, but every day and month of the year.
During October, the Disability Cultural Center is excited to be hosting and promoting a variety of disability-related opportunities. Review our the list and calendar of events below and choose how you will participate in Disability Access and Belonging Month! For a full list of disability-related events and to view events in a calendar view, visit the DCC Events page. Follow the DCC on Instagram (dcc_ut) for event reminders and updates!
Disability Access and Belonging Month Opportunities
DCC Library Hornraiser Campaign
Help the DCC establish a library full of printed and digital disability-related materials for research and academic purposes, professional development and personal interest! Donate money to purchase books and supplies (Hornraiser Campaign is live through October 15th) or contact the DCC to learn about donating material.
Disability Access and Belonging Month Emails
Each week, the DCC will be sending out emails with upcoming events, disability resources, community opportunities, and stories about disabled members of the UT Community. Sign up to learn more about disability access and belonging from your inbox!
National Disability Employment Awareness Month Spotlights
In collaboration with the newly formed Disabled Faculty and Staff Association, the DCC will be spotlighting disability/Deaf/neurodivergent staff, faculty, and student employees throughout the month. Check out Instagram and our weekly emails and help us celebrate and recognize the contributions of disability/Deaf/neurodivergent UT employees!
Disability Access and Belonging Month Events
October 3rd: Crip Conversations: A Conversation with Dr. Shayda Kafai
Join Dr. Nick Winges-Yanez from the Texas Center for Disability Studies for a conversation with author Dr. Shayda Kafai about her book Crip Kinship.
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 3rd, 12:45PM – 1:45PM
Location: UT Austin – PAR 304/Zoom
Wednesdays in October: Disability Discussions
Date/Time: Every Wednesday from 3-4pm
- October 4th Invisible Disabilities
- October 11th: Disability Pride, Identity and Culture
- October 18th: Assistive Technology and Mobility Aids
- October 25th: Disability Representation
Location: SSB 3.200K/Zoom
RSVP: Sign up for any/all session!
Join the DCC in discussion around a variety of disability-related topics each week. Whether you want to learn from other disabled people or have experiences or resources you are willing to share, these Disability Discussions provide space to have conversations you may not be able to have anywhere else. Let’s harness the power and expertise of the UT Disability Community!
October 5th: Neurodiversity Affirming Training: Supporting the Neurodivergent Community at UT Austin
Date/Time: Thursday, October 5th, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Hosted by Longhorn TIES, this interactive training introduces attendees to neurodiversity, provides action tips to be neurodiversity affirming in practice, and reviews campus and community resources related to neurodiversity. Participants who attend this training will be added to a Neurodiversity Affirming Continuing Education Canvas page and receive a “Neurodiversity Affirming” placard recognizing their completion of the training and an ongoing commitment to supporting the neurodivergent community at UT Austin. Longhorn TIES offers this as an open training at least once per semester.
Disabled and Neurodivergent Student Study Space / Body Doubling Space
- Wednesday October 11th 1-3pm
- Wednesday October 25th , 5-7pm
Location: Student Services Building 3.200, DCCE Commons
Hosted by the Disability Cultural Center and Longhorn TIES Neurodiversity Support, these come-and-go study and “body doubling” spaces provide an opportunity for disabled students, neurodivergent students, and friends to be productive with community in the DCCE Commons (SSB 3.200). Stop by for snacks, company, and a protected opportunity to work on assignments, emailing, or other tasks on your to-do list. Not familiar with the term body doubling? According to CNN, body doubling is “a productivity and self-help strategy that involves working with another person around to help improve motivation and focus.”
October 12th: Disability Culture Conversations: Digital Accessibility
Date/Time: October 12th (2nd Thursday of the month) from 12-1pm
Location: Zoom: (RSVP required to receive the Zoom link)
These monthly virtual meetups are designed to provide a space for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to come together to learn about topics related to disabled identity and the disability community. Each month will be dedicated to a specific topic and will include a short overview of the topic and then allow time for conversation and discussion.
October 17th: DCC Hangout
Date/Time: Tuesday October 17th, 6:30-8pm
Location: SSB 3.200
Join the DCC and DASC for a relaxed evening of building disability community, hanging out with friends and meeting new ones. Themes for each hangout vary from game nights, volunteer activities, arts and crafts and more; check social media for topics for specific nights. RSVP to receive updates and reminders.
October 18th: Disabled Advocates: Finding Community and Sustaining Self-Care
Date and Time: Wednesday October 18th (3rd Wednesday of the month) from 12-1pm
Location: SSB 3.200k/Zoom
RSVP to participate in this group conversation!
Disabled members of the UT community are invited to gather together to share experiences, problem solve, and engage in mutual support around advocacy with other disabled advocates. Whether you feel like you are constantly the “go to” person for accessibility because of your disability identity or you aren’t sure how to advocate for yourself in a certain situation, come find support and community within this group.
October 20th: Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival
Join the UT Community as we head to the Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival, sponsored by the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities. Held at the Rollins Theater at the Long Center, you are welcome to attend as an individual or RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to want to join the group bus ride from the UT Campus. Tickets can be purchased in advance and will be reimbursed on site, so it is free to attend! Wear your burnt orange and let’s celebrate 20 years of this amazing film festival in Austin! *The Film Festival takes place October 20th and 21st but the DCC will only be attending as a group on the 20th.
October 24th: Meet and Greet for the UT Deaf Community
Date/Time: Tuesday October 24th from 3-5pm
Location: National Deaf Center Suite (SZB 5.618)
The National Deaf Center is excited to announce a meet & greet for the UT Deaf Community! This event is an opportunity for deaf students to connect with deaf faculty, staff, and community members. Learn more about the Disability Cultural Center (DCC) – a hub on campus for community, education and advocacy for Longhorns with disabilities – and the Deaf Culture Alliance – UT’s student organization dedicated to bringing together a community of Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and signing students. Let’s build an inclusive and welcoming space for our deaf UT community with good food and conversation! Beverages and light appetizers will be provided. RSVP by 5pm on October 23rd to Isabelle at email@example.com.
October 24th: Adapted Sports Night:
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 24th, 6:30-8:30pm
Location: Clark Field Basketball Courts.
Come try a variety of adapted sports and connect with adapted sports organizations and teams in the Austin Community. All are welcome to come learn about different ways to be active and the different equipment that allows everyone to participate in sport.
RSVP Requested: https://utexas.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eMa8Uspmkvuev8W
Volunteer opportunities available! Sign up to volunteer: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0E44AEAF23AAFAC34-44412088-2023#/
October 25th: ADA Forums
Date/Time: Wednesday October 25th, 12-1:30pm
Location: Zoom (https://utexas.zoom.us/j/91829004213)
The President’s Accessibility Committee addresses institution-wide systemic issues that fall within the scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA Forums are an opportunity to hear about accessibility projects and updates happening across campus, as well as a chance for UT community members to share their own questions and concerns related to accessibility. While we are interested in individual situations and experiences, the committee is charged with developing solutions for broad-based concerns affecting many in our community.
October 26th: Provost Teaching Fellows Think Tank: Teaching Neurodiverse Students:
Date/Time: Thursday Oct. 26, 2023, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Location: PCL Learning Lab
This Think Tank will be facilitated by Katie Tackett and Longhorn TIES.Come learn more about embracing neurodiversity on our campus and what you can do to work toward an environment that is more accessible and inclusive for neurodiverse students. All instructors are welcome!