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Washington D.C. and the surrounding area bustle with disability-related conferences, community events, socials, guest lectures, and direct actions. This is a list of recent and upcoming events with as much information available as possible, especially accessibility information.


Thursdays at 8pm in ICC 205B
Georgetown University Signs
Weekly ASL Lessons
(Intercultural Center, Georgetown University)

Visit the GU Signs Facebook page here. Email: gusigns@georgetown.edu.

March 27, 2014
The Saul I. Stern Symposium
Inclusion and Outcomes: Where Policy and Disability Meet
Van Munching Hall, School of Public Policy
The University of Maryland, College Park

The Saul I. Stern Symposium is a student-led conference intended to address an underappreciated policy topic. This year’s event will be held at Van Munching Hall, School of Public Policy (University of Maryland College Park) on March 27, and will address the role of disability in the public policy sphere. The “Inclusion & Outcomes” symposium includes a keynote speaker, four breakout panels and discussions, and closing remarks. The event will conclude with an informal reception. A tentative schedule is below.

12:00 – 1:00PM Former Congressman Steve Bartlett (Keynote) lunch

1:15-2:30PM Breakout Session A
– The Special Education, General Education Connection
– The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

2:45-4:00PM Breakout Session B
– Increasing Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities
– What ACA and Medicare Policies Mean for People with Disabilities

4:15-4:45PM Closing Remarks

5:00-7:00PM Networking Reception

The Master of Public Policy student organizers are Maria Blaeuer , Jessica Finkel, and Rebecca Scherpelz. They are generously supported by the Saul Stern Professor of Civic Engagement, I. M. “Mac” Destler, and Jonas Siegel, Project Manager and Outreach Director at CISSM. The space is wheelchair accessible, and we will have ASL interpreters. We strive to be as accessible as possible & are happy to make additional accommodations for participants. For more information or to RSVP contact sternsymposium@umd.edu.

You can also contact:
Maria E. Blaeuer, Esq.
703-868-3544 (voice)


April 3-4, 2014
Composing Disability: Diagnosis, Interrupted
Jack Morton Auditorium, School of Media and Public Affairs

George Washington University

Composing Disability is a biennial conference series sponsored by George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Disability Support Services, English Department, and University Writing Program. The inaugural event, titled Composing Disability: Writing, Communication, Culture, was held in November 2011. You can view the event program here.

The second installment of this event series, Composing Disability: Diagnosis, Interrupted, is scheduled for April 3-4 2014 in the Jack Morton Auditorium of GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs. This event will offer a series of panel presentations, keynote speeches and performances that take as their focus the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (published May 2013), examining the fraught relationship between the diagnostic work of the medical industry and the embodied lives of disabled people.

Featured Presentations by

  • Ellen Forney, author of Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me
  • Ann Cvetkovich, author of Depression: A Public Feeling
  • Karen Nakamura, author of A Disability of the Soul
  • Katie Rose Guest Pryal, author of A Short Guide to Writing about Law

Click for the full schedule. The event will begin at 1:00 pm on Thursday, April 3, will run through Thursday evening at 10:00 pm, and will continue from 9:30-5:00 on Friday, April 4. Composing Disability will be fully interpreted in ASL.

Free registration is available here. Follow Composing Disability on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact: Christy Willis, Director, Disability Support Services
Rome Hall, Suite 102
801 22nd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052

April 4-5, 2014
Accessibility Summit
Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner
McLean, VA

Join families, caregivers, faith-based organizations, service providers, teachers, and other professionals connected to the special needs community at the Accessibility Summit on April 4-5, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by Shephers College, Ivymount School and Programs, Autism Outreach Inc., CLC Network, Little Leaves Behavioral Services, Christian Churches Disability Ministry, Organization for Autism Research, Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, and The Auburn School.

Contact: Rosie.Oakley@mcleanbible.org or call 703-770-2918.

April 6-9, 2014
The Arc’s Disability Policy Seminar
Grand Hyatt Washington
Washington, DC

Who Should Attend?

  • Self-advocates;
  • Parents and family member of an individuals with disabilities;
  • Board members, staff, trainees, and volunteers for disability organizations;
  • State and local public policy committee members;
  • Public policy staff; or
  • Constituents

During this crucial election season, we need YOU in Washington, D.C. to help us build bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for high-priority disability issues. When you attend the Disability Policy Seminar, we’ll arm you with all of the information you need to help educate our Members of Congress and their staff on the priorities of the I/DD community. Then, you can return to your hometowns with the ability to spread the word, educate new advocates and reach out to the candidates to help put the needs of people with I/DD front and center on the campaign trail this year.

Priority Topics: Topics to be discussed include: Medicaid and Community Living, Federal Funding, Social Security, Employment and Education, Health Care, and Asset Development. Check our program schedule for a list of informative sessions about the issues important to you.

Click for registration information.

Housing & Registration: Robin Powers, robin@cmig.com (Carolina Meeting & Incentive Group)
Publicity & Press: Kristen McKiernan, mckiernan@thearc.org
Sponsorship Opportunities: Trudy Jacobson, jacobson@thearc.org
Program: Evelyn Powell, Powell@thearc.org
Accessibility (interpreter services, alternative formats, etc.): Evelyn Powell, Powell@thearc.org


April 25-26, 2014
Disability Rights Leadership Institute on Bioethics
Crystal City Marriott

Arlington, VA

The Disability Rights Leadership Institute on Bioethics is a groundbreaking event for disability rights advocates to advance the disability rights perspective on bioethics issues:

  • Withholding Medical Treatment
  • Assisted Suicide Laws
  • Reproductive Technologies
  • [and more]
  • … and developing our advocacy strategies on these issues

A‌‌pril 25 and 26, 2‌‌014
8‌‌:45 AM to 5‌‌:30 PM –
Participants are requested to stay
for the full two–day Institute

Crystal City Marriott, Arlington, VA
Across from Crystal City Metro
1‌‌999 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA 2‌‌2202.
(7‌‌03) 4‌‌13-5‌‌500

Space is limited! Please register ASAP. The Institute registration deadline is M‌‌arch 28. The deadline for hotel registration at the Crystal City Marriott is A‌‌pril 3.

Join us for this exciting and first–ever Disability Rights Leadership Institute on Bioethics (DRLIB), where disability rights advocates will gather for two focused days of learning, discussion, and honing our advocacy skills on the key bioethics issues facing the disability community in the United States (some speakers will provide an international perspective as well).

Speakers will include:

  • Liz Carr, Comedian, Actor in a BBC drama series, and NDY activist from the United Kingdom
  • Diane Coleman, President, Not Dead Yet (NDY)
  • Marcy Darnovsky, PhD, Executive Director, Center for Genetics and Society (CGS)
  • Dr. Kevin Fitzpatrick, Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Europe (EPC Europe)
  • Marilyn Golden, Senior Policy Analyst, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
  • Ari Ne’eman, President and co–founder, Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)

Costs: Registration for the Institute itself: $175, which will help cover a number of meals (see below) as well as other DRLIB expenses including meeting space, speaker costs, and disability accommodations. Participants must pay their own travel & lodging costs. Participants must pay for dinners on both days, and S‌‌aturday’s lunch. The Institute will cover 2 continental breakfasts, 4 breaks, and F‌‌riday’s lunch.

Other Participant responsibilities: Participants will receive written materials in advance and be expected to read them before the Institute. All participants will be expected to avoid wearing perfume, cologne, or other fragrances, and to use unscented personal care products in order to promote a fragrance-free environment.

How to register for the DRLIB: First, register on-line for the Institute itself.

Note: This event is intended for disability rights activists and people who identify with the disability rights movement. We want to get a sense of who the participants are, so please help us out when you register, by responding to a question about your background or history in disability issues and/or organizations. You will see this question on the on-line registration form. Thank you!

Second, if you need a hotel room at the Crystal City Marriott, you must book your own hotel reservation. The hotel deadline is April 3. Call (703) 413-5500 and mention our group name, the Disability Rights Leadership Institute on Bioethics. Hotel room rate is $139 per night plus tax.

Accessibility and accommodation needs:
The hotel is wheelchair–accessible and is across from an accessible Metro stop. For accommodation needs other than hotel rooms: when you register, there will be an opportunity to specify your disability accommodation needs. Contact Tim Fuchs (see contact information below). NOTE: The DRLIB registration deadline of Friday, March 28 is also the deadline for requesting accessibility accommodations.

Participants are advised to use Reagan National Airport if possible—it has an accessible Metro stop, and is closer to the Institute site than the two other airports in the Washington DC area, Dulles and Baltimore. For accessible taxis from National Airport: Call Red Top Cab of Arlington, in advance, at 703-522-3333.

Contact Tim Fuchs:
E-mail: tim@ncil.org
Voice (202) 207-0334
Toll-free (877) 525-3400
TTY (202) 207-0340


July 7-9, 2014
Head Start’s 12th National Research Conference on Early Childhood
Collaboration and Coordination: Understanding Systems Supporting Young Children and Their Families
Grand Hyatt Washington

Washington, DC

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, in conjunction with the Office of Head Start, are pleased to announce that Head Start’s 12th National Research Conference on Early Childhood (HSRC12) will be held July 7-9, 2014 at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C. This 3-day event features plenary sessions, symposia, poster symposia, conversation hours, poster sessions, and informal events. The goals of the conference are to identify and disseminate research relevant to young children (birth to 8 years) and their families and to foster partnerships among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. The conference focuses on research that considers low-income families with young children.

The 2014 theme of HSRC12 is collaboration, coordination, integration and alignment of systems supporting young children and their families. There are substantial recent shifts in the early childhood service landscape, the result of collaborations that strengthen early childhood care and education services at the local, state and national levels. Successful integration and partnering of various early childhood services are critical to advancing the effectiveness of supports for young children and their families, especially for those most at-risk. The 2014 Conference will present the latest research that examines service integration, coordination and alignment, while continuing to showcase evidence-based best practices and new research surrounding child care, Head Start, Early Head Start, home visiting, and other early childhood programs.

For more information about the Conference, please visit our conference website www.hsrconference.net for complete details. Please direct all inquiries about program content to hsrc@circlesolutions.com. For assistance with questions pertaining upcoming conference registration, hotel, please contact Susan Frate, HSRC12 conference logistics support staff at:

Email: hsrc@circlesolutions.com
Toll-free number: 866-852-1576

Individuals using TTY/TDD machines may access the HSRC12 support staff at 703-556-4831.


July 7-10, 2014
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
2014 Annual Conference/TA Institute
Shaping the Future: Community Living through the DD Act

The Hyatt Capitol Hill
Washington, DC

The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) is a national membership organization representing the 56 State and Territorial Councils on Developmental Disabilities. NACDD is a 501(c) 3 organization with the purpose of promoting and enhancing the outcomes of our member councils in developing and sustaining inclusive communities and self-directed services and support for individuals with developmental disabilities. We think that this year’s theme addresses many critical issues of the day affecting people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the exciting work being done at DD Councils. During our plenary sessions we will delve into themes that address what defines “community” and we will examine how current policies and laws both help and hinder progress in such areas as employment, living in the place of your choice and where and how health services are delivered. The Annual Conference will take place July 7-8, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. NACDD will hold its annual Technical Assistance Institute (TAI) on July 9, 2014 also at the Hyatt Regency and we hope you or others from your Council will be able to attend both meetings.

Contact: Hillary Spears

July 13-18, 2014
The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities
Week-long Leadership Institute
University of Delaware

Applications due April 30

Applications are due by April 30, 2014 for the July 13-18, 2014 Institute. The fee of $2,250 includes materials, most lunches, and two dinners.

The class is limited to a select group of emerging leaders offering opportunity for collaboration and an enduring network of support. Approximately 25 people will be accepted, with participation limited to one person per organization. A fair amount of preparation work is required. Participants will be asked to read several books, to submit a personal leadership challenge, and to take a 360 degree assessment of leadership skills prior to the Leadership Institute.

The Institute is held on the campus of the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware; approximately 50 minutes from Philadelphia and one hour from Baltimore. Travel and lodging are at the expense of the participant. Most participants stay at Marriott Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware. The room rate is $151/night. Each Leadership Institute begins early Sunday evening with a welcome dinner and ends before noon on Friday.

We accept only one person at a time from an organization. The reason for this is to assure that all participants are free to speak freely about their concerns or challenges. If your organization would like more than one person to attend you should decide who should apply first and hold future applications for a future Institute (Leadership Institutes are generally held each Winter and Summer) or, if two or more individuals apply for the same Institute, applicants may be deferred for acceptance to a future session.

Cancellations will be accepted only until five weeks before the start date of the Institute. Prior to that date, cancellations must be made in writing (e-mail is acceptable, please confirm that we have received) and funds will be returned, minus a $100 processing fee. There will be no refunds after that date and, if an intended participant cancels after that date or is a no-show, the full registration fee will still be owed. We regret that we cannot offer refunds for late cancellations or no shows, however, if your agency would like to substitute another appropriate individual, this can be done with prior approval.

University of Delaware graduate credits are available for this course. Participants wishing to receive graduate credits will be required to pay an additional fee. For an application form, click here. To learn more about the Leadership Institute, e-mail Nancy Weiss at nweiss@udel.edu.


July 27-August 1, 2014
National Council on Independent Living
Annual Conference on Independent Living
Grand Hyatt Washington

Washington, DC

Open our Annual Conference Guide (in PDF or plain text) to find everything you need to know about the 2014 Annual Conference.
Then, register online or by using the printable registration form. Online registration gives you the ability to register up to three attendees with one transaction and accepts Discover, American Express, Visa and MasterCard. All registrations received and paid before April 30, 2014 are eligible for the Early Bird registration rates. This year, you can use NCIL’s custom link to reserve your room at the Grand Hyatt.

New – 45 Day Hyatt Guestroom Cancellation Policy
Grand Hyatt room reservations cancelled after close of business (5:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time) 45 days prior to arrival will be subject to a non-refundable cancellation charge equal to one night’s room & tax. Cancelled reservations cost money. In order to hold the Conference each year, NCIL is contractually obligated to sell a certain amount of hotel rooms. For the last several years, late cancellations have caused NCIL to be billed for unused rooms. Last year, we narrowly avoided tens-of-thousands of dollars in charges because the hotel sold those rooms to other guests – outside of our group. That was a lucky coincidence. We have to take action to avoid these charges. Please remember that all Conference attendees are required to register for the Conference before reserving rooms at the Grand Hyatt. Please be absolutely sure you can travel to Washington, DC before booking your room.

Additional accessible hotel rooms are also available at the Marriott Metro Center, just 1 block from the Grand Hyatt. Additional details are available on our Conference webpage. See you in July!


November 9-12, 2014
Association of University Centers on Disability 2014 Annual Meeting
Renaissance Washington Hotel

Washington, DC

No other information available yet.

December 3-5, 2014
TASH Annual Conference
Be the Future
Renaissance Downtown, 999 9th St NW
Washington, DC

For more than 38 years, the TASH Conference has impacted the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders in the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life.

Call for Proposals: Open from March 10 to May 10. TASH is seeking proposal submissions for the 2014 Annual Conference,“Be the Future,” in Washington, DC, December 3-5, 2014.

This year’s theme is inspired by the culture TASH has established in its aim to achieve equity, opportunity and inclusion for people with significant disabilities in all aspects of community life. Since its inception, TASH members have been at the forefront in the development of evidence-based systems change; introducing appropriate methods to further inclusion; influencing policy to accomplish change for a wide range of stakeholders in the disability field; and making sure that no new ideas are introduced for us without us.

TASH has been the hub that brings together research, practice and advocacy to continue to look towards the future by bringing change today. In essence, the FUTURE is now and we all play an active part in the vision of equity, opportunity, and inclusion for all.

We are interested in presentations that:

  1. Reflect the use of person-first or identity-first language,
  2. Reflect the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life,
  3. Make every attempt to address impact on diverse populations, and
  4. Address accessibility and universal design so that all attendees may participate fully.

Please direct any questions to conference@tash.org or (202) 540-9015. To complete your proposal online, see the form below. We recommend that you review the instructions prior to submitting a proposal (available here).