NAU celebrates Disability Pride and Heritage Month

Did you know that one in five persons in the U.S. identifies as having a disability? 

This suggests that it is likely that any one of us will have a disability, have a relative, teacher, student, supervisor, client, patient, close friend or significant other with a disability, and will more than likely need to engage with the construct of disability on a personal level at some point in our life. 

The beginning of October marks the start of NAU’s celebration of Disability Pride and Heritage Month (DPHM). Events throughout the month are designed to engage the community in dialog around disability, inclusivity, equity, justice and accessibility to celebrate everyone’s differences and recognize the important contributions people with disabilities have made on our campus, in our society and around the world. 

“We acknowledge that DPHM is only a sliver of the year,” said Chris Lanterman, chair of NAU’s Center for University Access and Inclusion’s Commission on Commission (CoCom) and former co-chair of CDAD. “Recognizing disability and the experience of persons with disabilities is critical throughout the year to assure that the university community holds true the intent of DPHM, which is to view the experience of disability not as one of pity, but as one of power.” 

Lanterman hopes that by encouraging participation in Disability Pride and Heritage Month events, which is coordinated by the Commission on Disability Access and Design (CDAD) and the NAU4All student organization, students, faculty and staff can make a difference in assuring equitable participation for people with disabilities in our community. 

“Anyone can become disabled at any time through circumstance, aging or medical condition. Understanding the disability experience is important as we come to recognize our individual positionality within this context,” he said. “Engaging with disability requires an understanding of the physical, attitudinal, informational, social, and political contexts within which people with disabilities navigate their world. Attending and participating in meaningful conversations about disability, including as part of the DPHM events, is a step in this direction.” 

This year, NAU’s celebration of DPHM will blend virtual, in-person and hybrid events that explore the lived experience of disability through conversation, film, adaptive sports and a look at the accessibility of our virtual environments. 

See below for a complete schedule of events.  

Oct. 1-31 

Virtual Accessibility ExpeditionJoin the Commission on Disability Access and Design (CDAD) and NAU4All for their third annual virtual accessibility expedition. Complete each task to find the clues for your chance to learn about accessibility in our virtual environment. 

Oct. 11, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

Disability Pride and Heritage Fair 

North Campus Pedway, outside of the Union 

Oct. 14, noon to 1 p.m. 

Social Media and Accessibility  

Zoom, contact CDAD for more information. 

Oct. 18, 5-6 p.m. 

Sensory Craft with The Office of Inclusion: Multicultural and LGBTQIA Student Services (IMQ) 

IMQ office in the Fieldhouse 

Oct. 20, 6-8 p.m. 

An evening with Laura Nadine Dooley 

Kitt Recital Hall 

Oct. 21, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

CDAD and NAU4All Accessibility Expedition 

Louie Statue Northeast of University Union 

Oct. 26, 2-4 p.m. 

Disability Zone Training Inaugural Class 

Registration required, contact CDAD for more information. 

Oct. 26, 4:30-6:30 p.m. 

A Conversation about Disability and Diversity 

Zoom, contact CDAD for more information. 

Oct. 28, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Workshop Series: Perception 

Virtual and in person at the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC). Register prior to the event.  

NAU Communications