Taishoff Center Presents ‘Disabled and Proud: Dare to Dream’

The Lawrence B. Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education at Syracuse University will present “Disabled and Proud: Dare to Dream,” a two-day conference event on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18 and 19. The conference, which is free to current and future students with disabilities and their families, aims to develop and support the next generation of leaders campus and beyond.

Most conference sessions and keynotes will be held at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center. To register, and to see the complete conference schedule visit

Disabled and Proud Dare to DreamOver 250 attendees from around the country will take advantage of opportunities to connect and learn from students like themselves and presenters from a range of backgrounds. All are encouraged to take time at the conference to develop goals, strategies and collaborative approaches to building more inclusive environments on their own campuses.

Keynote presenters include actress and GLEE cast member Lauren Potter, musician and advocate Keith Jonesand a panel of current and graduated college students (and advocates) with disabilities on “Presuming Competence.” Breakout sessions will take the form of workshops, panels and presentations on the following themes: “Tools and Resources,” “Knowing Yourself” and “Campus Activism.” Participants are also invited to attend Saturday evening’s variety show, “Disability Café,” featuring music, dance, spoken word, improv and open mic performances by Syracuse students and conference attendees.

Disabled and Proud also offers a strand of presentations for parents of current and prospective college students with disabilities around the theme, “Supporting Your Disabled and Proud Student.” Dan Habib, filmmaker in residence at the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability, will present the keynote for the parent conference.

The Disabled and Proud conference is a biannual event, one of the Taishoff Center’s many efforts to cultivate inclusive higher educational opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Funded by the Taishoff family, and under the direction of Executive Director Wendy Harbour, Lawrence B. Professor for Inclusive Education, the Taishoff Center offers support, research, training and resources to individuals, families and college campus communities looking for strategies to foster and support college students with disabilities. The center also provides information about parents’ rights in higher education, universal design for courses, accommodations for specific types of disabilities and other disability-related resources.