Monday, July 27, 2020

Adaptive Umbrella Workshop: Virtual Edition!

Advertising banner for Adaptive Umbrella: An Accessibility Workshop on September 23, 2020, which is written in a box on the right with a umbrella outline inside of a green circle and an image of a young, black woman in a wheelchair reaching for a book from a bookcase with the quote "Accessibility allows us to tap into everyone's potential" - Debra Ruh in a box to the left

It's an honor to host our 6th Adaptive Umbrella accessibility workshop in the same year as the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. There is still so much work to be done in the accessibility field, and we must listen and amplify the voices of the disability community to set new goals. You cannot have a workshop or conference about accessibility without including self-advocates on your stage, whether it's in the building or a virtual platform. Originally scheduled for April, our workshop was put on hold until fall. The possibility of postponing until an in-person event could safely be held in 2022 was considered, but this is not the time to remove sources of support. During the months of quarantine and working from home, many of us have found ways to adapt our programs, classrooms, and services to a virtual format, going beyond ADA to engage people of all ages and abilities. In an effort to support this ongoing learning process, we are taking the Adaptive Umbrella workshop virtual on September 23rd! The day is geared to librarians, educators, and caregivers working with the disability community and features presentations/discussions with disability self-advocates and professionals in the field developing adaptive services.

This September, we look forward to virtually welcoming:

Keynote speaker:

Morénike Giwa Onaiwu
“Forged by Fire: The Intersection of Race, Disability, and Gender”

close-up head shot of a smiling black woman
Morénike Giwa Onaiwu, Ed.D(c), M.A., is an Autistic woman of color, educator, public speaker,
a parent of Autistic children, and advocate. She is involved in various social justice activism
endeavors and is a contributing author/editor of several publications, abstracts, and books
focusing on community engagement, HIV, research, disability, diversity, self-advocacy, and
nontraditional leadership.

Morénike has spoken at the White House, the United Nations, the AIDS Clinical Trials Group Network plenary, and several national conferences. Her board membership includes Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Autism in Adulthood Journal, Ethical Autism Research Expert Group, the National Disability Parenting Research Center and other entities. She has written for or been featured in Salon, Huffington Post, NPR, POZ, Atlantic, and Conde Nast (Iris).

Morénike, a full-time college faculty member, Co-Chair of the Women’s HIV Research Collaborative of the NIH, and Co-Director of the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network, is (along with Lydia X. Z. Brown and E. Ashkenazy), an editor of the first anthology of Autistic people of color, All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism and co-coordinator of a grassroots microgrant program that supports people of color on the autism spectrum.

More information about Morénike can be found on her website:

Featured Speakers:

Ashley Grady
"Sensory-Friendly Programming & Services for Families" 
close-up of smiling Caucasian woman standing in front of wall with hands pressed against wall
Ashley Grady is the Senior Program Specialist at the Smithsonian Institution in the Access Smithsonian office where she manages programs for families of children with disabilities, adults with dementia, and young adults with intellectual disabilities seeking employment. Prior to working at the Smithsonian, Ashley was a special education teacher in Washington, DC and Nashville, TN. 

Glenna Godinsky
"Dementia-Friendly Programming & Services" 
close-up head shot of smiling Caucasian woman
Glenna Godinsky is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and the Life Enrichment Liaison at the Gail Borden Public Library District (IL) where she and her team of 22 volunteers have previously traveled to locations across Elgin, IL, every month to bring programming to seniors and developmentally disabled youth and adults. She has recently converted the Elgin Memory Cafe into a monthly virtual cafe and is also running programs for people with dementia through pre-recorded videos.

Disability Advocacy Panel of Self-Advocates & Caregivers
Interactive discussion with disability self-advocates & caregivers
(Names withheld by request to protect anonymity)
  • Teen with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and parent
  • Young adult with schizophrenia and caregiver
  • Adult with intellectual disability and caregiver - Update! Our previous panelist is unable to join us. We will now have a young adult with Down syndrome and his caregiver joining us.
    (Did you know -- Down syndrome is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability?)

Adaptive Virtual Programs: An Interactive Discussion and Tips Share
Ed and I will be sharing how we are taking our adaptive, multisensory story times to a virtual platform.
Caroline Braden, Accessibility Specialist at The Henry Ford and Chair of the Michigan Alliance for Cultural Accessibility (MACA), will be sharing how they are converting their programs geared to disability groups to a virtual format. 
We will also invite attendees to share how they are creating or adapting programs with accessibility in mind during this interactive discussion.

Join us on September 23, 2020! You can register (free!) here:

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