Disability Advocacy Week 2023

The Disability Advocacy Week (DAW) 2023 theme, ”Disability is Diversity", focuses on including disability as an identity that is central to diversity conversations. We are honored to have writers Molly McCully Brown and Susannah Nevison coming to campus as our Keynote speakers. Join us at any of our events to build community and learn about disability, accessibility, and inclusion in higher education!

Event registration is not required unless otherwise indicated. Contact disability-svcs@jmu.edu or 540-568-6705 with questions and accommodation requests.

For information about campus accessibility & parking, visit the Campus Accessibility Map or the Accessible Parking Map. Please note that all usual parking regulations are in effect during the events listed below unless otherwise specified. For questions about parking for an event, please contact JMU Parking Services

Event List


All of March


Tuesday, March 21


Wednesday, March 22


Thursday March 23



Friday March 24





Complete Event Descriptions



Accessibility Collaborative Interest Meetings

Thursday 3/23/2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm (SSC 1075) - Refreshments will be provided

Friday 3/24/2023 @ 9:30-10:30 am (virtual) - Complete the Registration Survey to receive the Zoom link

Designed for instructional faculty

Join with colleagues from across the institution to build community, collaborate, and share knowledge around disability, Universal Design for Learning, accessibility, and inclusion. This interest meeting will start with a short presentation, followed by a moderated discussion based around the following questions:  


  • What are you seeking from this group of ODS and instructional faculty colleagues? 
  • What skills and contributions do you wish to share with the group, if any? 


Creating Accessible Materials in Microsoft Office (C.A.M.M.O.) Training

Tuesday 3/21/2023 @ 4:00 - 5:00 pm (SSC 1075) - Open to JMU Students/Faculty/Staff

Friday 3/24/2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm (SSC 4049) - Open to JMU Students/Faculty/Staff

JMU students, faculty, and staff are invited to learn to use the resources built into Microsoft Office 2021 to create materials that are accessible to people with disabilities.


Diversity Conference Session: Disability on the Page and at the Podium

Wednesday 3/22/23 @ 10:30 - 11:45 am (Festival Conference and Student Center, Room TBD) - Open to registered conference participants

Register on the Diversity Conference website

Presented by: Susannah Nevison, Department of English, Sweet Briar College and Molly McCully Brown, Department of English, Old Dominion University
Join two disabled writers and professors in discussing the practice and significance of centering disabled writers, thinkers and scholars on university syllabi. Learn about the particular joys, difficulties, and challenges of leading discussions of these texts, alongside a discussion of what it means to teach from the vantage point of disability. The presenters will also address issues surrounding disclosure, visibility and invisibility passing, and the complications of context switching inside academia. 

Diversity Conference Session: “I’ve never seen this before! Is this disability accommodation request reasonable?”

Wednesday 3/22/23 @ 2:00 - 3:15 pm (Festival Conference and Student Center, Room TBD) - Open to registered conference participants 

Register on the Diversity Conference website

Presented by: Lori Hostetler, College of Education and ODS Faculty Liaison; Valerie L. Schoolcraft, Office of Disability Services 
Have you ever received an Access Plan and thought, “that accommodation may be difficult with some of my course objectives”? Or have you wondered what to do when an accommodation doesn’t seem appropriate for a clinical or field experience? This session identifies what to do when you think an accommodation approved by ODS might not be reasonable in a particular context. Join a faculty member and the ODS Director to move from basic awareness of accommodations to taking action to evaluate more complex concerns and to engage the collaborative process to explore potentially reasonable alternatives. Audience: Faculty, AUHs, and leaders of learning experiences. 

Keynote Event - Speakers: Molly McCully Brown and Susannah Nevison

A Place That's Ours: Writing Disability and Joy

Thursday 3/23/2023 @ 4:00 - 5:30 pm (Holland Yates Hall 1002 and Virtual) - Open to all

Parking Information

Event Feedback Survey

Join writers Molly McCully Brown and Susannah Nevison for talk about the ways joy, kinship, and witness can reclaim and reshape traditional disability narratives, and can help to construct a world that foregrounds disabled voices and centers disabled bodies. They will also read from their collaborative poetry collection, In the Field Between Us. Read Molly and Susannah's bios below:


Molly McCully Brown is the author of the essay collection Places I’ve Taken My Body (Persea Books, 2020), and the poetry collection The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded (Persea Books, 2017), winner of the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. With Susannah Nevison, she is also the co-author of the collection In the Field Between Us (Persea Books, 2020).  Her work has  appeared in The Paris Review, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Guardian, and The New York Times. The Recipient of a United States Artists fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Foundation fellowship, and the 2018-2019 Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, she is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Nonfiction at Old Dominion University. 


Susannah Nevison is the author of two collections of poetry, Lethal Theater (Ohio State University Press, 2019), winner of the 2017 The Journal/Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize, and Teratology (Persea Books, 2015), winner of the 2014 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. With Molly McCully Brown, she is also the co-author of the collection In the Field Between Us (Persea Books, 2020). Her work has appeared in Tin House, Guernica, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Crazyhorse, and The New York Times.  The Recipient of an Academy of American Poets / Larry Levis Prize, and a Civitella Ranieri Foundation fellowship, she is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Sweet Briar College.


Library Resource Display

All of March (Carrier Library and Virtual) - Open to all

In honor of JMU’s annual Disability Advocacy Week, this display in Carrier Library features books and videos that highlight this year’s theme: Disability is Diversity. Enjoy everything from personal narratives to video memoirs depicting the experiences of life from the perspective of several individuals with disabilities. We hope this display provides you with a clear understanding of the importance of diversity, disability, inclusion, equity, and social justice.


ODS 101

Tuesday 3/21/2023 @ 2:30 - 3:30 pm (SSC 1075) - Open to JMU Students/Faculty/Staff

Join us to learn about ODS! We will be covering information about our programs, processes, Disability representation at JMU, and addressing common questions! Please submit your questions for ODS through the Registration Survey by March 7th.

We will have refreshments and opportunity for conversation followed by a short information session and panel of ODS staff to address common questions from the Registration Survey. We will wrap up with more Q&A, if time permits.



Paint & Pour

Friday 3/24/2023 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm (SSC 1075) - Open to JMU Students/Faculty/Staff

Pour your heart out onto a canvas, expressing your advocacy for disability awareness. Bring your creativity by sharing your perspective with the world and your peers through art. All are welcome. Refreshments will be provided.


Poetic Conversations on Disability

Thursday 3/23/2023 @ 12:45 - 2:00 pm (SSC 1075) - Open to all

Join us and our Visiting Writers, Molly McCully Brown and Susannah Nevison, for a conversation about poetry, disability, kinship and the collaborative process. 

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