For the ninth year the National Federation of the Blind demonstrated its leadership role in the disability rights movement by hosting the Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium March 31 to April 1, 2016, at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute.
Two hundred disability rights lawyers, advocates, and law students from throughout the United States and Canada attended. A broad range of disability rights organizations, government agencies, and law schools were represented, including: Disability Rights Texas, National Association of the Deaf, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, US Department of Justice, Paralyzed Veterans of America, The Arc of the United States, Stanford Law School, National Black Disability Coalition, Asian and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California, the University of Alabama School of Law, and Syracuse University School of Law.
With a theme of “Diversity in the Disability Rights Movement: Working Together to Achieve the Right to Live in the World,” the focus of the 2016 tenBroek symposium was to examine the status of diversity in the disability rights movement and explore ways to increase diversity so that all may achieve Dr. tenBroek's vision of equality of opportunity. Plenary sessions were moderated by Dr. Maurer and examined building diversity in the disability rights movement, arrests and Title II of the ADA, international progress on improving accessibility, ethical issues in the representation of persons with disabilities, and the right to real work under Olmstead. Workshop topics included disability and discrimination in the LGBT community, how schools are using truancy laws to avoid their responsibilities under the IDEA, voting rights, and application of the Americans with Disabilities Act in a school-to-prison pipeline class action. As the symposium keynote speaker, United States District Judge Myron H. Thompson provided his thoughts on how the diversity of the disability rights movement could be increased.