Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium

The Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium is the leading disability law conference in the United States that brings nationally renowned disability rights advocates to examine issues, explore strategies, and pursue Jacobus tenBroek’s goal of integrationism—economic opportunity, social equality, and personal dignity for ourselves and all members of our disability rights community. The annual event honors the legacy of Dr. Jacobus tenBroek who founded the National Federation of the Blind in 1940.

Dr. Jacobus tenBroek black and white portrait

2023 Dates and Location

Thursday, March 23 through Friday, March 24

National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute
200 East Wells Street
Baltimore, MD 21230

2023 Theme

The Right of People with Disabilities to Live in the World of a Changing Legal and Policy Landscape

Join us for interactive workshops and in-depth plenary sessions as we focus on intersectional representation in the disability rights community, and examine the impact of the changing political and legal landscape on the right of people with disabilities to live in the world. Plenary session topics will include the disability docket and the US Supreme Court, how plaintiff and defense council can work together to avoid litigation, effective communication in healthcare settings, the continuing efforts to make absentee voting accessible, and how to increase the number of people with disabilities in the legal profession.

Symposium attendees will have opportunities for discussion and collaboration during workshops that will focus on topics such as the use of Olmstead to protect the right of older adults to live in the community, the Americans with Disabilities Act in the criminal justice system, effective communications in hospital settings, and best practices for accessible voting.

2023 Digital Program/Agenda

2023 Registration

Registration is now closed.

Registration Fee: $200 (nonrefundable)

Students: $25 (nonrefundable)

Registration is only available online. Payment may be made by credit card or by check made payable to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and mailed to:

Lou Ann Blake, Director of Research Programs
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
Baltimore, MD 21230

A limited number of scholarships to cover the registration fee will be available to individuals with demonstrated financial need. Requests for a waiver of the registration fee should be emailed to Lou Ann Blake no later than March 2, 2023.

CLE Credit

Documentation for CLE credits will be provided.

Hotel Information

A block of rooms has been reserved for Law Symposium participants at the Hampton Inn and Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor, located at 131 East Redwood Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202. This recently renovated hotel is located in the historic US Fidelity and Guaranty (USF&G) Building, and is two blocks from the Inner Harbor. Rooms may be reserved for March 22 through March 24, 2023, at the rate of $120.00 per night, plus applicable taxes and surcharges. You can make your reservation online or by calling 1-800-560-7809, referring to the National Federation of the Blind block, group code C-NFB. Reservations must be made by 5:00 p.m., Thursday, February 23, 2023. The NFB will provide a free morning and evening accessible shuttle between the hotel and the Jernigan Institute. 


All requests for accommodations must be made no later than 11:59 p.m. eastern on March 9, 2023, as part of the online registration process.

Diverse Views and Perspectives

The success of the Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium depends on the inclusion of all viewpoints and persuasions from the broadest spectrum of individuals and organizations in the disability rights community. Continuing Dr. tenBroek’s lifelong pursuit of dignity, equality, and full participation in society by the disabled requires the thoughts and ideas of people from diverse worlds and world views.

Steering Committee Members

Zainab Alkebsi
Lia Sifuentes Davis
Tim Elder
Jasmine Harris
Scott LaBarre
Michael Nunez
Ronza Othman
Robyn Powell
Shira Wakschlag
John Waldo
Jessie Weber


Thank you to the sponsors of the 2023 Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium.


Enhanced Voting logo


Brown Goldstein & Levy Trail Lawyers & Advocates

Level Access logo

Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP logo


Derby, McGuinness & Goldsmith logo


Burton Blatt Institute
Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd.
Law School Admission Council
Whiteford | Taylor | Preston

White Cane

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund

For more information about sponsorship opportunities contact Anna Adler at 410-659-9314, extension 2282, or [email protected].

Dr. Jacobus tenBroek's Publications

Dr. tenBroek's publications and speeches are as relevant and compelling today as they were decades ago. The archives in the Jacobus tenBroek Library are home to Dr. tenBroek’s collected works, and a detailed description of his personal and professional papers is available in THE CANE TIP. An accessible digital exhibit focused on Dr. tenBroek’s life and work is also available through Digital Maryland. For more information or to schedule a research appointment, please send an email to [email protected] or call 410-659-9314.

[A]s to the immutability of social attitudes and discriminatory actions towards the blind, we know from intimate experience that the sighted public wishes well for the blind and that its misconceptions are rather the result of innocence and superstition than of deliberate cruelty and malice aforethought. It is not the education of the sighted only which is needed to establish the right of the blind to equality and integration. Just as necessary is the education of the blind themselves. For the process of their rehabilitation ... is complete only when they have driven the last vestige of the public stereotype of the blind from their own minds. In this sense, and to this extent only, is it true that the blind person must "adjust" to his handicap and to society. His adjustment need not—indeed must not—mean his submission to all prevailing social norms and values. His goal is not conformity but autonomy: not acquiescence, but self-determination and self control. — Dr. Jacobus tenBroek

Past Symposia

Review highlights from previous Jacobus tenBroek Law Symposia on the past symposia page.

More Information

Additional details will be posted online as they become available. For more information, please contact Lou Ann Blake at 410-659-9314, extension 2221, or [email protected].