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

Request for Plenary Speakers and Workshop Facilitators

Submit a proposal to either speak during a plenary session or facilitate a workshop on one or more of the topics. The deadline to submit is November 21, 2022. Access the request for proposal details.

2023 Agenda

Coming soon!

2023 Registration

Registration will open in January 2023

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


For more information on sponsorship opportunities contact Lou Ann Blake at 410-659-9314, extension 2221, 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].