Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium

The annual Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium honors the legacy of Dr. Jacobus tenBroek who founded the National Federation of the Blind in 1940.

Dr. Jacobus tenBroek black and white portrait.2021 Dates

Wednesday, March 24 through Friday, March 26, 2021

2021 Location

This will be a virtual event.

2021 Theme

Race, Diversity, and Inclusion, and the Right to Live in the World

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.

Registration is Open

Registration Fee

  • Professionals (lawyers, activists, subject matter experts, professors): $100
  • Students: Free

2021 Topics and Agenda

In addition to structured programming, we are incorporating creative new ways to connect with your disability rights colleagues during the symposium.

Sample topics will include:

  • Disability Identity and Intersectionality
  • Race and Gender Issues in the Civil Commitment Process
  • Perspectives on Disability in US Muslim Communities
  • Digital Accessibility—Developing Guidelines for Attorneys on Both Sides
  • Impacts and Outcomes of Marginalization and Intersectionality on Mental and Physical Health
  • ADA in Social and Human Service Settings
  • The Disparate Impact of Changes to Immigration Policy on Asylum Seekers with Disabilities: Strategies to Fight Back
  • Voting Rights for People with Disabilities Under the ADA
  • Connecting Disability Work with Broader Diversity and Inclusion Work
  • The Decline in the Employment of People with Disabilities—the Response of the Disability Rights Community


Please review the complete agenda. It is available below in different formats.


Thank you to the sponsors of the 2021 law symposium. Your support of the Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium will help shape the future of disability law and ensure that people with disabilities enjoy the same right to live in the world as their non-disabled peers. To become a sponsor of the 2021 Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium, please contact Anna Adler at 410-659-9314, extension 2282, or [email protected].

Steering Committee Members

  • Tim Elder
  • Deepa Goraya
  • Jasmine Harris
  • Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum
  • Katherine Kudlick
  • Scott LaBarre
  • Kathy Martinez
  • Shannon Minter
  • Sandra Sermons 
  • Maria Town
  • Silvia Yee

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], or Stacie Dubnow at 410-659-9314, extension 2442, or [email protected].