Disability Awareness Month

Disability Awareness Month Celebration

October 2021

Disability Awareness Month is nationally recognized during the month of October.  We are proud of the accomplishments and contributions of members of this community and embrace the honor and acknowledgement of their achievements.  The James Farmer Multicultural Center is working closely with the Office of Disability Resources, as well as Diversability, Talk to the Hands, and Best Buddies student clubs to coordinate and plan the events for this month-long celebration.  

UMW continues to monitor campus, local, and statewide COVID-19 data and has instituted protocols to protect our campus community.  These protocols include requiring proper mask wearing while indoors, obtaining contact information from event attendees for contact tracing, and requesting that the University be notified of any positive COVID test within 14 days of attending an event at UMW.  The University may also implement additional restrictions if cases increase on campus or in the region including, but not limited to, requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative test, reducing occupancy limits at events, or restricting attendance to UMW community members only.  We encourage you to check our website for updates prior to arriving to campus for a scheduled event.


Disability Awareness Month Kickoff – Intersectionality Internationa:  A Passport to a Better Understanding

Monday, October 4  |  3 pm  |  Lee Hall Room 411

Meet us in the baggage claim (Lee Hall, room 411) for a scavenger hunt inspired event that takes students to different places on campus where they will visit various tables and learn about the intersection between disability and other identities, such as race, religion, gender, etc.  Each participant will receive a passport at the take-off site that will be filled out at each table.  Once it is completed, students will return to baggage claim to collect a prize!

Disability in the Workplace: Know Your Rights

A Partnership with the Center for Career & Professional Development

Wednesday, October 6  |   4 p.m.  |   University Center 315, Colonnade Room

Disability Awareness Month Table Fair

Thursday, October 7 |   11 a.m.–2 p.m. |  Campus Walk
(Rain Location: HCC Digital Auditorium)

Movie  Night:  Coco + Pajama Party (audio described)

Wednesday, October 13  |  6:30 pm  |  Chandler Ballroom C, University Center

Come watch Coco with the DAM planning committee and the Latino Student Association! The movie will be completely audio described.  Individuals will gain insight into the lived experience of blind and visually impaired people. The movie will be followed by a short discussion!

Silent Dinner (with Talk to the Hands)

Thursday, October 14  |  5 pm  |  The Underground, Lee Hall

Note:  This event is open to UMW community only.

This event is facilitated by Talk to the Hands student club. The purpose of this event is to encourage attendees to communicate without using verbal language, but by using American Sign Language, written language, or any other form of non-verbal communication while eating and having fun! There are many people in our world and community that do not use verbal language to communicate.  By trying to find new ways to communicate, we are attempting to make our community more inclusive and a better place.

GSMA & Disability Awareness Month Keynote Speaker:  Kenny Fries

Wednesday, October 20  |  4 p.m.  |  Chandler Ballroom, University Center

If you would prefer to attend this event virtually, please use the registration form to receive a link.

Kenny Fries is the author of In the Province of the Gods, which received the Creative Capital literature award; The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin’s Theory, winner of the Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights; and Body, Remember: A Memoir. He edited Staring Back: The Disability Experience from the Inside Out and was commissioned by Houston Grand Opera to write the libretto for The Memory Stone. His books of poems include In the Gardens of JapanDesert Walking, and Anesthesia.

Kenny’s work has appeared in The New York TimesWashington Post, Granta, The Believer, Kyoto Journal, LiteraryHub, Electric Literature, The Progressive, Catapult, Los Angeles Review of Books, and in many other publications and anthologies. He wrote the Disability Beat column for How We Get To Next, and developed the Fries Test for disability representation in our culture. His work has been translated into Spanish, German, French, and Japanese.

Kenny is recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Arts and Literary Arts Fellowship, and was a Creative Arts Fellow of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has twice been a Fulbright Scholar (Japan and Germany), and has received grants from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange), Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Arts Council. He was an honoree on Diversability’s inaugural Disability Impact List.

His work-in-progress is Stumbling over History: Disability and the Holocaust, excerpts which are featured in his video series What Happened Here in the Summer of 1940?

He teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Goddard College.


Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society Induction Ceremony

October 26 | 6pm | University Center, Chandler Ballroom A/B


For more information, contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at 540/654-1044 or umwjfmc@gmail.com  Visit students.umw.edu/multicultural.  

Please email us at umwjfmc@gmail.com if you have any questions regarding disability-related accommodations.