Boston, MA – More than 1,000 people and 50 renowned guest speakers will unite in Boston from Nov. 19-20 to advance a common goal: the full inclusion of people with disabilities in every aspect of life.
The Ruderman Family Foundation—an international leader in advocating for the inclusion of people with disabilities—hosted a first-of-its-kind inclusion summit in 2015. At the conference, the foundation spotlighted that year’s 25th anniversary of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act and honored former Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), a driving force behind the most powerful disability rights legislation in U.S. history. From longtime inclusion advocates to those learning about disability issues for the first time, summit attendees left with both renewed purpose and newfound inspiration to promote a more inclusive world.
Two years later, for the second Ruderman Inclusion Summit, the foundation is again bringing together leaders in a wide array of sectors—including technology, policy, human services, fashion, performing arts, education, social justice, business, housing, advocacy, sports, and more — to network, share best practices, and move the conversation forward on key issues pertaining to disability inclusion.
“We really are laying out a wide field of topics, from politics, to entertainment, to sports, to faith, housing, employment, media, advocacy and more,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “We’re trying to cover every aspect of life because 20% of our population has a disability and the vast majority of us who don’t yet have one will acquire one in time. It’s crucial for all of us to come together to further galvanize this civil rights movement.”
High-profile guests at this month’s inclusion summit include deaf singing sensation Mandy Harvey, who inspired viewers around the world this year by finishing in fourth place during Season 12 of the “America’s Got Talent” reality television series; fellow reality TV star Nyle DiMarco, the deaf winner of Cycle 22 of the “America’s Next Top Model” competition; Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire); Dr. Joyce Banda, the former president of Malawi; Richard Marriott, chairman of Host Hotels & Resorts as well as the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities; Haben Girma, the first deaf-blind graduate of Harvard Law School; Marlee Matlin, an Oscar-winning actress and disability activist; Cong. Jim Langevin (D-Rhode Island) and Cong. Gregg Harper (R-Mississippi), Co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus; Michelle Wu, the first Asian-American woman to serve on the Boston City Council; actor Danny Woodburn; and many others.
The two-day summit at Boston’s Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center will be packed with more than 15 panel discussions and plenary sessions, all of which will equip attendees with the tools to promote greater inclusion of people with disabilities in their everyday lives and in all sectors of society. Topics of the sessions will range from the representation of people with disabilities in television and movies, employment of people with disabilities, voting accessibility, law enforcements’ use of force against people with disabilities, and much more.
For more information and a full list of speakers and schedule at the summit, please visit: inclusion2017.org