NSights Blog

Recognizing disability as part of diversity, equity and inclusion

COEHD hosts nationally recognized policy expert for Oct. 26 event

On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the College of Education and Human Development (COEHD)’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is hosting Rebecca Cokley, a nationally recognized disability policy expert and disability rights activist, as part of their Diversity Series. Ms. Cokley has a long history in public service focusing on inclusion of people with disabilities in various aspects of society. Her talk will center on the role of disability in driving the conversation around diversity and equity spaces.

Disability impacts all of us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 61 million, or one in four, adults live with a disability across the U.S. In Nevada, the numbers are closer to one in three adults. Chances are disability will impact all families in the U.S. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the longstanding disparities that this population faces, such as access to healthcare, inclusion in public spaces, access to education, limited opportunities for economic self-sufficiency and employment and decreased options for community living. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was adopted in 1990 to remove barriers to full inclusion and promote full participation in society.

Ms. Cokley’s talk will address how the ADA’s provisions, including Civil Rights and Accommodations, are not only about compliance with the law, but they are also important tools and strategies for meaningful, equitable inclusion. Disability should be seen as an aspect of human diversity; because of the high incidence of disability in the population, the perspectives and voices of people with disabilities should be valued within all spaces. As we continue to strive towards social justice, disability demands to be included in those conversations.

This talk not only connects to the COVID-19 era, but it is especially relevant this month as October is recognized as the National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which raises awareness to include people with disabilities in competitive employment.

The COEHD DEI committee sponsors similar activities throughout the academic year, tied to different aspects of diversity, often in conjunction with national recognized awareness months. Please follow the committee's website for updates.

We invite you all to attend Ms. Cokley’s talk on Tuesday, Oct. 26, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The talk will be held virtually via Microsoft Team Meetings. For more information about the event and to RSVP, please visit the event website. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities (NCED) is housed within the COEHD. It is part of the National Network of 67 University Centers for Excellence across the U.S. with the goal of addressing disability issues across the lifespan in their respective states. NCED is a statewide program serving Nevada. Please visit our website to learn more about our current projects, programs and reach out to get involved in/or collaborate with faculty within NCED.








Melanie Duckworth and Jane Tors
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