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Stephen Kuusisto, awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation 2021 fellowship awards for Poetry

Stephen Kuusisto
Credit: Tyler Flynn Dorholt

We are  thrilled to share that the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation 2021 fellowship  honor our own Stephen Kuusisto, University Professor and Director of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach at the Burton Blatt Institute! Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for individuals who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. Continue Reading

Americans with Disabilities Act Symposium

ADA SymposiumFriday, April 23, 2021 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET | Zoom Webinar

Thirty years ago, the ADA became law, ensuring basic civil rights for people with disabilities in all areas of public life. Over the past few decades, the field of disability rights law has experienced rapid growth, as scholars, practitioners, and legislators alike have sought to advance the mission of the ADA to create a more fair, just, and equal world.

To that end, Syracuse University College of Law founded, in 2005, the award winning Disability Law and Policy Program, which has become the most extensive disability law program in the United States. DLPP faculty and students work on the front lines of domestic and international issues of paramount significance to people with disabilities all around the world.

ADA Symposium Poster

Volume 71 of Syracuse Law Review hopes to recognize, and continue, this progress with the publication of a Special Volume. This latest issue features scholarship that discusses both where we have been, and, perhaps more importantly, where we have yet to go in the field of disability rights law.

Commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); the 15th anniversary of the Disability Law and Policy Program; and the Syracuse Law Review ADA Special Volume


10:00 a.m. Arrival of Participants

10:05 a.m. Welcoming Remarks



  • Dean Craig M. Boise
  • Arlene S. Kanter, Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence and Director, Disability Law and Policy Program
  • Lisa G. LiuSyracuse Law Review Lead Articles Editor
  • Michael D. Stoianoff, Syracuse Law Review Lead Articles Editor

10:15 a.m. Morning Keynote
Biden Administration Goals for Community Living and Disability Inclusion


  • Alison BarkoffActing Administrator & Assistant Secretary for Aging, Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

10:30 a.m. Panel Discussion I
Presentations by Special Volume Contributors


    • Getting It: The ADA After Thirty Years
      Elizabeth F. Emens, Columbia Law School, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law
    • Centering Disability Justice
      Natalie M. Chin, City University of New York School of Law, Associate Professor of Law
    • Policing Under Disability Law (Stanford Law Review, Vol. 73, Forthcoming)
      Jamelia Morgan, University of Connecticut School of Law, Associate Professor of Law and Robert D. Glass Research Scholar
  • The Future Is Here: The Right to Work Remotely Under Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act
    Professor Arlene Kanter

Moderator: Doron Dorfman, Associate Professor of Law

12:00 p.m. Roundtable Discussion

Informal Discussion on the ADA’s past and future with presenters and Mercedees Rees, President, Disability Law Society, and students from the Disability Law and Policy Program.

1:00 p.m. Afternoon Keynote
Overview of the ADA: The Past, Present, and Future


  • Judy Heumann, International Disability Rights activist, author of Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist
  • Arlene Mayerson Esq., Founding Directing Attorney Emerita, Of-counsel, DREDF

Moderator: Professor Arlene S. Kanter

1:30 p.m., Panel Discussion II
Presentations by Special Volume Contributors


    • Program Access Under Disability Discrimination Law
      Mark C. Weber, DePaul College of Law, Vincent de Paul Professor of Law
    • The ADA Constrained: How Federal Courts Entrench the Perpetrator Perspective in Prison Cases
      Prianka Nair, Brooklyn Law School, Assistant Professor of Clinical Law and Co-Director,  Disability and Civil Rights Clinic
    • The Commonality of Discrimination: Class Certification Under the ADA
      Steven Schwartz, Center for Public Representation, Litigation Director
      Kathryn Rucker, Center for Public Representation, Staff Attorney
  • The ADA’s Imagined Future
    Professor Doron Dorfman

Moderator: Professor Arlene S. Kanter

2:30 p.m. Q&A Session
Special Volume Contributors and Speakers Panel

3:00 p.m. Closing Remarks

*Subject to alteration before April 23, 2021.

CART and sign language interpreters will be provided. Additional accommodation requests can be made on the registration form.

ADA Live! Let’s Dig-In: The ADA, Accessible Farming & Gardening

Wednesday – April 7, 2021 1:00 PM [Eastern]

The roots of agriculture run deep in our country, from large farms to community gardens, and it’s vital to the quality of our lives. We do not often think about how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to large farms, community gardens, or neighborhood farmer’s markets. With spring around the corner, many of us are ready to be outside and get into the dirt by clearing, tilling, and planting.

This episode of ADA Live! will dig into the topic of the ADA, accessible farming and gardening with our guest, Paul Jones, Manager of the Breaking New Ground (BNG) Resource Center and the National AgrAbility Project located at Purdue University. Please join us as we learn about the important work of AgrAbility, accessible agriculture, and relevant requirements under the ADA. Continue Reading

A Crip Reckoning: Reflections on the ADA@30 View Archive

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach (OIPO)at the Burton Blatt Institute hosted an accessible Zoom webinar, open to the public, featuring a distinguished panel of thought leaders and scholar-activists in the worlds of disability culture, education, advocacy, and innovation.

The February 2, 2021 Zoom webinar—moderated by OIPO Director, Prof. Stephen Kuusisto—addressed many topics, including: ableism, cultural change, equity, creativity, and intersectionality. The event was made possible with generous support from University Lectures and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

NEW Report on Virginia SDM study by the Arc of Northern Virginia and the Burton Blatt Institute

“I learned that I have a voice in my future”: Summary, findings, and recommendations of the Virginia supported decision-making pilot project.

The Arc of Northern Virginia (The Arc) and The Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University (BBI) are pleased and proud to present this report on the work, findings, and recommendations of the Virginia Supported Decision-Making Pilot Project (the Pilot Project).

This report will first provide background information and foundational research on Supported Decision-Making (SDM) as an alternative to guardianship1 and a way to increase self-determination and enhance quality of life for people with disabilities. Continue Reading

Invitation to Participate in the Inclusive Public Space research project on unequal pedestrian access to streets

Feet walkingPhysical distancing measures. Electric scooters, bikes, silent cars. Floating bus-stops, confusing or dangerous crosswalks. Blockages, low branches, slip and trip hazards. Spaces that have to be shared with vehicles or with pedestrians looking at their phones. Poor signage, lighting, noise, fumes. Roadworks. And so on!

Do you find some streets in Syracuse (New York) or Atlanta (Georgia) difficult to use?

Have you reported them?

Have you thought about bringing legal action?

Have you tried to persuade local or state government to make things better? Continue Reading

Videography Work in Syracuse and Atlanta: Invitation to Quote for Inclusive Public Space Research Project

woman looking through a go pro video cameraClosing Date: February 8, 2021

1. Background: Outline of the Research Project and the Place of Films within it

The Inclusive Public Space (IPS) Project is concerned with problems of unequal access to city streets, particularly for older adults, people with disabilities, and parents or caregivers. It aims to deepen understanding of what aspects of streets people find difficult; how well different types of law are responding to the problems; and how public awareness and concern about these problems can be increased.

The IPS project is a joint project of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University and the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. The IPS project is a five year project funded by the European Research Council Advanced Grant (Agreement No 787258).

IPS Project website: Continue Reading

Join BBI in the Interdisciplinary Disability Dialogues – A Crip Reckoning: Reflections on the ADA@30

Tuesday, February 2, 2021
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. via Zoom
Join us in welcoming a distinguished panel of thought leaders and scholar-activists in the worlds of disability culture, education, advocacy, and innovation. When the Americans with Disabilities Act turned 30 this past July; faculty, students and staff at Syracuse University wanted to celebrate the milestone with a public event.  Because of the COVID-19 pandemic those plans had to be revised and the event will now happen by way of Zoom. “This is not a day late and a dollar short,” says University Professor Stephen Kuusisto, one of the ADA @ 30 organizers, who adds: “by taking extra time we’ve been able to focus on how diverse  the disability community really is.”

Continue Reading

Peter Blanck to present Live zoom session – Disability Civil War Pensions & Today’s Issues

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021 / 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm, Peter Blanck will present live on zoom Disability Civil War Pensions and Today’s Issues. This event is sponsored by the Lifelong Learning Institute – NSU Florida

What can the past tell us about contemporary employment policy for veterans with disabilities? For the past decade, BBI Chairman, Dr. Peter Blanck (and his colleague Dr. Larry Logue) have conducted research on Union army veterans’ experience with disabilities and federal government benefits. Their books the Cambridge University Press Disability Law and Policy series investigates veterans’ treatment in the pension system. Join this webinar to discover the historical and contemporary views of the veterans with disabilities. Continue Reading

BBI Chairman, Peter Blanck, to Address National Conference on Representing Clients Living with Psychiatric, Intellectual, and/or Developmental Disabilities


brain powerThis four-part conference will discuss ways to make our justice system—from client counseling to litigation—accessible to individuals living with psychiatric, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities. This program is online only. Dr. Blanck’s is Presenting Thursday January 21st and Tuesday January 26th  Continue Reading