Nominations sought for award honoring disability advocates


Ensuring those with disabilities are not only heard but actively valued. Facilitating access to health care for deaf patients through the medical interpreters program. Designing architectural solutions to improve building access. Creating a youth summer camp where medical care and accessibility are built in.

These are a few examples of the work celebrated by the University of Michigan’s James T. Neubacher Award for which nominations are now being sought. The nominating deadline for the 35th annual award is July 31.

“For three and a half decades this award has helped to shine a light on our faculty, staff, alumni and students who lead the way to a more accessible and open community for us all,” said Colleen van Lent, teaching professor and lecturer IV in the School of Information and co-chair of the Council for Disability Concerns.

“This award honors those whose efforts advance our collective journey towards a more supportive and inclusive culture for everyone affiliated with the university.”

Established by the university’s Council for Disability Concerns in October 1990, the award is a memorial to Neubacher, a university alumnus and columnist for the Detroit Free Press who advocated for equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities.

The Neubacher Award is presented to a U-M faculty or staff member, student or alumnus or alumna for significant achievements in:

  • Empowering people with disabilities.
  • Advocating for or advancing disability rights or disability justice.
  • Increasing the accessibility of programs and services to promote disability inclusion.

The award is sponsored by the U-M Council for Disability Concerns, the Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office, University Human Resources, Michigan Medicine and the Office of the President.


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