Together RIT: A Day of Dialogue

RIT launched a new tradition fall of 2022, gathering the community to engage in intentional and honest dialogue about race, ethnicity, and racism. It offered students, faculty, staff, and alumni the opportunity to share their work, passions, ideas, critiques, initiatives, performances, and artistic projects with the RIT community through sessions held in-person.

2024 Together RIT

Save the date for the 2024 Together RIT: A Day of Dialogue

Theme: Deaf Culture, Disability and Neurodiversity

Date: October 25, 2024

Call for Proposals

Proposals are being accepted through July 19, 2024.

Submit proposal here

We are pleased to accept proposals for our third annual Together RIT: A Day of Dialogue. The campus-wide event will be held on October 25, 2024 from 10am-4pm. This event is only for the RIT community. The theme will focus on Deaf culture, disability and neurodiversity.

Submission formats can include:

  • ASL or verbally recorded videos
  • Written English text

There has been an historical narrative and set of practices that often ignores or devalues the importance of access. Many assume that there are ideal forms of communication and definitive ways we process information. Others openly acknowledge that only “normal” people should have access to certain opportunities including education. The interpersonal, institutional and systemic exclusion that people who aren’t considered “normal” face is pervasive. History also tells us that there have been individuals and groups that have advocated for a broader understanding learning or how we go about accomplishing tasks. When given the opportunity to share their unique gifts or have accommodations met people often thrive.

Together RIT creates a space to ask questions, empathize, build solidarity, and give recognition to our coexistence as creators, learners, scholars and peers. The day is an opportunity to highlight the positive contributions, joy and pride that all kinds of doers, communicators and learners experience. Having a diverse student body and workforce made up of a large Deaf community, neurodivergent individuals and people with disabilities is something that we need to better leverage and understand.

The event will provide RIT faculty, staff, students, and alums with the opportunity to share their work, passions, ideas, informed critiques, initiatives, performances, and artistic projects. Together RIT is a brave and accountable space, so different perspectives are welcomed. That said, we do not encourage submissions that are rooted in hate or dehumanizing someone’s existence. 

RIT has made important efforts to address some barriers related to these particular kinds of diversity. That said, there is still much work to be done to hold ourselves, the university, and its many communities accountable to its professed ideals. We can all do better. We must do better!

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, we welcome submissions that fall under one of the three main themes and which aim to:

  • Define “invisible” disabilities
  • Examine how ableism or audism exists in our daily lives
  • Articulate the challenges of being neurodivergent on campus
  • Showcase stories of how one develops a Deaf identity

  • Explore the importance of terminology or accurate identity markers
  • Offer concrete strategies for being an advocate
  • Facilitate a conversation across different disabilities to bridge divides
  • Bring the Deaf community together to discuss internalized audism and/or ableism
  • Tips for supporting neurodivergent learners in the classroom

  • Propose ideas for inclusive and non-discriminatory policy development and implementation
  • Highlight historical and current figures who identify as a disabled person
  • Share resources on how to address trauma, repair and healing
  • Create a visual to break down autism stereotypes

We especially encourage submissions that confront or otherwise consider how the above issues manifest in structures and at the institutional level, rather than in individual and interpersonal ways. We are open to receiving submissions from any and all mediums, including conference papers, works of art, film, photography, interactive pieces, performances, digital media, collaborative or multi-media projects, roundtable discussions, poster boards, or other creative modes of expression.

While we seek submissions from anyone who can earnestly discuss any of these and other subjects, we are particularly interested in submissions from those who identify as Deaf, hard of hearing, neurodivergent or as a disabled person. This is not intended to tax, but to ensure accuracy of the narrative and experience.

Note: We ask that all presenters take into consideration a diverse audience of communicators and learners. Keep in mind how you might provide live captioning, make use of an ASL interpreter and create interactive experiences rather than lecture. If interactive, be sure to consider how people using a manual or power-driven device to move about can participate.

In addition, the event organizers will provide you with two resources if your proposal is accepted. One will be a virtual coaching session/training with Kendra Evans (Director, Spectrum Support Programs) to understand how to incorporate your presentation for autistic participants. A second resource, compiled by the NTID Office for Diversity and Inclusion, is a checklist document to ensure access for our Deaf and hard of hearing attendees.

If accepted, the event organizers will work with you to identify available reserved spaces that can accommodate your needs. Please keep in mind classes and offices are still is session so the inventory of what is available will be limited.