The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation announced today the 2nd annual Reeve Summit 2021: Where Care, Cure and Community Connect.
Kicking off April 27, 2021, the three-day virtual summit will bring together hundreds of health professionals, advocates, community members and caregivers to brainstorm a future for people with disabilities defined by access, inclusion and innovation.
“Our annual Reeve Summit is the only venue of its kind that is specifically designed to connect families, advocates and experts from around the world to share experiences and shape the conversation surrounding disability issues,” says Maggie Goldberg, Reeve Foundation President. “The Reeve Foundation is honored to serve as a convener to offer educational and insightful sessions for people impacted by paralysis.”
Summit keynotes will cover a range of timely issues and priorities, from disability rights and advocacy to diversity and inclusion in a post-COVID-19 world. Keynote speakers include:
- Judith E. Heumann: Throughout her life, Heumann has fought to advance the rights of people living with disabilities around the world, beginning with her own pioneering efforts to become the first teacher to use a wheelchair in New York. She currently serves on several non-profit boards, including the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Humanity and Inclusion, and the board of Human Rights Watch. The author of Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist, Heumann has also served as the Director for the Department on Disability Services for the District of Columbia, advised the World Bank on disability and development, and co-founded the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley California.
- Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, MD, MS: Dr. Okanlami is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Urology at Michigan Medicine, and the Interim Director of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) and Director of Adaptive Sports & Fitness within the Division of Student Life at the University of Michigan. He serves as the Director of Adaptive Sports in the Michigan Center for Human Athletic Medicine & Performance and advocates for the creation of adaptive sports programs. Okanlami has appeared on Good Morning America’s “Thriver Thursday” series and regularly speaks on topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Ali Stroker: In 2019, Stroker became the first person who uses a wheelchair to win a Tony Award for her performance as Ado Annie in the Broadway revival of the musical Oklahoma! The actor, who was also the first person using a wheelchair to appear on Broadway when she originated the role of ‘Anna’ in Deaf West’s acclaimed 2015 revival of Spring Awakening, has inspired countless young theater fans as a trailblazer in an industry that has been slow to embrace performers with disabilities. Stroker is co-chair of Women Who Care, which supports United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, and a founding member of Be More Heroic, an anti-bullying campaign that tours the country and connects with thousands of students each year.
- Will Reeve: Reeve is an ABC News correspondent, appearing on Good Morning America, World News Tonight with David Muir and Nightline. The proud son of Christopher and Dana Reeve, he serves on the Reeve Foundation’s Board of Directors and acts as Captain of Team Reeve, recruiting individuals around the country to join and support the Reeve Foundation community.
The Reeve Summit will offer a full spectrum of care and cure topics designed to meet the needs of our community. Dozens of breakout sessions and workshops will focus on issues that matter deeply to those living with disabilities, such as understanding autonomic dysreflexia and transitioning to college with a disability to raising children with spinal cord injuries.
Other topics include:
Caregiving in a pandemic
Improving access to healthcare
Increasing independence with assistive technology
Tools and strategies for college enrollment
To register for the Reeve Summit and learn more about the agenda and speakers, please visit ChristopherReeve.org/ReeveSummit.