Disabusing Disability: Demonstrating That DISability Doesn’t Mean Inability

FOUND IN: Culture/DEI, Events


Monday, January 31, 2022


12:00pm - 1:00pm




Disability is regularly neglected in conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion, yet it is the one demographic that we may all identify with one day. Disability should serve as a means of demonstrating that we are all much more similar than we are different.

As a disabled, black, Nigerian, immigrant, cis-gender heterosexual, male, physician, athlete, U-M Professor Oluwaferanmi Okanlami will talk about the intersectionality between all of those identities. He believes that disability is not inability. He encourages us to allow people to demonstrate what they can do, rather than attempting to limit them based on what they can’t.

Dr. Okanlami will engage the Michigan community in conversation about what each of us can do, within our own spheres of influence, to make sure we are not perpetuating ableism in our personal, academic and professional lives.

At Michigan Engineering, the job of creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community rests not within one organization or group of people, but with all of us. Only in this way can we move the field toward an equity-centered future. Equity-centered engineering is a guiding philosophy at the College that seeks to approach engineering with an intent to close—rather than unintentionally expand — societal gaps.

Presented by U-M Professor Oluwaferanmi Okanlami M.D., M.S.