The Council meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 12:00 noon in the Rackham Building. Most meetings are in the Earl Lewis Room (3014 on Third Floor), but please look for information about the location of the current month's meeting in email, on the Council calendar, or in notices posted in the Rackham lobby on the day of the meeting.

Remote participation is supported through Bluejeans at this URL:

Who we are


The Council for Disability Concerns (CFDC) meets monthly to address disability issues affecting the University of Michigan and also members of the community. Members represent a broad cross-section of the University and surrounding area. The Council is organized in committees reflecting the concerns and interests of its members including: Construction Advisory Committee, Investing in Ability Week (IAW) Speakers Committee, and the Neubacher Award Committee.



The Council for Disability Concerns was formed in 1983 at the conclusion of the University of Michigan’s observance of the International Year of Disabled Persons (IYTD), which was celebrated in 1982. The Council was appointed by then President Harold Shapiro to carry on the work initiated during the IYDP and to act in an advisory capacity regarding University programs and policies which affect people with disabilities.



The CFDC sponsors two major events during the academic year: Investing in Ability Week (IAW) and the James T. Neubacher Award. IAW has grown to encompass a wide range of disability-related activities and awareness building events during the month of October. The James T. Neubacher Award is presented to an individual at the U of M making a significant contribution to disability rights. It is given in honor of Jim Neubacher, an alumnus of the University who was a columnist for The Detroit Free Press and an advocate for equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities.

See the tentative IAW schedule on this site for this year’s Investing in Ability Week held in October.



As we conclude our second decade, we look to our revised Mission Statement as a guide:

  • Promote the development of a physical and social environment that provides full access of programs, services, and facilities to every person in the University community (students, faculty, staff, guests).
  • Advance the University’s commitment to the quality of experience for all persons, including those with disabilities.
  • Act in an advisory capacity to recommend University programs and policies that assure full opportunity and access to qualified individuals with disabilities.
  • Advocate for the concerns of members of the University community who have disabilities.
  • Educate the University community by increasing our awareness of and sensitivity to all issues related to individuals who have disabilities.

Strategic Plan


The CFDC recently developed its first strategic plan, which contains the following key objectives:

  • Increase Awareness and Education, by:
    • Increasing general awareness about disability, and accessibility through education of various populations
    • Increasing specific information about disability among leadership, including University leadership and University Facilities leadership
    • Substantiating issues related to disability and accessibility
    • Mobilizing Resources
  • Promote Consistent University Disability Policy Interpretation, by increasing consistency in baseline interpretation of University policies related to non-discrimination and reasonable accommodation of faculty and staff with disabilities

View the plan »


James T. Neubacher Award

The University of Michigan's Council for Disability Concerns established the James T. Neubacher Award in October 1990 as a memorial to Jim Neubacher, an alumnus of the University who was a columnist for The Detroit Free Press and an advocate for equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities.

The Award is presented annually in October during Investing in Ability Week, a series of programs and activities designed to increase awareness and understanding of people who have disabilities and disability-related issues. All award recipients are listed on the James T. Neubacher Award site.

We also have a list of people who received Neubacher Awards and Certificates of Appreciation by year since 2007.

Sponsored by the Council for Disability Concerns, the Office for Institutional Equity and the Office of the President.