16th Annual U.S. Conference on disABILITY

 

    CONFERENCE MISSION

  • disABILITY Conference Mission
    • The University of Scranton believes that disability is part of the human experience and that assisting individuals and families living with disabilities to achieve optimal quality of life requires multidisciplinary interventions, education, research and leadership. The mission of the Conference on disABILITY is to positively influence the quality of life and wellness of individuals and families living with disabilities by promoting in its deliberations the foundational principles of individualization, self-determination, productivity, employment, independence and full participation in community life by creating an effective learning environment, collaborative and focused discussion and the identification and sharing of effective practices useful in the United States and around the world.

  • KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

  • RJ Mitte
    • Multi-faceted actor, producer and model, RJ Mitte is best known for his powerful performance as Walter "Flynn" White Jr. in AMC's highly-acclaimed and widely popular dramatic thriller "Breaking Bad." For five riveting seasons, Mitte played the pivotal role of the disabled teenage son of a high school science teacher turned drug dealer, played by Bryan Cranston. The series had a highly successful run as it won several Emmy and Golden Globe Awards. Mitte will reemerge this year as he stars in the celebrity version of the popular British survival series "Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls" set to premiere October 2017.

      At the young age of three, Louisiana native Mitte was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, much like his character on "Breaking Bad," though that has never deterred his drive to succeed in television and film. After moving to Los Angeles, Mitte landed roles in various shows such as Showtime's "Weeds," NBC's "Vegas," CWs "Everybody Hates Chris" which ultimately led to him being cast in "Breaking Bad" for the role of his life. Following his "Breaking Bad" success, RJ was thrust into the global spotlight as the celebrity face and model of GAP International's 2014 "Lived in Spring" campaign. With his image appearing on billboards, buses, and life-sized posters around world from Tokyo to Dubai and across the US, he has cemented himself as a face to know in the fashion world. Mitte has walked in Men's Fashion Week in Milan, Berlin and New York City for Vivienne Westwood, soPopular and Ovadia & Sons, to name a few.

      Fresh off the runways, Mitte has transitioned into film as he starred in his first non-handicapped leading role alongside country music superstar, Faith Hill, in DIXIELAND which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. He then continued to play leading roles in films like WHO'S DRIVING DOUG, which premiered at the 2016 Santa Barbara Film Festival, and, mðst recently in the sci-fi, action thriller THE RECALL alongside Wesley Snipes. In his rare free time, Mitte also aims to produce several of his own film projects.

      Over the years, Mitte has been an inspiration to his peers around the world by championing for those with Cerebral Palsy in hopes of removing the stigma associated with disabilities. In order to bring awareness to his own issues with bullying and prejudice, Mitte has engaged in public speaking and serves as the official Ambassador for United Cerebral Palsy and Shriners Hospitals for Children. He is the celebrity face for the #CutTheBull campaign launched October 2014 in support of children with disabilities and was a featured panelist at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival discussing diversity in Hollywood and a lack of handicapped artists as he is involved with SAG-AFTRA as a member of the union's Performers with Disabilities Committee. Mitte was also a presenter for Channel 4 (UK) reporting on  the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

  • CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS

  • Become a Corporate Sponsor
    • As with all special events, it is so important to have support from dedicated sponsors to achieve success. Our financial sponsors and participating vendors are an essential part of the conference experience. We invite your organization to join us in the celebration. Several packages are offered to meet your corporate needs and donation comfort level.

      To receive a sponsorship packet, please contact:

      Meg Hambrose, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations

      Email: margaret.hambrose@scranton.edu

      Phone: (570) 941-4262

  • Link to Previous Conferences

  • Previous Conferences