CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Experts from various fields met on UVA grounds to discuss disability on the spectrum of human diversity.

The disabilities studies symposium started years ago because a group of people were interested in raising awareness about disability on grounds.

Organizers believe lectures and discussion like this one are necessary on grounds. 

The event focused on a number of issues relating to disability in terms of ethnicity, sexuality, and how designs of products affect people with disabilities. 

Panelists discussed how being a racial minority was once seen as a disability and that in the contemporary environment, racial minorities are often not treated fairly in disability policies.

“The first step is always awareness, so that's the goal today is to just raise awareness, and I’m hoping that people in a variety of fields that traditionally have not been concerned with disability might realize that they have something important to say about diversity,” said Chris Krentz, associate professor, English and American Sign Language.

Organizers say disability has been seen as kind of a medical thing, or special education thing, but a conference like this is important to reach a lot of people and to address issues concerning disabilities.

An important issue UVA researchers are focuses on and was discussed at the symposium was the issue of technology designs for people with disabilities. 

Although there are ADA policies for accessing physical places, there aren't as many rules for online and mobile platforms.