NCAA March Madness

NCAA to Host 2013 Inclusion Forum in Indianapolis

Dialogue will center on a range of inclusive topics related to policy, research, best practices, law and general issues as it relates to five areas of interest: race, gender, international student-athletes, LGBTQ, and disability-access in sports. Panelists and moderators will include college and university officials, Olympic NGB representatives, media, sport organization representatives, NCAA staff, government officials and not-for-profit advocates.

The Inclusion Forum allows a range of voices and experiences to come together to discuss ways to advance an inclusive culture in intercollegiate athletics and higher education, said Bernard Franklin, executive vice president of membership & student-athlete affairs/chief inclusion officer. Diversity and inclusion remain a priority for the NCAA. Our goal is to work with our membership and key organizations that include diversity and inclusion as a main mission in order to develop ways to increase diverse representation in our membership, especially in decision-making roles, and create more inclusive climates in athletics.

One of the keynote panel sessions will be Disability and the Law: New Guidelines from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The panel will review the recent guidance issued by the OCR pertaining to an educational institutions responsibilities in providing athletics opportunities for students with disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The discussion will further clarify the impacts for NCAA members and outline future opportunities for student-athletes with disabilities. University and OCR representatives will speak on that panel.

In addition to the wide range of speakers, Dr. Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, will deliver the welcome to the participants. Other panel sessions will include Sports Inclusion and the Media; Opportunities for Adaptive Sports; Strategies for Successfully Hiring, Mentoring & Supporting Coaches; Concussion in Womens Sport; Title IX after 40; The Relationship Between the Chief Diversity Officer and Intercollegiate Athletics; Mental Health Issues and Athletics Identity; NCAA and EADA Financial Reporting; and LGBTQ Inclusion. There will also be a workshop on developing campus inclusion action plans, Title IX education and NCAA divisional hot-topic sessions.

The NCAA hosts the three-day forum to provide attendees the opportunity to get updates on trends, relevant data, equity procedures, inclusion planning and key issues that could have a positive or adverse impact on its membership and the student-athletes it serves. The NCAA combined its Inclusion Summit, first held in 2011, and its Gender Equity Forum, held annually, to form the 2013 Inclusion Forum.