ABLE Assembly 2024

The Berklee Institute for Accessible Arts Education (BIAAE) is delighted to announce the 2024 ABLE Assembly: Arts Better the Lives of Everyone conference, which will take place online April 19–21, 2024. In-person and online attendance options are available. 

Registration is open now through April 18, 2024.

The conference registration fee is $125 and includes:

If You Attend in Person: 

  • Sessions at Berklee College of Music in Boston
  • An opening reception on April 19
  • Lunch on April 20 and April 21
  • Access to recorded sessions and supporting materials after the event has concluded
  • Admission to the Berklee Institute for Accessible Arts Education's (BIAAE) Digital Learning Series, 12 monthly webinars and workshops with hands-on teaching strategies that will be offered from May 2024 through April 2025; and 
  • The opportunity to earn 18 professional development points.


If You Attend Online:

  • Livestream access to keynotes and some workshop sessions
  • Access to curated pre-recorded sessions and supporting materials
  • Day-ending synthesis discussions with opportunities to engage with the presenters
  • Admission to the Berklee Institute for Accessible Arts Education's (BIAAE) Digital Learning Series, 12 monthly webinars and workshops with hands-on teaching strategies that will be offered from May 2024 through April 2025; and 
  • The opportunity to earn 18 professional development points.



Full schedules and session information can be found for both Saturday's and Sunday's schedules below:



Synchronous sessions will be live-captioned and American sign language–interpreted. Asynchronous sessions will be captioned.

Please register by April 18, 2024.


Featured Saturday Morning Keynote Speaker: Hannah Berube



Hannah Berube is a musician and educator whose work in the classroom and on the stage has focused on access and inclusivity in the arts. In addition to teaching K-2 music in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Berube is on the faculties of Smith College, Clark University, and Greenwood Music Camp. She has worked alongside students, musicians, and educators in a variety of settings to cocreate inclusive arts spaces. Berube performs with and serves on the leadership council of the New England Repertory Orchestra, an “inclusive symphony orchestra, born in our times” that seeks to dismantle the exclusivity of symphonic music through community and service. A dedicated early childhood educator, Berube believes in the power of children to know themselves and their world, and to challenge the status quo through the arts.

Featured Saturday Afternoon Keynote Speaker: Stephen Tonti


Stephen Tonti is thrilled to be a featured keynote speaker at the 2024 ABLE Assembly: Arts Better the Lives of Everyone Conference.


A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Stephen Tonti was raised around passionate storytellers who know how to entertain. As a producer, writer, and entrepreneur, he invites his collaborators to embrace the "science of story" and other unique approaches to capturing human behavioral biology on screen. He is a cofounder of Attention Different, a company dedicated to ADHD advocacy, mental health education, and creative content pertaining to ADHD. 

Tonti was a speaker at the Children and Adults with ADHD Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and again in Long Beach, California; gave the keynote address at Lynn University’s Transitions Conference; has a TEDx Talk called “Attention Different, Not Deficit” with over 3 million views, and has been interviewed on a slew of podcasts and edutainment channels (ADHD reWired, MasterClass, How to ADHD, ADDitude Magazine, etc.).

With alma maters like Carnegie Mellon (B.F.A. ‘13) and the University of Southern California (M.F.A. ‘20), Tonti has built a multitude of lasting relationships with entertainment industry thought leaders and top talent across the United States. Since receiving his master's degree, he moved back to New Orleans and has gone on to produce a number of projects including live-action features, documentaries, docu-series, motion capture animations, commercials, podcasts, political ad campaigns, and more. 


Featured Sunday Morning Keynote Speaker: Lydia X. Z. Brown


Among many other things, Lydia X. Z. Brown is a writer, public speaker, educator, trainer, consultant, advocate, community organizer, community builder, activist, scholar, and attorney.

For nearly 15  years, Brown has worked to address and end interpersonal and state violence targeting disabled people, especially disabled people at the margins of the margins, in our own homes and communities, in movement spaces, in schools, in disability-specific institutions, and in jails and prisons. Brown's work begins at and centers intersections of disability, queerness, race, gender, class, and nation and migration. Brown has provided trainings and consultations to hundreds of individuals, educational institutions, agencies, companies, and organizations across numerous professional and academic fields on a range of issues impacting disabled, queer, trans, and negatively racialized people.

Brown founded and led The Autistic People of Color Fund. Brown created and curates Bearing Witness, Demanding Freedom, the Living Archive and Repository of the Judge Rotenberg Center’s Abuses. Along with Morénike Giwa Onaiwu and E. Ashkenazy, Brown co-edited the first edition of the anthology All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism. Brown is one of 10 young activist icons featured in Amplifier’s We the Future Campaign. Brown is also featured in People of Color Productions’ docuseries-in-progress I Identify As Me, directed and produced by Tina Colleen and Monick Monell, and HBO Max’s documentary Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests. Brown is a past Gender+ Justice Initiative Fellow at Georgetown University and a Justice Catalyst Fellow at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

In 2022, Brown ran for Maryland General Assembly with the core campaign message that we deserve better.

As an educator, Brown teaches as an adjunct lecturer and core faculty in the Disability Studies Program and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Georgetown University, and as an adjunct professorial lecturer in the American Studies Program at American University’s Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies. Brown is also a faculty member and self-advocacy discipline coordinator for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Training Program at Georgetown’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the Center for Child and Human Development. Previously, Brown taught in the Honors College at the University of Delaware and in the Experimental College at Tufts University, and as a volunteer instructor in programs for high school and middle school students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Educational Studies Program.

Professionally, Brown works as director of public policy at the National Disability Institute, with a focus on advancing financial freedom and economic opportunity for people with disabilities through strategic policy research, development, and implementation. Previously, Brown worked as policy counsel with the Privacy and Consumer Data Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, focusing on algorithmic injustice, bias, and discrimination affecting disabled people; and as director of policy, advocacy, and external affairs at the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network, leading policy work with an intersectional approach to disability and neurodiversity.

Brown provides regular consultations, workshops, and trainings for many other organizations on radical access, care, and justice.

Brown lives at the intersection of many forms of marginality and oppression, and many forms of privilege and power. Some identities and experiences that are important to Brown include being multiply disabled, queer, and a nonbinary Chinese American and East Asian transracial and transnational adoptee of color, working precariously both within and at the margins of academia and the nonprofit industrial complex.

Brown works on unceded and occupied traditional lands of the Piscataway-Conoy, Nacotchtank, and Susquehhanock peoples. (Learn more about Indigenous land acknowledgement and solidarity action plans.

About the ABLE Assembly


The ABLE Assembly is an exceptional professional development opportunity in the field of arts education and individuals with disabilities, bringing together educators, artists, researchers, policymakers, school administrators, program administrators, and students to share best practices, explore new research, and learn from each other. 


Conference Sponsor