MDisability Provider Webinar Series

A Disability Health Webinar Series for Primary Care Medical Professionals

The MDisability Provider Webinar series is hosted by and for primary care medical professionals who seek information on how to care for patients with disabilities. These webinars provide educational and clinical care insight, tools, and resources, and cover diverse topics about caring for people with physical, sensory, intellectual, and developmental disabilities. They are delivered by experienced primary care providers who care for people with disabilities. Some of these providers are also caregivers for a person with a disability or who may have a disability themselves. We are grateful to the Robert J. Fisher, M.D. Family Medicine Fund and to our partner Michigan Medicine's Center for Disability Health and Wellness (CDHW) (link is external) for the generous support of the MDisability provider webinar series through CDHW's collaboration with AHEAD-DC RRTC (link is external) and a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR #90RTHF0005). With their contributions, the webinars are held quarterly, include live captioning, and are free of charge.

April 2024 - Examining the Landscape and Opportunities of Collegiate Adaptive Sports Programs

The first webinar of the 2024 series was held on April 11 with a dynamic presentation by Erik Robeznieks, MBA, presenting, "Examining the Landscape and Opportunities of Collegiate Adaptive Sports Programs". 

This session explores the background of collegiate adaptive sports, the current landscape, and adaptive sports initiatives at the University of Michigan.

College is a time of rapid growth and social development for society’s next generation of leaders. A formative, post-secondary education should give students the skills to be proficient in work, life, and citizenship. However, despite the 30-plus years of the ADA, many aspects of daily life -- including sports – continue to exclude people with disabilities.

Collegiate athletics can unite students, faculty, staff, researchers and those among the academic disciplines to build connections within the broader community. Right now, collegiate adaptive sports is experiencing a movement that aims to address gaps for people with disabilities and engage internal and external stakeholders to create equal access to sports for people with and without disabilities.


  • Expand understanding and knowledge of what a college-based adaptive sports program can look like including both action-oriented and reflective learning components that focus on inclusion and ableism.
  • Explore how institutions can effectively collaborate, engage, and involve students, faculty, staff, and administrators to initiate and sustain an adaptive and inclusive sports program on and off campus.
  • Create strategies to influence collegiate and community leaders who have the authority and purview to change campus culture to become more inclusive of students who have a disability.

Erik Robeznieks Bio

Following a career in able-bodied sports, Erik earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto. After being introduced to the world of para sport, Erik worked with Wheelchair Basketball Canada, managing operations for its national programs. This included serving as a member of Team Canada at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, as well as several other major international competitions.

With an ignited passion for leading and developing sport programs, Erik went on to earn his MBA at Toronto Metropolitan University, which culminated in his thesis, "Examining the Potential Inclusion of Adaptive Sport in the NCAA.” His thesis addressed issues of law, equity, and sociocultural perceptions of disability and adaptive sport, as well as program development.

In 2020, Erik was appointed assistant director of the Adaptive Sports & Fitness (ASF) program at the University of Michigan under the leadership of Oluwaferanmi O. Okanlami, MD, MS, associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine. In his current position, Erik has had the opportunity to use many of the skills, activities and life lessons he has learned as a para sports athlete.

Under his leadership, ASF supports recreational and competitive wheelchair tennis; wheelchair basketball; para track and field; and wheelchair rugby. The program is also leading the nation in embedding para sports in K-12 programming through the Adaptive Sports & Inclusive Recreation Initiative. ASF is also intimately involved with NCAA Para Sport Inclusion through its Adaptive Student Athlete Program.

Erik's passion for para sport and inclusive sports opportunities extends beyond his professional capacity, as he also competes in wheelchair basketball. He is a 2019 Canada Games silver medalist with Team Ontario and volunteers on the board of directors for the para-equestrian nonprofit organization, Therapeutic Riding Inc. in Ann Arbor.

Transcript - April 11, 2024, Provider Webinar

MDisability Provider Webinar Series Archive