Upper Peninsula Accessibility Summit '24

Brought to you by the Accessible Keweenaw Initiative and the Keweenaw Community Foundation's Joe Freed Empowerment Fund

The Keweenaw is widely recognized for its abundant amenities and historically significant places. Visitors experience the natural wonders, wildlife, and history that has created our vibrant communities. However, many of these locations and spaces are inaccessible in various ways to residents and visitors alike. 

Inaccessible recreation and community spaces limit residents’ ability to achieve the social and health benefits of an active, connected, and outdoor lifestyle and bars access to local businesses and downtown areas. These spaces also prevent the economic benefits generated by visitors or residents who require accessibility amenities and infrastructure. 

The UP Accessibility Summit (UPAS) will educate and equip local businesses, local government entities, managers of public recreation facilities and spaces, and community members to better serve, attract, and include individuals with disabilities in their organizations and communities. Additionally, the summit will serve as an education tool for the impacts of accessible tourism, employee training, and best practices for universal design. 


September 26th - 27th, 2024


Michigan Technological University. 

Houghton, MI 49931

Who should attend?

If you are an individual, business, organization, or entity committed to creating accessible spaces and places in the UP, you should consider registering for UPAS '24. This conference will equip you with resources, tools, training, and lived experience of individuals who require accessibility amenities and infrastructure and explore how better to serve them. 

About UPAS


The Upper Peninsula Accessibility Summit is an opportunity for community planning and government entities, local businesses and organizations, education and recreation leaders, and community members to learn about the benefits of increasing accessibility in our communities for visitors and residents alike. The summit will paint a big-picture look at the accessibility needs in our area and spark a conversation about solutions and sustainable, accessible infrastructure.

The event will provide participants with education, resources, and the lived experiences of individuals with mental, intellectual, sensory,  physical, and developmental disabilities. The goal is to help build an information base for actionable change in our communities to create inclusive, accessible environments and opportunities for community members, visitors, and recreators. 

Registration for the event includes lunch, keynote speakers, workshops, demonstrations, vendors, and an award ceremony to recognize those doing incredible work in accessibility in our community. There will be an opportunity to demo adaptive sports equipment and meet organizations focused on accessibility across the UP. The summit will feature adaptive communication methods and accessible transportation features to foster an inclusive space for all participants, speakers, and staff.

Featured Speakers

Meet our speakers for UPAS '24. Click here for a full list of presenters and their bios. 

Keynote: Kaelynn Partlow

Kaelynn amplifies her impact as a speaker, author, and social media influencer, reaching millions worldwide in her mission for autism advocacy.

Keynote: Robin Jones

Robin Jones is the Director of the Great Lakes ADA Center and an Instructor in the Department on Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at…


The Accessible Keweenaw Initiative (AKI) is a community-led effort to enhance access for all mobility levels to the Keweenaw's outdoors, cultural amenities, and historical points of interest. While the Keweenaw is rich with abundant natural beauty and incredible history, significant mobility barriers need to be addressed to facilitate universal access for community members and visitors. AKI intends to bring community members, subject matter experts, and local leaders to identify opportunities for improvement.