Heumann Perspective

Judith (Judy) Heumann formerly served as the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the US Department of State from 2010-2017. She is now building an online presence under The Heumann Perspective through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. This new project is intended to broaden and spur discussions on the intersectionality of disability rights. On a recent trip to Washington, DC, Dr. Brent Elder made dinner plans with Judy Heumann, and she invited him to her home to film an episode of The Heumann Perspective. What follows is a short video of their conversation about inclusive education, representation in the media, and disability rights.

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Seoul, South Korea

I was invited to speak at a conference on disability in Seoul, South Korea, that was also a celebration of the Korean translation of “Federal Disability Law in a Nutshell,” written by Ruth Colker (the original edition included the late Adam Milani as co-editor). The conference coincided with International Disability Day, Monday, December 3rd. My wife, Trisha Moloney Schwartz, accompanied me as the trip’s sign language interpreter.

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Travel, ADABrent ELDERComment
From a Recent Sojourn in Japan…

You know you are in Japan when you see Hiroshima. The Atomic Bomb Dome brings to life the moment the bomb hit – it was one of a very few structures still standing after the blast, and it bears mute witness to the horror of that morning in August 1945. Here’s what ended World War II, and look at what it entailed: vaporized human beings, burning corpses, whole blocks and neighborhoods completely destroyed – gone without a trace. Visiting Hiroshima is like visiting Auschwitz. The context is different, but one basic truth remains: human beings destroyed other human beings on a massive scale.

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TravelBrent ELDERComment
Beyond Access: The Need to Focus on Improving Literacy Skills for Students with Disabilities

Literacy skills are a fundamental component of most daily living skills. Literacy skills are needed to break out of the poverty cycle, to access health services, and gain employment. Literacy skills for children with disabilities can also help support future independent living and improve the ability to be self-advocates and enable self-determination. However, most international education programs that focus on early grade reading do not or only minimally address the needs of students with different types of disabilities.

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RightsNow! Strong Communities through Enforcing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

TANGATA GROUP, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the proposition that disability rights are human rights and founded by two School of Education graduates, has received a $200,000 grant through the United Kingdom’s Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) to further its work on deaf access to justice in Northern Ireland. The DRILL grant comes from the world’s first major research program led by people with disabilities and is financed with money from the United Kingdom’s National Lottery.

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Tangata Group Receives International Grant

TANGATA GROUP, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the proposition that disability rights are human rights and founded by two School of Education graduates, has received a $200,000 grant through the United Kingdom’s Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) to further its work on deaf access to justice in Northern Ireland. The DRILL grant comes from the world’s first major research program led by people with disabilities and is financed with money from the United Kingdom’s National Lottery.

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Going to school for the first time: inclusion committee members increasing the number of students with disabilities in primary schools in Kenya

This expansion of teacher training on inclusive education and critical disability studies promoted sustained school- and community-based discussions on inclusive education and sensitisation on issues related to disability. These practices also led to the development of inclusion committees, co-teaching practices, and stimulated the partial dissolution of the physical boundaries and categorical distinctions between ‘primary’ and ‘special’ schools. In conjunction, all of these factors ultimately led to an increase in the number of students with disabilities accessing any form of education for the first time. 

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Michael A. Schwartz Awarded Grant to Study Access to Justice for Deaf People in Northern Ireland

Associate Professor of Law Michael A. Schwartz has been awarded a grant of more than $200,000 to explore access to justice for deaf people, working in collaboration with the British Deaf Association, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Rowan University, NJ. This grant is part of approximately $1.5 million awarded to 10 research and pilot projects across the United Kingdom. The funding has been granted as part of the Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) program, led by disabled people and funded by the UK's Big Lottery Fund.

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Delivering on DEI: December 3 and International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Dec. 3 marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. For me this day prompts some questions (and suggests some answers) on how organizations focused on advancing human rights globally, including AI, can and ought to be thinking about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). It should include, of course, consideration of diversity as to disability, whether physical, sensory, psycho-social or intellectual, and also diversity in respect of other characteristics.

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Disability and Disasters

Central African Republic: Floods; 1,750 people affected (August, 2017)
Sierra Leone: Mudslides; 500 dead; 810 people missing; 5,900 lost homes (August, 2017)
Nigeria: Floods; 43,000 people displaced (August, 2017)
Belize Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico: Tropical Cyclone Franklin (August, 2017)
Cameroon: Flash Floods; 12,890 people affected (August, 2017)
Tunisia: Forest Fires; 500 people displaced (August, 2017)

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