From a Recent Sojourn in Japan…

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Tangata Group Receives International Grant

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.

World Down Syndrome Day 2018

World Down Syndrome Day 2018

I am not much of a writer but writing this piece was surprisingly a breeze. With World Down Syndrome Day approaching, I get the privilege to share our little world with you and give you a first hand understanding of what it means to include someone with an intellectual disability in the real world.

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

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. 

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

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.

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

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.

Protecting civilians with disabilities in conflicts

Protecting civilians with disabilities in conflicts

People with disabilities rank high among those badly affected by conflict. For one thing, conflicts degrade whatever support systems are in existence. The lucky ones can flee – but many are forced by their circumstances to remain in the conflict zone after others have been evacuated, and are particularly vulnerable as a result.

Disability and Disasters

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)

The Challenges in Interviewing in a Foreign Language

The Challenges in Interviewing in a Foreign Language

Walking into the frenetic international terminal at New York’s JFK Airport, I find a familiar face voraciously reading the day’s edition of the New York Times. Michael Schwartz and I hug with the embrace of brothers, and sign excitedly about our next Tangata Group adventure. Next stop: Belfast, Northern Ireland, the land of “a terrible beauty.”Professor Brent Elder and I recently conducted a series of interviews of Deaf people and their hearing allies in Northern Ireland, exploring the theme of access to justice under Article 13 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Back to Belfast: 2017 Edition

Back to Belfast: 2017 Edition

Walking into the frenetic international terminal at New York’s JFK Airport, I find a familiar face voraciously reading the day’s edition of the New York Times. Michael Schwartz and I hug with the embrace of brothers, and sign excitedly about our next Tangata Group adventure. Next stop: Belfast, Northern Ireland, the land of “a terrible beauty.”

Autism: A Peek into One Student's Higher Ed Experience

Autism: A Peek into One Student's Higher Ed Experience

As a non-speaking, autistic, honor-society, college student, I am living the dream. To be certain, the sentence I just wrote must seem like an oxymoron to the average listener's ears. Yes, I am a non-speaking, non-writing, autistic, young man that attends a California State University and entered as a freshman. As far as I understand, I am one of a few such individuals attending a university across the nation---sort of like a unicorn!

Carving a Path, Building a House: A Philosophical Reflection

Carving a Path, Building a House: A Philosophical Reflection

Christopher was born in Bridgeport Connecticut where he was diagnosed and falsely diagnosed with an intellectual disability, he spent the first 10 years of his life in Foster Care. It was only after being adopted that Christopher began to be able to tap into his talents, as an artist, writer, on chair philosopher, and community organizer. Christopher lives and works in St. Louis Missouri.

Access to Military Justice: A Set of Recommendations for Improvement

Access to Military Justice: A Set of Recommendations for Improvement

Access to military justice is a broad concept, encompassing service members’ effective access to the systems, procedures, information, and locations used in the administration of military justice. Service members who have transgressed the laws of military justice are brought to the bar to answer for their offenses.