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.”

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Brent ELDERComment
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!

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Brent ELDER Comment
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.

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Hayley FeddersComment
Endrew v. Douglas County School District

On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court decided Endrew v. Douglas County School District, holding that in order to meet its substantive obligation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a school must provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to a child with a disability by offering an Individualized Education Program (IEP) “reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.”

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An Argument For The Prosecution Of Crimes Against Persons With Disabilities

With “[m]ore than one billion [or 15% of] people in the world living with some form of disability,” as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), there is little doubt that they are especially affected by armed conflicts. Indeed, it is estimated that the prevalence of disability “is likely to increase to 18-20% in conflict-affected populations.”

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Education in the Age of DeVos

And so it begins. With a barrage of controversial and polarizing Cabinet nominations, Trump further polarized the country and ignited national debates on everything from “pay to play” politics, to environmental pseudoscience, and the need for political experience in DC. During Senate confirmation hearings, educators and families of children with disabilities were shocked as they watch the confused, now confirmed, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos provide her testimony. 

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Here’s why Disability Rights must be on the Forefront of the Human Rights Movement

Celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities should be accompanied by reflection for the global human rights movement. Honest reflection compels a consideration as to whether and how Amnesty International – and the human rights movement as a whole – is accommodating persons with disabilities and the disability rights agenda in its human rights work. This is especially germane in the light of the 10 year anniversary of the 2006 adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

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Disability and Trump

During the first 100 days of a new administration, it is worth reflecting on the prospects for advancing the rights of persons with disabilities both here and abroad.  Several factors suggest alignment between priorities of the Trump administration and a robust agenda for accessibility.  

 

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Brent ELDERComment
Education for All Means All

The purpose of this blog series, prepared under the auspices of USAID’s Office of Education, is to address some potential challenges and solutions to increase student literacy rates as they relate to a variety of disabilities in diverse global contexts. This first blog in the series will provide an overview of issues related to disability and literacy around the world. Though not all students with disabilities will require reading interventions to become literate, we encourage you to use these strategies to help support all students to attain literacy, not just students with disabilities.

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Brent ELDERComment
Access: A Common Denominator

Over the years and around the world, especially in low-income countries, I’ve heard my sisters and brothers with disabilities express incredible frustration with the lack of employment among people with disabilities. Their aggravation is warranted: on average, across the globe, 44% of disabled persons are working, while 75% of people without a disability are employed.

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Brent ELDER
The Business in Belfast Part 2

After our first week in Belfast where we worked to set up interviews with local Deaf people about their experiences in the system of justice, the two of us took a break and flew to London for two days.

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Brent ELDER
The Business in Belfast

Nothing could dampen the excitement of the two-week journey that we were about to embark on as we met at Newark International Airport for our flight to Belfast, Northern Ireland (“Norn Iron,” as the locals say). 

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Brent ELDER
Refuge(e)

Refugee (/ˌrefyo͝oˈjē/)- n. a person who flees for refuge or safety, especially to a foreign country, as in time of political upheaval, war, etc.

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Brent ELDER