Dr. Brent Elder

Brent C. Elder, Ph.D.

Brent C. Elder is an assistant professor in the Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education Department at Rowan University. He was a special education teacher at a public elementary school in California from 2004 to 2012. While there, he created a successful inclusive education program. He also taught courses from 2010 to 2012 in the Teacher Education Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and from 2012-2016 in the School of Education at Syracuse University. He has collaborated with the US Embassy in Manama, Bahrain, and the Ministry of Education in Kenya as an education consultant. He is engaged in ongoing critical disability studies research focused on the intersections of disability, poverty, and education in post-colonial Kenya. During the 2015-16 academic year, he conducted his doctoral research in Kenya as a Fulbright scholar.

See Dr. Elder's CV and a full list publications read: Dr. Elder's Publications

Dr. Michael Schwartz

Michael A. Schwartz, Ph.D., J.D.

Michael Schwartz, a deaf lawyer, is an associate professor of law and has been the director of the Disability Rights Clinic in the Office of Clinical Legal Education at the Syracuse University College of Law since August 2004. Schwartz received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Brandeis University and a Master of Arts degree in Theater Arts from Northwestern University. He then joined the National Theater of the Deaf and toured the United States as D’Artagnan in Dumas’s The Three Musketeers.

Michael Schwartz obtained his J.D. from the New York University School of Law and joined the New York State Bar. His first legal position was a judicial clerkship in the chambers of Federal District Judge Vincent L. Broderick of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. After his clerkship, Schwartz joined the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney in the Office’s Appeals Bureau and served seven and one-half years. He then became a Trial Attorney in the Employment Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.  Then, he relocated and practiced law for three years in New York City and was admitted to the Bars of the States of New Jersey and Connecticut.

Schwartz then joined the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Department of Law as an Assistant Attorney General and successfully litigated the Office’s first Americans with Disabilities Act case, which established the right of a State Attorney General to bring an action under the ADA on behalf of the state’s residents with disabilities. After leaving the Department of Law, Schwartz obtained his LL.M degree from Columbia University School of Law, and served on the faculty at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY for four years. In 2004, Schwartz joined the law faculty at Syracuse University and in 2006 he received his Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Disability Studies from Syracuse University.

Schwartz received a Fulbright research award to study at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland in 2016. The focus of his study was the experiences of deaf patients in the health care field, with a particular focus on mental health services. The Disability Discrimination Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provided the legal framework for analysis.

Michael Schwartz is a licensed pilot and certified scuba diver. He loves to read, swim, travel and play chess. He’s married to Patricia Moloney, and they have a daughter, Brianna.

To see Dr. Schwartz's CV and a full list publications read: Dr. Schwartz's Publication

Janet E Lord

Janet E. Lord

Janet E. Lord is an international human rights lawyer who specializes in the rights of persons with disabilities. A senior fellow at the Harvard Law School and an independent disability inclusive development consultant, she brings more than 15 years of practice in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating disability rights and inclusive development programming. She served as legal counsel to Disabled Peoples International and several lead governments throughout the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Most recently, she served as Team Leader under the Services to Improve Performance Management Enhance Learning and Evaluation (SIMPLE) mechanism for USAID/Egypt, resulting in the first ever assessment on the Accessibility of Students with Disabilities to Egyptian Public Higher Education. An affiliated adjunct professor of law at the American University, Washington College of Law and the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, she has more than 15 years of experience teaching and training on international and comparative disability rights law, international human rights law, health and human rights, humanitarian law and criminal law standards relating to trafficking in persons. She holds an LLM in international and comparative law with highest honors from the George Washington University Law School and an LLB and LLM from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She sits on the Board of Directors for Amnesty International USA.

To See Janet's CV and a full list publications read: Janet E. Lord's CV

Judith Heumann

Judith Heumann is an internationally recognized leader in the disability community and a lifelong civil rights advocate for disadvantaged people. She served as the first Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State from 2010 – 2017 under the Obama Administration. She previously served as the Director for the Department on Disability Services for the District of Columbia, where she was responsible for the Developmental Disability Administration and the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

From June 2002- 2006, Judith E. Heumann served as the World Bank's first Adviser on Disability and Development. In this position, Heumann led the World Bank's disability work to expand the Bank’s knowledge and capability to work with governments and civil society on including disability in the Bank discussions with client countries; its country-based analytical work; and support for improving policies, programs, and projects that allow disabled people around the world to live and work in the economic and social mainstream of their communities. She was Lead Consultant to the Global Partnership for Disability and Development.

From 1993 to 2001, Heumann served in the Clinton Administration as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the Department of Education. Heumann was responsible for the implementation of legislation at the national level for programs in special education, disability research, vocational rehabilitation and independent living, serving more than 8 million youth and adults with disabilities.

For more than 40 years, Heumann has been involved on the international front working with disabled people’s organizations and governments around the world to advance the human rights of disabled people. She represented Education Secretary, Richard Riley, at the 1995 International Congress on Disability in Mexico City. She was a US delegate to the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. She has been active with Disabled Peoples’ International, Rehabilitation International and numerous Independent Living Centers throughout the world. She co-founded the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley California and the World Institute on Disability in Oakland California.

Heumann graduated from Long Island University in 1969 and received her Masters in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975. She has received numerous awards including being the first recipient of the Henry B. Betts Award in recognition of efforts to significantly improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. She has received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Long Island University in Brooklyn, an Honorary Doctorate of Public Administration from the University of Illinois, Champaign, and an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of Toledo.

Places where Dr. Elder and Dr. Schwartz have worked.

Places where Dr. Elder and Dr. Schwartz have worked.