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AUCD - Plenary A

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Is Disability at a Tipping Point? Engaging the Public to Accelerate Progress

Monday, November 10, 2014 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM

Location: Grand Ballroom North/Central Salon

Session Description

Connecting and communicating with diverse groups and new audiences can enrich our work and maximize our impact. How do we package and share our expertise? What can we learn from other constituencies? Who are the new partners we can bring to the table? What do we want the public to know and act upon? Do the 2015 milestone anniversaries of ADA and IDEA create opportunities to broaden our engagement?

Moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Leon Dash, our panelists will discuss what drives people to spend time and effort on some things, but not others; share ways they have successfully built powerful and engaging campaigns and professional relationships; introduce ways we can all expand our reach; and challenge us to work closely with both our typical groups and others to communicate our compelling ideas.

Featured Presenter(s)

  • Leon Dash
    Leon Dash. Swanlund/Center for Advanced Study Professor of Journalism, African-American Studies, and Law: University of Illinois

    Leon Dash, Swanlund/Center for Advanced Study Professor of Journalism, African-American Studies and Law, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist with extensive experience in domestic and international reporting. Professor Dash joined the Washington Post in 1965 and, following a two-year leave of absence as a Peace Corps high school teacher in Kenya from 1966-68, returned to an award-winning 30-year career that included living with and reporting on Angolan guerrillas, serving as West Africa bureau chief, and working at the newspaper's investigative desk.

    Professor Dash won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism for his series "Rosa Lee's Story," on a family trapped in the urban underclass that became the basis for his award-winning book, Rosa Lee: A Mother and Her Family in Urban America. He also earned an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for a documentary series and, in 1999, New York University's journalism department selected the "Rose Lee's Story" series as one of the best 100 works in 20th century American journalism. Follow Professor Dash on Twitter @DashDeCosta.

  • Bob Boorstin
    Bob Boorstin, former public policy director of Google and former Presidential speechwriter

    Bob Boorstin was a director of public policy in the Washington office of Google, where he led the company's efforts on Internet freedom. Prior to coming to Google, Boorstin spent more than 25 years working in national security, political communications, research and journalism. He served for more than seven years with the Clinton administration, acting as the president's national security speechwriter; communications and foreign policy adviser to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin; and adviser on the developing world to Secretary of State Warren Christopher. After leaving government, Boorstin helped start the Center for American Progress, where he established and ran the program on national security. He has worked on more than a dozen national and international political campaigns and advised Fortune 500 CEOs and some of the nation's leading advocacy groups. Early in his career, Boorstin was a reporter for The New York Times. A graduate of Harvard University (1981), he received a master's degree in International Relations from King's College, Cambridge University (1983).

  • Emily Ladau
    Emily Ladau, Disability Rights Advocate and Blogger

    Emily Ladau is a passionate disability rights advocate whose career began at the age of 10, when she appeared on several episodes of Sesame Street to educate children about her life with a physical disability. In the years following her time with Big Bird and Elmo, Emily took on leadership roles in several advocacy initiatives. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English from Adelphi University and subsequently interned for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities under the auspices of the American Association of People with Disabilities. Since completing her internship in August 2013, Emily has continued to work and volunteer for multiple organizations to foster opportunities and create resources for the disability community.

    Emily maintains a blog, Words I Wheel By, which is focused on challenging people of all abilities to understand the disability experience in new ways. Her work has been featured in numerous places, including The New York Times website, The Huffington Post, and Exceptional Parent Magazine. As Emily continues to build her career, her goal is to harness the powers of communication and social media as tools for people with all types of disabilities to develop their inner voice for advocacy.

  • James Ferg-Cadima
    James Ferg-Cadima, National Public Policy Office of MALDEF

    James A. Ferg-Cadima has built his career advancing civil rights and civil liberties legislation at the federal, state, and local level. Mr. Ferg-Cadima heads the Washington, DC office of MALDEF, which is often described as the "law firm of the Latino community." He currently co-chairs the Education Task Force of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Right, a coalition of 200 civil rights organizations. Before rejoining MALDEF in 2010, he served as legislative counsel for the ACLU of Illinois; a judicial clerk for the Northern District of Illinois; a racial justice fellow at the Advancement Project; and a Marshall-Brennan fellow teaching constitutional literacy in the DC Public Schools for two years. Harvard Law School awarded him a Wasserstein Fellowship in 2008 and the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia awarded him the Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Award in 2012, both in recognition of his dedication to public interest law.
  • Shankar Vedantam
    Shankar Vedantam, Science Correspondent, NPR

    Shankar Vedantam is a science correspondent for NPR. The focus of his reporting is on human behavior and the social sciences, and how research in those fields can get listeners to think about the news in unusual and interesting ways.

    Before joining NPR in 2011, Vedantam spent 10 years as a reporter at The Washington Post. From 2007 to 2009, he was also a columnist, and wrote the Department of Human Behavior column for the Post. Vedantam writes an occasional column for Slate called "Hidden Brain."