Robert Jacobs, MD, MPH (USC Children's Hospital Los Angeles: CA UCEDD) Presented at the International Forum on Disability & Development in Beijing

April 16, 2008

The International Forum on Disability and Development was held in Beijing at Peking University December 10-15, 2007. The meeting was sponsored by the China Disabled Person's Federation, Peking University, the School of Social Work of the University of Southern California, and Griffith University of Brisbane, Australia. Dr Robert Jacobs gave the keynote address for the international meeting and participated in the many forums of the meeting, representing the USC UCEDD.

Dr Jacobs spoke on The 20th Century - One Hundred Years of Progress for Medical, Social, Educational, and Legal Issues related to Childhood Health and Disability. He emphasized that for those with, or at risk for developmental disabilities, the 20th century was remarkable for improvements made in the areas of disability prevention, medical treatment, and rehabilitation. Public health measures lessened or eliminated the morbidity and mortality risk for many conditions, and new medical treatments led to prolongation of life expectancy and improvement in the quality of life for numerous health conditions of childhood. At the same time, powerful forces in the social, educational, and legal communities emerged to develop new concepts of Wellness, Inclusion, and Independence, making life more successful, fulfilling, and meaningful for millions of young people as they continued to develop and grow into adulthood. These changes in medical, social, educational, and legal norms are frequently taken for granted today, but they represent herculean and heroic efforts by dedicated professionals and consumers to a degree unattainable in previous generations.

It is anticipated that these meetings and partnerships with the China Disabled Person's Federation and Peking University will continue and expand, and present future opportunities for the USC UCEDD, and perhaps other members of AUCD.