Fall 2013 Human Rights Conference
Annual Human Rights Conference: Disability Rights
October 9-10, 2013
All events will take place in the East Academic Building: 545 Garden Ave. EXCEPT for keynote Chen Guangcheng and reception, which will be taking place at 5:30 pm on Thursday, October 10 in the Loretto Hilton Center: 130 Edgar Road. This event is free and open to the public.
Image ©Platon for Human Rights Watch
2013 Human Rights Conference Schedule
2013 Human Rights Conference: Disability Rights
All events will be held in East Academic Building 253/262 (545 Garden Ave.) unless otherwise noted.
Wednesday October 9, 2013
|8:30‐9:00||Tea and coffee|
|9:00- 9:30||Welcome by Dean David Wilson, College of Arts and Sciences Framework by Warren Rosenblum, Webster University|
|9:30-10:45||Plenary #1 Shifting the Paradigm: Has the Disability Rights Treaty Made a Difference?
Shantha Rau Barriga, Human Rights Watch
|11:00- 12:00||Panel discussion: Organizing by People with Disabilities.
Moderated by: Warren Rosenblum, Webster University
• Raúl Montoya Santamaría, Colectivo Chuhcan A.C., Mexico
• Arlen Chaleff, National Alliance on Mental Illness
• Sarah Durbin, Paraquad
|1:15-2:45||Plenary #2 The Campaign to Ratify the Disability Rights Treaty: Will America Step Up?
Marca Bristo, Access Living; Judith Heumann, U.S. Department of State
|2:45-4:00||Breakout Sessions A
• Session 1: Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities: International Perspectives
Donna Campbell, Vicki McMullen – Webster University
• Room EAB 264
• Session 2: Employment & Disability Rights
David Newburger, Starkloff Disability Institute; Brandy L. Johnson, Feirich, Mager, Green and Ryan; Cheryl L. Anderson, Southern Illinois University School of Law
• Room EAB 253/262
|4:15-5:30||Plenary #3 The Protection of Persons with Disabilities in the Americas: Mexico and Guatemala, Sofía Galván Puente, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights|
~Conclusion of day~
Thursday, October 10, 2013
|9:00-9:30||Tea and coffee|
|9:30-10:00||Welcome and recap by Elizabeth Sausele, Webster University|
|10:00-11:15||Plenary #4 Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Emergencies: Achievements and Challenges in Low Income Countries, Jean-Francois Trani, Washington University|
|11:30-12:30||Breakout Sessions B
• Session 1: Cultural and Global Perspectives on Disability
Hemla Singaravelu and Hasmik Chakaryan, Webster University; Rina Chittooran, Saint Louis University
• Room EAB 253/262
• Session 2: The Visibility of Disability: Hidden Disabilities and their Implications
Gloria Grenwald and Heather Mitchell, Webster University; Austin Walker, National Council on Independent Living
• Room EAB 264
|2:00- 3:30||Plenary #5 Roundtable discussion|
|4:00-5:15||Performance DisAbility Project and Common Threads Dance Company|
|6:00- 7:00||Keynote Address Disability Rights: A Mirror on Social Progress, Chen Guangcheng, Independent Activist
• Introduction by Dean David Wilson, College of Arts and Sciences
• This event will take place in the Loretto Hilton Center at 130 Edgar Road. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
~Reception at the Loretto Hilton Center~
~Conclusion of Conference~
Webster University's Fall 2013 Human Rights Conference will focus on disability in
a global context. Almost ten percent of the world's population has physical or mental
impairments, yet discrimination against persons with disabilities is the norm rather
than the exception. Access to jobs, education, and public accommodations is scarce.
In many countries, persons with disabilities are still warehoused in degrading and
dangerous conditions, apart from their families and friends. The abuse of persons
with disabilities, sometimes reaching the legal definition of torture, goes largely
unseen or unacknowledged.
Webster's conference will bring together issue leaders and pioneers in the struggle to recognize disability rights as an international human rights issue. Recently, activists achieved their greatest success when the United Nations adopted a Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention, modeled in ways on the Americans with Disabilities Act, set a new standard for legal equality and equality of opportunity worldwide. Unfortunately many countries, including the United States, have failed to ratify the Convention, while other nations have formally offered their support and yet continued to tolerate abusive conditions at home. Participants in this conference will explore the current status and conditions of persons with disabilities worldwide and discuss successes and failures in the struggle to realize the promise of the Convention. The conference program will be of interest to human rights scholars and activists, including both persons with disabilities and the temporarily able-bodied.
Chen Guangcheng, Human Rights Activist
Chen Guangcheng began his human rights advocacy working in rural China with people with disabilities. He first petitioned the Chinese government over unfair taxes being levied against the disabled, including himself. Guangcheng, a self-taught lawyer, brought several cases concerning land rights and family planning practices against the Chinese government. In 2006, he was arrested for instigating property damage and was sentenced to more than four years in prison. Upon his release in 2010, he was unlawfully placed under house arrest and subjected to beatings and harassment. Guangcheng escaped to Beijing in April 2012, where he requested asylum at the United States embassy.
Marca Bristo, President & CEO, Access Living
Marca Bristo is a well-known leader of the disabilities movement. She helped create the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and she served as the Presidential-appointed chairperson of the National Council on Disability from 1994-2002. She was also influential in negotiations for the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Bristo is currently the President and CEO of Access Living, an organization that helps develop independent living skills, supports public education, and advocates for those with disabilities.
Sofia Galvan Puente, Mexico & Central America Programs Director,
Disability Rights International
Sofía Galván Puente currently serves as Human Rights Specialist at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). She is a Mexican lawyer who has worked as the Director of Disability Rights International for Mexico & Central America, and with the Inter-American Human Rights System's Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the IACHR.
Raul Montoya Santamaria, Executive Director, Colectivo Chuhcan, Mexico
Raúl Montoya Santamaría is the Executive Director of the Colectivo Chuhcan, which was the first organization of people with psycho-social disabilities in Mexico. Santamaria stresses the importance of fully integrating people with disabilities into society, as well as the importance of reforming laws regarding the guardianship of institutionalized people with disabilities. Santamaria focuses on the systematic segregation and abuse of people with disabilities in Mexico. He has also represented individuals institutionalized in dangerous institutions, which violates their basic human rights.
Jean-Francois Trani, Assistant Professor, Washington University, Brown School of Social Work & Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre
Jean-Francois Trani is an Assistant Professor at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in Saint Louis. His work lies at the intersection of mental health, disability, vulnerability, and poverty. He focuses on conducting research that informs policy and service design for individuals living in conflict-affected fragile states and developing countries.Trani's research has contributed to the policy papers of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan regarding disability issues.
The DisAbility Project & Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company.
The DisAbility Project empowers individuals, honors their stories, sparks imaginations, fosters community, encourages civic dialogue, and enhances public awareness about disability through innovative theater of the highest quality. It focuses on developing projects that bring together amateur performers with professional artists to create innovative material based on lived experience. It represents one of the most comprehensive creative endeavors in the Midwest to address issues of disability and creativity.