Perkins School president to speak on rights of disabled

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Steven Rothstein, president of the Perkins School for the Blind, one of the world’s leading institutions for educating the blind and deaf-blind, will present "Individuals with Disabilities: The Next Civil Rights Movement,” as part of Clark University’s Difficult Dialogues program at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 3, in Tilton Hall at the Higgins University Center, 950 Main Street, Worcester.

“Steven Rothstein is one of America’s leading advocates for the rights of people with disabilities. There are literally tens of millions of Americans who continue to struggle to take their place as full citizens even two decades after the enactment of the Americans With Disabilities Act.  Steven Rothstein will speak to both how far we have come as a nation and how far we still have to go.” ~ Jim Gomes, director of Clark University’s Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise

The last half century has witnessed a succession of social movements in the United States aimed at securing equal rights for African-Americans, women, and gays and lesbians. Rothstein argues that individuals with disabilities must be the next to claim full equality under law and in society. Rothstein will trace the progress that has been made in the 20 years since the enactment of the Americans With Disabilities Act and set out an agenda for future action.

Rothstein is the ninth head of Perkins School for the Blind. He graduated from Williams College and has an MBA from Northeastern University, and was Assistant Commissioner of the State of Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation. He has served on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Education and a variety of local and regional community, non-profit and education organizations.

Clark’s Difficult Dialogues program is part of the National Difficult Dialogues Initiative to create a culture of dialogue on college campuses. In 2006, Clark was one of 27 independent programs nationwide, selected from over 700 colleges and universities to have their original dialogue initiative program funded by the Ford Foundation.

Co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and the International Development, Community and Environment Department, Clark continues to offer symposiums, lectures and classes focused around dialogue with the intent to deepen experiences of learning and engagement across the community.  For more information, visit http://www.clarku.edu/difficultdialogues_2.cfm.

This event is also sponsored by the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise.  It is free and open to the public. For more information, call 508-793-7479.

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