CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: July 25, 2000
Symposium will focus on improving employment opportunities for the disabled
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- How to evaluate workforce initiatives and improve employment
prospects for persons with disabilities will drive discussions among attendees
at The Summer 2000 Researchers' Symposium July 27 to Aug. 2 at Oakdale Hall
at the University of Iowa's Oakdale Campus.
The weeklong conference of scholars, social science researchers and others
is timed to coincide with the 10-year anniversary of the passage of The Americans
with Disabilities Act, signed into federal law on July 26, 1990.
Finding additional ways for improving the economic future for those with
disabilities for their and the national economy's benefit is needed, says
Peter Blanck, UI law professor and director of the UI's Law, Health Policy
& Disability Center, which will lead the national symposium.
Disability Center co-director and UI law professor Len Sandler says the
ADA has been effective in opening certain doors and providing opportunities
for persons with disabilities, but adds, it's still debatable whether the
law has created the widespread employment opportunities many thought that
"The ADA has opened opportunities for students to go to college, fostered
changes in transportation, education, communications and technology services,"
among other things, Sandler says.
But, he says, "it's embedded in the culture and in the minds of many
that the disabled aren't attractive or qualified employees. Those attitudinal
barriers are greater threats to independence and equal opportunity than physical
barriers individuals encounter."
The symposium will feature as panelists: Katherine Seelman, director, National
Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; Michael Morris, director,
Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workforce Investment and Employment
for People with Disabilities. Others include Carol Gill, Officer of the Society
for Disability Studies and assistant professor, human development, University
The symposium is also sponsored by the Rehabilitation Research and Training
Center, the UI's Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, and the National Institute
on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
All meetings will be in the Gold Room at Oakdale Hall. For more information,
contact James Schmeling, associate director of the Law, Health Policy &
Disability Center at (319) 335-4833.