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MEDIA CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
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e-mail: james-schmeling@uiowa.edu

Release: May 22, 2002

UI Disability Center nets Milbank grant for disaster mitigation

The Law, Health Policy and Disability Center at the University of Iowa has received a $35,000 grant from the Milbank Foundation for Rehabilitation to advance the national debate on disaster mitigation for people with disabilities.

Peter Blanck, Charles M. and Marion Kierscht Professor of Law and director of the Law, Health Policy & Disability Center (LHPDC), will direct that project, which builds on his work with the Annenberg Foundation, the Red Cross and the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. Blanck comments that this project "continues the commitment to using technology and disability policy to save lives and reduce human suffering in the face of disasters throughout the world, and to engage people with disabilities in this dialogue."

James Schmeling, associate director of the center, notes that the grant activities will help identify "key issues concerning the needs of people with disabilities when disasters strike, develop strategies for resolving those issues, and build relationships among disaster mitigation organizations, the media and disability organizations."

The LHPDC is an emerging leader in law, technology, education and research, focused on improving the quality of life for people living with disabilities. Based at the University of Iowa College of Law, with a satellite office in Washington, D.C., the center concentrates on public policy and its impact on people with disabilities, with an emphasis on employment, self-determination and self-sufficiency. For more information on this and other center projects, see http://www.its.uiowa.edu/law