Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Holiday Shopping? Support Virtual Ability While You Shop!

If you are one of many people who use Amazon.com, you can support Virtual Ability every time you shop. Just use https://smile.amazon.com/ch/26-0613580 to launch Amazon instead of the usual “www.Amazon.com”, and Amazon will automatically donate 0.5% of your purchase price to Virtual Ability, Inc.® There is no additional cost to you (or to VAI) whatsoever.

Virtual Ability uses the funds generated by this program to help pay for our community services, including our Second Life and InWorldz islands.

Just remember to use this link when you sign into Amazon, and you will be directly helping us!

How does AmazonSmile work?
When first visiting AmazonSmile, customers select a charitable organization from almost one million eligible organizations. For eligible purchases at AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the customer’s selected charitable organization.

What is the AmazonSmile Foundation?
The AmazonSmile Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation created by Amazon to administer the AmazonSmile program. All donation amounts generated by the AmazonSmile program are remitted to the AmazonSmile Foundation. In turn, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates those amounts to the charitable organizations selected by our customers. Amazon pays all expenses of the AmazonSmile Foundation; they are not deducted from the donation amounts generated by purchases on AmazonSmile.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Final IDRAC 2017 Schedule

The 6th annual International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference is a professional conference, free and open to the public, where we continue to celebrate progress in the disability rights movement and examine areas where we must continue to find ways to advance the rights of people with disabilities.

Below is the schedule for this year's conference, themed "Who Is Responsible?" We look forward to having you with us at this year's conference, which promises to be a particularly interesting one.
Note, all times given are US Pacific Standard Time.
SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/53/172/23

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FRIDAY December 1
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8:00am
Beyond accountability: Moving towards answerability for students with disabilities
Mr. Louis Olander, Doctoral Candidate, Urban Education, CUNY Graduate Center

9:30am
Access to Health Care and the Liberation of People with Disabilities
Dr. Margaret Nosek, Baylor College of Medicine

11:00am
Who's Responsible for Inclusion?
Dr. David Wasserman, Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health

12:30pm
Are We Empowered Yet? Definitions, Interventions, and Outcomes
Dr. Margaret Nosek, Baylor College of Medicine

2:00pm
Stories from young women with intellectual disability: Meanings of gender and disability
Dr. Amie O'Shea, Deakin University, Australia

3:00pm
Social/Networking After Party

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SATURDAY December 2
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6:30am
Human Rights Under Attack: The struggle against cuts and austerity in the UK, 2010-2017
John McArdle, disabled activist, co-founder of the user-led campaign network Black Triangle

8:00am
Advocate or Mechanic? The Role of the Citizen Practitioner in Social Change
Dr. Christopher McMaster, New Zealand high school educator

9:30am
Diverse identities, diverse tactics: Bringing disability activist wisdom to all political movements
Ms Katie Tastrom, MSW, Esq., blogger and author

11:00am
On Speaking and Not Speaking: Autism, Friendship, Interdependency
Dr. Sonya Freeman-Loftis, Morehouse College

12:30pm
"We Are Not Disposable": “Psychiatric”/Psycho-Social Disabilities and Social Justice
Dr. Carol Moeller, Moravian College

2:00pm
Disability Identity Development
Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt, Vanderbilt University

3:00pm
Social/Networking After Party

If you are entering Second Life® for the first time, information about creating an account and your avatar can be found here: How to Attend the IDRAC Conference in Second Life. Once you enter Second Life, to get to the conference venue, click here and click the 'Visit this location' button: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/53/172/23

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

IDRAC Speaker Spotlight: David Wasserman

The International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference will convene on Friday, December 1, 2017. Under the theme of "Who Is Responsible?" we will hear from speakers from various parts of the country and the world, sharing their observations and thoughts as we look at what the Disability Rights movement has accomplished along with identifying the work that remains to bring full equality to all people, including those with disabilities. This professional conference is free and open to the public to attend.

Today we feature David Wasserman, of the National Institutes of Health, who will discuss the importance of universal social welfare reforms to achieve full inclusion for people with disabilities, and how individuals and society efforts can make this happen.

Speaker Spotlight: David Wasserman, JD, MA

David Wasserman, JD, MA, is at the Department of Bioethics, National Institutions of Health. Previously, he was Director of Research at the Center for Ethics, Yeshiva University (New York City, NY). He has written extensively on ethical issues in biotechnology, neuroscience, disability, reproduction, genetics, and health care. He is the co-author of the book, Disability, Difference, Discrimination.

Presentation: Who's Responsible for Inclusion?

In his words: "I argue that both individual and collective efforts are necessary for meaningful accommodation. But I conclude that full inclusion is only possible through universal social welfare reforms that must be collective undertakings."

Mr. Wasserman will present at 11:00am US Pacific Time on Friday, December 1, 2017, in Second Life®.

IDRAC Speaker Spotlight: Dr. Carol Moeller

The International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference will convene on Friday, December 1, 2017. Under the theme of "Who Is Responsible?" we will hear from speakers from various parts of the country and the world, sharing their observations and thoughts as we look at what the Disability Rights movement has accomplished along with identifying the work that remains to bring full equality to all people, including those with disabilities. This professional conference is free and open to the public to attend.

Today we feature Dr. Carol Moeller, of Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, who brings her perspective on social justice where it comes to people with “psychiatric”/psycho-social disabilities. Don't miss this presentation!

Speaker Spotlight: Carol Moeller, PhD

Carol Moeller, PhD, is associate professor of philosophy at Moravian College (Bethlehem, PA), where she currently teaches courses in ethics and philosophy. She is interested in the ethics and philosophy at the intersection of gender, race and disabilities, and has written extensively on social justice issues experienced by persons with intellectual disabilities. She was a Fulbright-Hays Scholar in Ghana in 2000, and was the Greenwall Fellow in Bioethics and Health Policy at Johns Hopkins University and Georgetown University (2001-2003).

Presentation: "We Are Not Disposable”: “Psychiatric”/Psycho-Social Disabilities and Social Justice

How does social justice for persons relate to psycho-social or “psychiatric” disabilities? I draw upon and theorize from my own experience – working to develop transformative ways of thinking and living with “psychiatric”/psycho-social disabilities. Investigating several different activist and service organizations, as well as voices and representations of people with “psychiatric”/psycho-social disabilities, I ask which are truly empowering. Following Tobin Siebers and Margaret Price, I critique the “ideology of ability” and its tendency to de-humanize people with “psychiatric”/psychosocial disabilities. I argue for expansive liberatory practices that embrace neurodiversity and work toward a world of social justice more enabling of human flourishing. I link Audre Lorde’s social justice vision to these concerns. People with “psychiatric”/psycho-social disabilities are such bodies that “do not fit” with the reigning “ideology of ability” (using Siebers’ terms). It is precisely in our not fitting that we reveal barriers, harms, injustices, moral-political insights, and need for revolutionary change. In reading and unpacking how we do not fit we can identify obstacles that point to blueprints for such changes.

Dr. Moeller will present at 12:30pm US Pacific Time on Saturday, December 2, 2017, in Second Life®.