Saturday, November 25, 2017

IDRAC 2017 Speaker Spotlight

The International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference is coming up on Friday and Saturday, December 1-2, 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 a speaker who will present on Saturday, December 2nd. Read on, then plan to attend with us!

Speaker Spotlight: Anjali J. Forber-Pratt

Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University. Her research agenda adopts a social-ecological framework looking at issues related to identity development, school safety, social-emotional learning, the impact of gang presence and school climate particularly for individuals who are different in some way, with a large focus on disability. She presents regularly at state, national, and international conferences and is author on 16 peer-reviewed journal articles and several chapters. The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has also recognized her as an emerging leader within the national disability community. She was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change in 2013 and had an opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with President Obama about disability policy issues.

Presentation: Disability Identity Development

This presentation will explore the term “disability identity” and present current and ongoing research. The presenter will first situate herself within the disability rights and disability community, as a researcher with a disability. Disability occurs across the lifespan and is cross-cultural making it complicated to study. Additionally, the presenter believes that we must be inclusive in our definition of disability for this type of research. Disability is then defined broadly and including individuals with apparent or visible and/or less apparent or hidden disabilities across as many disability groups as possible (i.e., physical, intellectual, learning, mental illness).

Disability identity is unique because disability often occurs in individuals who do not have others with disabilities around them. People with disabilities, then, shape an identity around a particular impairment or difference that their families, immediate circles and communities likely do not share. A coherent disability identity is believed to help individuals adapt to disability, including navigating related social stresses and daily hassles. By providing an overview of the existing models of disability identity, including seminal work from Carol Gill (1997), a description of how this body of work has informed the development of a new measurement tool of disability identity will also be discussed.

Dr. Forber-Pratt will close the conference with her excellent topic on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 2:00pm US Pacific Standard Time, in Second Life®.

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