Mini-Conference on Disability Studies Aims to Create Dialogue in the Community

In an effort to continue conversations between disability service providers and the academic community as well as look at the difficulties that individuals with disabilities face, the College of Staten Island is hosting a mini-conference on current research on disabilities. The conference, Highlighting Current Research Being Done in the Field of Disability Studies, is funded by The Geraldo Rivera Fund for Social Work and Disability Studies takes place Monday, May 2, 2016 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm in the Recital Hall in the CSI Center for the Arts (Building 1P).

Presenters will include Dr. Sophie Mitra, Associate Professor, Economics, Fordham University discussing “Are Disabilities Relevant in Low-Income Countries”;  Dr. Vandana Chaudhry, Assistant Professor, Social Work, College of Staten Island, discussing “Pedagogy of Disabilities Studies;” and Dr. Esther Son, Assistant Professor, Social Work, College of Staten Island, discussing “Racial Disparities in Quality of Care among Children with Disabilities.”

Moderator Paul Costello notes that the conference is “a way of inviting everyone to look at current research and how it can impact policy change within the context of disabilities. Researchers will be giving their unique perspective on what they’re working on.”

Costello, who serves as Coordinator of the Geraldo Rivera Fund for Social Work and Disability Studies at the College, said that one of the goals of these efforts is to present policymakers with options to better assist individuals with disabilities. He noted that the purpose of the grant is to provide support for conferences, symposia, lectures, and publications with the intent to influence public policy and services for people with disabilities. That world includes individuals who are deaf or blind, those with developmental disabilities, those on the Autism Spectrum, veterans with combat-related disabilities, people with mobility impairments, and people with traumatic brain injuries, or any other physical or psychiatric disability,” he said.