The lecture is premised on the understanding that children lead the inter-generational change regarding the inclusion of people with disabilities in society. Building inclusive play spaces provide children with opportunities to create a change.
The lecturer describes a park whose plan is based on universal design principles that enable leisure and recreation activities for children with disabilities and parents with disabilities.
Stan Goldman’s lecture describes the activities and vision of the Weinberg Foundation, which supports “elective communities”, designed to allow people with disabilities to choose their place and form of residence. The lecture describes examples of the success of this approach in the US and in Israel.
Despite many programs implemented in South Africa as part of an educational inclusion policy, children with complex communication needs have been excluded.
A private company was chosen to train the staff members of typical schools and special education schools, in working with such students.
The lecture presents a study of this training. It claims that although the program was successful, additional issues came up in its wake, which must be addressed in order to allow children with complex communication to realize their right to education effectively.
In his lecture, Prof. Emerson from the Center for Health and Disabilities Research, Lancaster University, UK, exposes the influences of environmental stress on people with intellectual disabilities, and presents possibilities for research, policy and work.
Prof. Chris Oliver’s main areas of research are the study of the relations between genetics and behavior, as well as emotional and mental behavioral problems in children and adults with severe intellectual disabilities, and expressions of challenging behaviors in people with neurodevelopmental disorders.
In his lecture he describes personality traits typical of people with challenging behaviors and presents a model of challenging behavior which recognizes both these traits and environmental influences.
People with disabilities are entitled, according to the international Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, to be active partners in decisions related to their lives.
Prof. Nelson-Brian’s lecture describes the origin and goals of “Supportive Leadership” program for people with disabilities and promotes this basic right.
Following the International Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, Prof. Kanter from the Faculty of Law, Syracuse University, USA, states in her lecture, that the existing concept of community life must be abandoned in favor of the understanding that people with disabilities are entitled not only to live in a community, but to also choose how to live in it: at their own residence or in a house with other people.
Following a program for youths with cerebral palsy who use AAC in South Africa, where they learn to use alternative communication tools effectively, Prof. Kitty Uys from the Center for Augmentative and Alternative Communication at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, describes the empowerment process experienced by participants of the program. Using case studies, she presents the complex relation existing between communication abilities, opportunities for social participation, the importance of the support system and the development of empowerment.
Sigal Peretz Yahalomi describes the process the AKIM organization went through as it moved from a parents organization to an individual-focused organization that is based on a societal approach that relates to the person’s will, aspirations, needs, liberties and inclusion in the community as part of the protection of human dignity and liberty.