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.
As the Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities was established, six hundred and fifty million people changed status, from “object of charity” to a status of people with rights, who demand their rights while maintaining that “nothing about us – without us”. Prof. Stein engages in a general discussion of the Convention in his lectures. Other points covered in the lecture are related developments around the world, the UN disability conference held in Geneva and how the Convention is applied and monitored in different countries by the Harvard Law School.
Ms. Rogers presents a working plan designed to impart skills which will reduce the risk of harm to children with developmental disabilities.
The lecture focuses on the great importance of clinical and therapeutic interventions in improving behaviors, parent-child relationship and more in cases of children with fetal alcohol syndrome.
The lecture illustrates the impact of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities achieved by service providers for the benefit of people with disabilities.