Two publications have recently highlighted the important role of Cornell University in expanding disability studies, research and statistics.
Wall Street Journal Article
A March 5, 2014 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article (subscription required), titled "Disability Studies: Hot Topic on Campus" and written by Melissa Korn, features Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations which created a formal disability studies concentration in 2009.
Offering eight courses with more than 300 students, the Cornell program includes classes on disability and employment policies, disability law and a writing seminar on "intersections of disability identity in the law, workplace and society".
Cornell's disability studies program is associated with the Cornell University Employment and Disability Institute (EDI) which "advances knowledge, policies, and practices to enhance the opportunities of people with disabilities through projects, training, technical assistance, research and publications," according to its website.
"Disability Considerations in HR Policy and Practice," one of the Cornell disability studies courses featured in the WSJ article, "addresses the strategic advantages of employing people with disabilities, such as helping companies appeal to new markets."
In addition to guest speakers from the federal government and public companies, reading assignments for this course include academic journals and business magazines. Example topics for final papers: "the impact of the aging workforce on employers, how companies can accommodate returning veterans and what challenges multinational firms might face in implementing nondiscrimination regulations across borders."
The WSJ article correlates this surge in academic interest, in part, to new hiring guidelines for federal contractors with a goal for people with disabilities to represent seven (7%) percent of the employees in every job group.
The NAELA eBulletin is a weekly newsletter for members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys written by Professor Kim Dayton, Professor Rebecca Morgan, and Elizabeth P. Allen, JD, LLM.
Amplifying the WSJ disability article, the most recent NAELA eBulletin features Disability Statistics, a resource-rich website created and maintained by Cornell's EDI that "helps policy makers, service providers, researchers, educators, the media, and people with disabilities and their families find relevant and timely statistics about disability."
Part of EDI's "Disability Statistical Research" project, the Disability Statistics website is funded by the U.S. Department of Education National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).
NIDRR, a component of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), describes itself as "the main federal agency that supports applied research, training and development to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities." In addition, the federal government maintains this website for people with disabilities.
Upcoming Events - Structured settlement professionals and settlement planners interested in disability community developments should make note of these upcoming events:
- March 18 - American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Leadership Gala - open to non-members.
- March 27-29 - Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP) Annual Conference - open to non-members.
- May 15-17 - NAELA Annual Meeting - members only.
Prior S2KM blog posts profiling disabled individuals who have achieved special lifetime accomplishments: