On July 26, 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law providing historic protections and accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Nearly 25 years later, local, national and international experts convened at Loyola Marymount University on March 13-14 to commemorate the landmark bill and examine the ADA’s progress and challenges in the areas of education, employment, transportation and housing.
The Global Summit was convened by the LMU School of Education and The Education Success Project (TESP), which is headquartered at the SOE. TESP’s stated mission and goal is to advance student achievement through collaboration and to pass legislation that recognizes the efficacy of shared education as official state policy. Including this Global Summit, TESP has held six convenings since 2011 and collaborated with 78 schools, 20 schools districts, 30 non-profit organizations, 21 federal, state, and local public officials and 11 universities.
The two-day Global Summit kicked off on March 13 with the Honorable Anthony Coelho ’64, former U.S. Congressman and primary sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act, receiving the inaugural LMU President’s Award for his dedication to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities and enabling them to live the American Dream.
Commenting on the impact of Coelho’s work, Shane P. Martin, dean and professor of the SOE, said, “The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 was extremely significant because it impacted not only individuals with disabilities but it provided tremendous opportunities for millions of people in everyday life. We are inspired by Tony’s commitment to empowering the lives of those with disabilities and his unrelenting pursuit of social justice for all.”
On March 14, state and federal government leaders convened for panel discussions about disability issues with international educators, representatives of the business community and disability advocates. There was also a significant focus on new regulations in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that require federal contractors to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote and retain individuals with disabilities. The Global Summit brought together stakeholders across education, industry, government and service to engage in a dialogue on the successes and challenges of the ADA and also to inspire action and change to ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to contribute to both themselves and society.
In addition to Coelho, the Global Summit was co-chaired by Victoria Graf, professor of special education at the Loyola Marymount University School of Education. Representatives from the federal government included the Honorable Judith Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights, U.S. Department of State; the Honorable Janet LaBreck, Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. Department of Education; and the Honorable Patricia A. Shiu, Director, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, U.S. Department of Labor.
The Education Success Project and School of Education would like to thank the following individuals and organizations that supported the Global Summit on the Education of Individuals with Disabilities at the Presidential Sponsor and Summit Sponsor Levels: The Honorable Anthony L. Coelho, Youth Policy Institute, California Community Foundation, Kindel Gagan and Linda Griego.
Click here to view all of the sessions from the Global Summit, including the President’s Award Ceremony recognizing The Honorable Tony Coelho.