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BBI sponsors second annual disability policy leadership program for SU law students in Washington, D.C.
BBI sponsors second annual disability policy leadership program for SU law students in Washington, D.C.March 14, 2007Jaime Winne Alvarezjlwinne@syr.edu
Four students from Syracuse University College of Law will participate in the second annual Disability Policy Leadership Program in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Burton Blatt Institute: Centers of Innovation on Disability at SU (BBI). The summer internship — June through July — provides students in their first or second year of law school with a highly structured opportunity to learn first hand about the public policy making process from a disability perspective. During the internship, students are engaged in research and writing on statutory and regulatory issues affecting persons with disabilities and their families. Pictured: (standing) BBI Chair Peter Blanck and Emily Purcell; (seated) Kevin Hoang and Amanda Reeves (not pictured: Angela Klemack).
The 2007 Disability Policy Leadership Program participants are Kevin Hoang of Los Angeles; Angela Klemack of Columbus, Ohio; Emily Purcell of Herndon, Va.; and Amanda Reeves of Arvada, Colo.
Students were chosen to participate in the program based on their experience, as well as the academic excellence each has achieved. Hoang holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in education. Klemack received a bachelor’s degree in international relations and has several years of experience working on Capitol Hill. Purcell received a bachelor’s degree in international affairs while minoring in socio-cultural anthropology. Reeves holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and gained experience last summer working for Colorado Legal Services.
“We are honored to continue the pioneering legacy of Dr. Burton Blatt and know that he would be extremely proud of this unique program,” says Peter Blanck, University Professor and chair of BBI. “These students have an excellent opportunity to work for positive change with some of the leaders in the disability policy field.”
Participation in the summer program will be coordinated by BBI’s Washington, D.C., office and Michael Morris, who has more than 25 years of experience in public policy development to advance social and economic independence for individuals with disabilities. Participants will be mentored by Robert Silverstein, a nationally recognized attorney with more than 30 years’ experience negotiating and drafting landmark public policy relating to persons with disabilities.
“This is the second year of this unique leadership development program,” says Morris. “The students will contribute to the development and analysis of innovative thinking about education, health care, civil rights and economic advancement opportunities for persons with disabilities and their families.”
BBI fosters public-private dialogue to advance civic, economic and social participation of persons with disabilities in a global society. BBI takes its name from Burton Blatt (1927-85), a pioneer in humanizing services for people with mental retardation, a staunch advocate of deinstitutionalization, and a national leader in special education.