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BBI research associate elected to Society for Disability Studies board
Omolara Funmilola Akinpelu, research associate with the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University, has been elected to serve on the board of directors of the Society for Disability Studies (SDS). Akinpelu’s three-year term begins at the conclusion of June’s board meeting in San Jose, Calif.
She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in special education from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Akinpelu received her Ph.D. in guidance and counseling, with an emphasis on multicultural perspectives of hearing impairment, at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
Prior to joining the BBI, Akinpelu was a visiting research scholar in the deaf and hard of hearing program at York University, Canada. She participated in the Advanced Research Rehabilitation Training (ARRT) at the Center on Human Policy, Law and Disability Studies at SU.
Akinpelu has a strong background in special education in Nigeria. Her research interests are in special education, rehabilitative counseling and disability studies. She is particularly interested in disability policies, human rights of persons with disabilities, gender equality and empowerment of women with disabilities.
She is currently involved in Project EMERGE, one of BBI’s projects with two local community agencies, ARISE and Vera House. The aim of Project EMERGE is to identify specific gaps in service, barriers to safety and accessible support, and system inadequacies for women with disabilities and deaf women who are survivors of domestic and sexual violence. In 2011, she received SU’s Unsung Hero Award for her work on the project.