Featured Presentations and Events

Featured Presentations and Events

Judith Heumann photo


Wednesday, July 13, 2011  9:00 am – 10:30 am

Creating International Partnerships:  Opportunities in Higher Education for Students in the U.S. and Abroad

Judith E. Heumann, U.S. Department of State, Special Advisor, International Disability Rights

Judy Heumann, internationally-recognized disability rights advocate, is passionate about removing barriers to education for disabled people around the world as well as in the U.S.  As co-founder of the World Institute on Disability and the first Center for Independent Living, she has witnessed much improvement in opportunities for people with disabilities around the globe, but recognizes that so much more is necessary, particularly in the area of education.  This year’s Conference theme, “Sustainable Access Through Partnership”, resonates with her lifelong commitment to furthering disability rights through alliance. In her Opening Keynote, Judy will discuss the vital role of collaboration with international partners to build bridges and promote opportunities for students in higher education in the US and abroad.  Join us as Judy gets us into a partnering frame of mind to open the 2011 AHEAD Conference.

In 2010 Judy was appointed by President Obama as the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights for the U.S. Department of State.  She is collaborating with governments around the world to inform and transform disability rights.  Judy previously served an 8-year appointment as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the Department of Education under the Clinton Administration.  Her impressive professional history also includes service as the Director for the Department of Disability Services for the District of Columbia and the World Bank’s first Advisor on Disability and Development.

Judy Heumann was the first recipient of the prestigious Henry B. Betts Award in recognition of her efforts to significantly improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.  In addition to her undergraduate education at Long Island University and graduate education at the University of California at Berkeley, Heumann has received Honorary Doctorates from Long Island University, the University of Illinois, Champaign, and the University of Toledo.

Marilyn Bartlett photoJo Anne Simon photo


Friday, July 15, 2011  12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Personal and Professional Perspectives: The Voices of Bartlett v. New York State Board of Law Examiners

Dr. Marilyn Bartlett, Professor, College of Education , Texas A&M University - Kingsville

Jo Anne Simon, Disability Rights Attorney for the Bartlett Case

Every year we set aside time to honor members and colleagues who have made significant contributions to the field of disability and higher education. Join old and new friends in this casual lunchtime event as we review the important accomplishments of AHEAD and look forward to our continuing work.

We are all familiar with the landmark civil rights decision in the Bartlett case, and the impact it has had on our professional practice facilitating equal access for people with disabilities. The recent ADA Amendments Act noted the Bartlett v. New York State Board of Law Examiners ruling as one that was aligned with the civil rights “spirit” of the original law that the Amendments Act seeks to restore and preserve.  Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s recent appointment to the Supreme Court was bolstered by her well-informed and deliberative ruling on the groundbreaking case.

We have the rare opportunity to hear the personal “voices” behind this history-shaping litigation.  Jo Anne Simon, lead counsel who represented Bartlett, and Dr. Marilyn Bartlett herself will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the inequity that necessitated the case, the determined development of the case, and the far-reaching outcomes of the case from their personal as well as professional perspectives.   Through the lens of our Conference theme, “Sustainable Access Through Partnership”, this presentation seeks to bring into focus the collaboration and personal impacts behind this landmark disability rights case that are too-often “lost in litigation.”

Jo Anne Simon photoPaul Grossman photo


Saturday, July 16, 2011 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

The Legal Year in Review 

Jo Anne Simon, Attorney at Law

Paul Grossman, J.D., Hastings College of Law*

(Throughout this Conference, Mr. Grossman is participating in his private capacity. The views expressed in his presentations will be the result of his independent research and do not necessarily represent the views of the US Department of Education or government.)

The implementation of ADAAA and the new Department of Justice regulations concerning accessibility have made this popular Saturday morning plenary session more timely than ever. Our well-respected speakers will discuss civil rights legislation through illustrative cases that guide our work in disability services.

Counsel on the landmark Bartlett v. NYS Board of Law Examiners case and a Fordham University School of Law Adjunct Associate Professor, Jo Anne Simon is a national leader in disability civil rights law. Active in the disability field since the 1970’s, she is a community and national activist, prolific presenter and a founding member of AHEAD where she served as Board member.

A civil rights lawyer who has handled school desegregation and other access-to-education cases, Paul Grossman has done legal work on behalf of students with disabilities at all levels for three decades.  He is a dedicated member of AHEAD and has provided numerous, well-attended presentations on disability law and its application to the higher education setting.