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Release: May 25, 2000

Law symposium looks at work opportunities for the disabled

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Most disability experts agree that the unemployment rate for people with disabilities remains high despite the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act 10 years ago this July.

How to further change and improve employment prospects for the disabled will be the subject of a blue ribbon gathering of social scientists, researchers and others during a national symposium led by the Law, Health Policy & Disability Center at the University of Iowa.

The Summer 2000 Researchers' Symposium will be held from July 27 to Aug. 2 at the Oakdale Hall at the UI's Oakdale Campus.

The conferees, with differing perspectives and selected from all parts of the country, will also hear from experts who will discuss a research agenda and methods to address the employment of the disabled, says Peter Blanck, UI law professor and director of the research center.

Finding additional ways for improving the economic future for those with disabilities for their and the national economy's benefit is needed, says Len Sandler, law professor and center co-director.

He says the symposium's intent is to also attract social science researchers who are writing about disability and employment issues to discuss best practices that can be used in designing and conducting research that will benefit people with disabilities who want to work.

Among the persons expected to attend are: Katherine Seelman, director, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; Michael Morris, director, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workforce Investment and Employment for People with Disabilities, Washington, D.C.; and Carol Gill, Officer of the Society for Disability Studies and assistant professor, human development, the University of Chicago.

The Summer 2000 Researchers' Symposium is also sponsored by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, the UI's Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. All meetings will be held in the Gold Room at Oakdale Hall. For information on the symposium, contact James Schmeling, associate director of the Law, Health Policy & Disability Center at (319) 335-4833.