Currents

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Ashley Rhae Oliver

Ashley Rhae Oliver, Esq. is an attorney and an activist, currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Center for Student Accessibility in Eastern Kentucky University.  She received her Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee in 2010, moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and received her Juris Doctorate from St. Thomas School of Law, and was then sworn in as an attorney in the State of Minnesota in October 2013. She was a law clerk at the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, and received the Dean’s Award for her work in the Community Justice Civil Rights Legal Clinic for spearheading a symposium titled “How are the Children VI Symposium: "Re-Imagining Public Education in Minnesota."’

Photo: Ashley Rhae Oliver

Fiona Moola

Dr. Fiona Moola is a Scientist at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto. Currently, Dr. Moola is spearheading a world-class research program on the psychosocial benefits of the arts in the lives of children with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

Photo: Fiona J. Moola

Bruce Duncan

Bruce Duncan is Managing Director of the Terasem Movement Foundation Inc., where he is also the Principle Investigator of the LifeNaut Project exploring cyber-consciousness through human mind uploading of robots. At Terasem Bruce is responsible for the ongoing development of Bina48, the world’s first advanced humanoid robot based on the “mindfile” information of a real person. Bruce is also Managing Producer for Terasem Media and Films, which produced the independent science fiction feature film 2B: The Era of Flesh is Over. Additionally he curates the World Against Racism Museum, the first cyber museum dedicated to addressing racism, bigotry and prejudice.

In his prior position at the University of Vermont’s Center for Developmental Disabilities, Bruce worked on federally funded projects advancing inclusion and disability rights. Other former University of Vermont affiliations include the Office of Conflict Resolution, where he served as director. His involvement in conflict resolution encompasses an appointment as Peace Facilitator with Seeds of Peace.

Photo: Bruce Duncan

Stephen Shore

Diagnosed with "Atypical Development and strong autistic tendencies" and "too sick" for outpatient treatment Dr. Shore was recommended for institutionalization. Nonverbal until four, and with much support from his parents, teachers, wife, and others, Stephen is now a professor at Adelphi University where his research focuses on matching best practice to the needs of people with autism.
Photo: Stephen Shore

Diversity

Embracing diversity is essential for us to succeed as a human family. We are constantly growing more and more diverse as minorities become the majority and different cultures continue to interact with each other and blend together. When practiced effectively, diversity recognizes each other’s differences – whether it is gender, disability, sexuality, economic status, race, abilities or religious beliefs - and gives everyone an equal say without “categorizing.”

Emile Bruneau

Dr. Emile Bruneau is a social and cognitive scientist who heads the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously he was a research affiliate with the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at MIT.
Photo: Dr. Emile Bruneau

Tom di Maria

Tom di Maria has served as Director of Creative Growth Art Center since 2000. He has developed partnerships with museums, galleries and international design companies to help bring Creative Growth's artists with disabilities fully into the contemporary art world. He speaks around the world about the Center’s major artists and their relationship to both Outsider Art and contemporary culture. Prior to his current position, he served as Assistant Director of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley.
Photo: Tom di Maria

James R. Doty

James R. Doty, M.D., FACS, FICS is a Clinical Professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), a part of the Stanford Institute of Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neurosciences. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart published by Penguin Random House in 2016.
Photo: James Doty

Relationship

RELATIONSHIP the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected. Relationships are the foundation for civility, for healthy work environments and for diversity to flourish, we need to honor and respect our fellow human beings. Let’s talk about relationships.

Advocacy, Policies & Research: Moving Forward

For the nearly 60 million Americans with disabilities who depend on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act for health care and public services to survive, the prospective policies of the US administration could mean losing their health insurance, social safety net, legal protections and civil rights. Or it could not. With every new administration and election in the US and abroad, there is always a threat to lose what we have gained.  Potential new laws in the United States may once again expose people with disabilities to the vagaries of the private insurance market.

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