CIF Participates in Global Education Summit

March 31, 2015

The Center for Independent Futures community was represented in sunny California earlier this month at the Global Summit on the Education of Individuals with Disabilities. Two members of the CIF community participated on a panel at at the event on March 14: Alyssa Ruzzin, an advocate, blogger, and CIF participant, and Jane Doyle, CIF’s co-founder and director of special projects.

The panel, called “Changing our Mindset,” included discussion topics such as personal experiences living with disabilities and the types of support schools can provide to their students. Overall, the goal of the Summit is to help reframe the way society and educators perceive individuals with disabilities. Led by The Education Success Project (TESP), the event also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In her blog post about the experience, Alyssa shared that a highlight of her trip was meeting former U.S. Congressman Tony Coelho, one of the primary authors of the ADA. “Meeting Tony has helped me realize that it’s not just me who does a lot of struggling. Many people struggle. He made me realize that people not opening up about their struggles often comes from the fear of other people’s reactions,” Alyssa writes.

Together, Alyssa and Jane shared ways people can change their mindsets about individuals with disabilities. They discussed housing issues and the importance of integrated, diverse communities. “Being invited to speak was quite an honor for me and I met lots of wonderful people. I hope I can speak on more panels in the future,” Alyssa says. To read more about her experience and other topics on Alyssa’s blog, The Wild Frog Blog, click here.

 

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