People with disabilities are the largest minority in the world, making up 15% of the world’s population. Many people with disabilities often face discrimination, stigma, lower socioeconomic status and decreased life expectancy. Disability not only spans many professional boundaries (from teachers and doctors to policy makers and human service providers) but is a human rights issue as well. Students in this program will learn about different aspects of culture and disability through:
- Meeting with various service agencies in Ireland that provide resources for people with disabilities
- Advocacy and assistance to people with many different types of disabilities
- Visits to various sites and guest speakers including experts from Trinity, NUI Galway and University College of Dublin
The first three weeks the group will be in Dublin and staying at Trinity College Dublin. Students will visit different agencies and providers to learn more about disability services offered in Ireland. Some of these include a visit to the Deaf Village, speakers from Mental Health Ireland, Irish Society for Autism, Disability Federation Ireland, Friends of the Elderly and others. At Trinity College Dublin, our students will learn about a unique program for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, the National Institute of Intellectual Disabilities (NIID).
During the fourth week, the group will attend the 5-day International Disability Law Summer School at NUI Galway which equips participants with insights and understanding of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The UNCRPD was adopted in 2006 to change attitudes toward people with disabilities internationally and ensure people with disabilities have equal human rights and freedoms. Previous participants of the NUI Galway Summer School included individuals from over 39 different countries ranging from people with disabilities, their families, advocates, policy makers as well as many others. For its 8th year, the Summer School will focus on “Civil Society as Agents of Change”. The core focus of this year will be on Civil Society and its role in changing laws and policies around people with disabilities. This year will also be the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark piece of legislation in the history of disability rights. The Summer School will include a final Moot Court competition where participants will demonstrate what they have learned by arguing before a mock UN Committee.
Wendy A. Coduti Assistant Professor Rehabilitation and Human Services
Katie Kostohryz Assistant Professor Counselor Education
James T. Herbert Professor of Counselor Education and Rehabilitation and Human Services