Welcome to our Dialogue with the Experts series. Today we
begin our four-day focused discussion: "Double
Discrimination: Connecting Gender and Disabilities." We are
honored to welcome our panelists: Ms. Harilyn Rousso,
Executive Director of Disabilities Unlimited Consulting
Services, and Dr. Thomas Hehir, Education Development Center
(EDC) Distinguished Scholar.
Ms. Rousso's organization provides consultation, education,
training and action-oriented research on disability equity
issues to promote equal opportunity and empowerment for
people with disabilities. She is an educator, social
worker, psychotherapist and advocate who has worked in the
disability rights field, with a particular emphasis on
issues of women and girls with disabilities, for more than
Before becoming EDC's first "Distinguished Scholar," Dr.
Hehir served as the Director of the Office of Special
Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education,
which sets national policy and allocates millions of dollars
per year to improve research and practice for students with
disabilities. During his six-year tenure, he helped steer
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
through Congress, craft the Department's regulations, and
disseminate information about policy and best practice to
state and local leaders, practitioners, parents, and
individuals with disabilities across the country. He has
also served as the Associate Superintendent for Pupil
Personnel Services in the Chicago Public Schools (1990-
1993) and Director of Special Education in the Boston Public
Schools (1983- 1987).
Separate e-mail messages will follow with the opening
statement of each panelist. You are encouraged to react,
comment, and ask questions. To respond, simply hit "reply"
to any of these messages and your comments/questions will be
distributed to the panelists and the EDEQUITY list.
Responses will be posted throughout the four days. At 4 p.m.
on Thursday, October 21, the panelists will post their
closing statements. The Dialogue will officially be ended at
5 p.m. Please note that Ms. Rousso must leave the
discussion at the close of the day on Wednesday. However,
she will have a closing statement on Thursday.
Rules of Conduct
Before we begin, a word about EDEQUITY's policy on
subscriber conduct and a few rules for the discussion.
First, remember that EDEQUITY is a public list and not
everyone who subscribes will necessarily have the same
agenda. In fact, we have learned from previous experience
that some have subscribed to our list simply to disrupt the
discussion. Please be aware of this as you respond to
messages. Usually the best strategy is to ignore
inflammatory, anti-equity statements.
Differences of opinion are expected, but all messages must
be respectful and civil. Abusive language will not be
tolerated. Messages not meeting this standard will be
returned to the sender for revision.
To allow for broad participation from the members of the
list and to ensure that the panelists can respond to the
concerns of as many list members as possible, please limit
your messages to TWO per DAY.
To help the flow of the discussion, indicate in the first
line of your message whether you would like a response from
a particular panelist(s) or if you are addressing your
comment/question to the entire list.
Finally, let me remind you that to focus attention on this
discussion, only messages related to the "Dialogue on
Disabilities and Gender" will be posted to EDEQUITY from
October 18 to October 21. Posting of all other messages
will resume on Friday, October 22.
We look forward to your thoughtful participation.
Susan J. Smith
WEEA Equity Resource Center at EDC
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