AIRS Webinar - The Origins and Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act

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July marks the 31st anniversary of the signing of the ADA, one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life -- to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services. We will enjoy a video about the history of support for and bias against individuals with disabilities and the advocacy efforts that culminated in the ADA. Panelists who are both individuals with disabilities and who work in the disability sector of I&R. They will be here to give their perspective on the ADA now, what works still needs to be done and answer your questions about situations you have faced in your work around the disability.  An ASL interpreter is being provided. 

You can submit your own questions to be answered during the webinar below. 

Ericka Reil

Lead Trainer

Vermont Center for Independent Living, Montpelier, Vermont


Ericka Reil has worked in disability rights for 18 years. She resides in Barre, Vermont and works for the Vermont Center for Independent Living on advocacy issues including but not limited to information calls. She is the lead trainer at the center and has done trainings though out the country and state of Vermont. She is also chair of the Barre City ADA committee, Chair of the PAIMI committee, on the Board of several other committee’s dedicated to disabilities rights. She also on her hometowns city council. On her spare time she enjoys activism , politics or just spending an evening at home reading and being with her husband.

Nate Besio

Peer Advocate Coordinator

Vermont Center for Independent Living, Montpelier, Vermont


Nathan (Nate) Besio has worked for the Vermont Center for Independent Living since November 2013 and currently serves as a Peer Advocate Coordinator at the VCIL Burlington office. Prior to that he has over ten years of business and accounting experience, primarily in the non-profit industry working for the State of Vermont and UVM. He is currently serving his 3rd term as a Vermont Human Rights Commissioner and is a committed community leader who has served on many boards. Mr. Besio received a B.A. in Psychology from St. Michael’s College in 2000 and an M.B.A. from State University of New York at Albany in 2002. He currently resides in Colchester, VT with his wife Gretchen, son Reece and dog Luna.

Laura Siegel

Director of Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and DeafBlind Services

Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living

Laura Siegel is the Director of Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and DeafBlind Services for the state of Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living. She has previously worked as an advocate for Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, DeafBlind people in various organizations as well as direct services for DeafBlind people. She also obtained an MBA in Healthcare Management through Southern New Hampshire University. After experiencing discrimination trying to advance in the ultrasound field, Laura’s passion was triggered to fight and advocate for those with hearing losses. In her spare time, she enjoys going on hiking adventures with her fiancé, Kevin.

Sefakor G.M.A. Komabu-Pomeyie (Ph.D.)

Independent Living Coordinator responsible for the Youth Transition Program

Vermont Center for Independent Living, Montpelier, Vermont

Sefakor, works with the Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL). She is the Independent Living Coordinator responsible for the Youth Transition Program at VCIL. She is also the Racial Justice Coordinator of VCIL. She has Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and Master’s in Policy Analysis and Advocacy. Sefakor’s personal experience as a woman of color with a physical disability has shaped her journey as an advocate for underrepresented especially people with disabilities from around the globe. Her experiences include serving as an international disability rights advocate, educator, researcher and policy analyst for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), and as the Resource Center Coordinator of the Ghana Education Service. She has been a staunch supporter of inclusive education for people with disabilities and lobbied successfully with other advocates in Ghana for the establishment of the Disability Law (Act 715) of Ghana as well as the ratification of the UNCRPD. She has won so many International awards including the International Service Award from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), Ford Foundation International Fellowship award and the International Alliance of Women (TIAW) award. Sefakor is the Founder of Enlightening and Empowering People with Disabilities in Africa (EEPD AFRICA). Her work represented an attempt to transform her experiences into a coherent intellectual critique, and, in the process, to make sense of the shortcomings and idiosyncrasies that underlie contemporary responses to human rights abuses in schools. In 2016, Sefakor was named the 6th most influential disabled person in the world. Sefakor also serves on so many boards including the World Learning Global Advisory Council, The High-Level Political Forum of UN (HLPF), The President’s Commission on Inclusive Excellence (PCIE) of UVM and the ADA Taskforce of UVM. Sefakor co-authored the book “Disability in the Global South: The Critical Handbook”. Sefakor loves singing and swimming.

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AIRS Webinar - The Origins and Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act
07/14/2021 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
07/14/2021 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes July marks the 31st anniversary of the signing of the ADA, one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life -- to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services. We will enjoy a video about the history of support for and bias against individuals with disabilities and the advocacy efforts that culminated in the ADA. Panelists who are both individuals with disabilities and who work in the disability sector of I&R. They will be here to give their perspective on the ADA now, what works still needs to be done and answer your questions about situations you have faced in your work around the disability. An ASL interpreter is being provided.
Quiz
8 Questions  |  5 attempts  |  6/9 points to pass
8 Questions  |  5 attempts  |  6/9 points to pass
Certificate of Completion
1.00 Hour(s) of Professional Development credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 Hour(s) of Professional Development credit  |  Certificate available