Release Date: 
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind to Present Third Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium

Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Tom Perez and Former Congressman Tony Coelho to be Keynote Speakers

Baltimore, Maryland (April 13, 2010): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) will present the third Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium on April 15–16, 2010, at the NFB Jernigan Institute in Baltimore.  The symposium, entitled “Equality, Difference, and The Right to Live in the World” and named for NFB founder and pioneering legal scholar Dr. Jacobus tenBroek (1911–1968), will gather public officials, legal scholars, and disability rights advocates for a two-day seminar on the state of disability law in the United States and the world, and will discuss how disability rights may be advanced in the future.  Tom Perez, assistant attorney general for the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and Tony Coelho, former California congressman and current chairman of the board of the American Association of People with Disabilities, will be the keynote speakers.

“Our first two Jacobus tenBroek symposiums were extraordinary events, and we are looking forward to once again hosting leading players and thinkers in the disability community,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, an attorney and President of the National Federation of the Blind.   “Disability law is rapidly changing at the national and international level, and this forum will provide an opportunity for everyone to assess developments and plan strategies in this dynamic and critically important field.”

Other presenters at the 2010 symposium include the Honorable Richard Brown, chief judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals; Mark Weber, Vincent DePaul Professor of Law at DePaul University College of Law; and Dan Brock, director of the division of medical ethics at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Jacobus tenBroek was a constitutional law scholar, a blind professor at Berkeley, and an author of treatises on the Fourteenth Amendment and social welfare.  Dr. tenBroek created the concept that civil rights should apply to disabled Americans, and he published extensively on the application of the law to those with disabilities.  His efforts to advance civil rights for the blind and others with disabilities included drafting the model White Cane Law, which has had a profound influence on the development of civil rights laws for the disabled throughout the United States, and publishing authoritative articles like “The Right to Live in the World: The Disabled in the Law of Torts.”

The proceedings of the symposium will be published in the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights.

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