Release Date: 
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

Former Senator Chris Dodd to Speak at
Fourth Jacobus tenBroek
Disability Law Symposium

Baltimore, Maryland (April 13, 2011): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) will present the fourth Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium on April 14–15, 2011, at the NFB Jernigan Institute in Baltimore.  The symposium, entitled "Bridging the Gap Between the Disability Rights Movement and Other Civil Rights Movements,” 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 will discuss how disability rights may be advanced in the future.  Chris Dodd, former senator for the state of Connecticut, will be the keynote speaker.

“Our first three Jacobus tenBroek symposia were extraordinary events, and we are looking forward to once again hosting leading players and thinkers in the disability community, including our esteemed keynote speaker Senator Dodd,” 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.”

Senator Dodd said: “I am honored to have the opportunity to address the nation’s foremost symposium on disability rights.  I worked closely with the disability community while authoring the Help America Vote Act, and have long considered myself an advocate for people with disabilities.  I look forward to contributing to this important discussion.”

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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