About Us > Message from Co-Executive Directors
From the Co-Executive Directors
Welcome to our website.
The fiscal year 2012 - 2013 has been a busy and eventful one for the Institute on Disabilities. Our most significant event of the year was the celebration of our 40th anniversary on May 23, 2013. More than 130 people gathered in Mitten Hall on the main campus of Temple University to celebrate, and to honor several groundbreakers and policy makers who have made a difference in the lives of Pennsylvanians with disabilities. Read the full story of the anniversary celebration and see photographs on our website.
Also in May, the Institute's First annual Graduate Student Poster Session welcomed faculty, students and staff to review the research projects of our graduate assistants/trainees. During this event, the Annual Fialkowski Family Award was presented for the third consecutive year. The award is presented to an outstanding graduate student and this year was presented to Ross Whiting, a doctoral student in Urban Education in the College of Education. The 2014 Graduate Student Poster Session will be held on April 24, 2014 from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
"A Fierce Kind of Love," an original play inspired by the stories collected in our Visionary Voices project and funded through a planning grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, had its inaugural reading on March 18, 2013 before an audience of more than 120 people. We hope to present a fully-realized play in 2015. Learn more about "A Fierce Kind of Love."
Several projects and programs launched or re-launched during this fiscal year. In July 2012, the Institute was designated Pennsylvania's agency for iCanConnect, the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program.
In the spring of 2013, a new Competence and Confidence: Partners in Policymaking project "Family Leadership in Inclusive Education for Non-Traditional Schools" held its first cyber meeting.
Finally, we proudly re-launched the Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies program in the fall 2012 semester. The program continues to build momentum in the Spring and Summer semesters. Learn more about the graduate certificate program.
The Institute hosted some memorable guests this year including Pennsylvania State Senator Shirley Kitchen who participated, along with an Institute employee, in the "Take Your Legislator to Work Day."
In June, we welcomed visitors from Dubai, United Arab Emirates' Community Development Authority, who were interested in learning new techniques in the areas of early intervention and supports to adults with intellectual disabilities.
Finally, our staff members continue to grow as leaders in the field of disability. Celia S. Feinstein was elected to the AUCD National Board of Directors, Jamie Arasz Prioli, Assitive Technology Specialist, was elected to the board of the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America, and James Lemanowicz, Assistant Director of Research, received the designation of Fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
In addition, we have enhanced the leadership of the Institute by inviting new members to sit on our Advisory Committee and by re-establishing the Interdisciplinary Faculty Council, comprised of faculty members from throughout the university.
We encourage you to become part of our work. Each month, we offer many ways for people with disabilities, family members, students, educators and other professionals to learn, share, lead and to improve their lives. In the spring, our Mini Course Lecture Series will welcome three speakers who will present on important topics for all. Check back for more details on date and location.
To support our work, please consider contributing to one of our select projects or to the Institute in general. Your money will help us serve more people with disabilities and their families, and the people who support them. It will help us enlighten the next generation of teachers, doctors, therapists, and others, and will help ensure that ALL Pennsylvanians have what they need to be equal, successful members of the community. The Temple University online form makes giving easy - just go to the "donate" section of our website.
Thank you for your support and we hope to see you soon.
Celia S. Feinstein
Amy S. Goldman
Co Executive Directors
We welcome your comments/questions. To communicate with us directly, please email: eds@TEMPLE.EDU