Disability Studies Spring Event Series

Please join the CUNY School of Professional Studies Disability Studies programs for our upcoming spring events.

Our two-part Disability Studies lecture series focuses on the 50 year anniversary of the Willowbrook Expose, and the systemic changes that have been made.

Following those events, we will host our popular "Insider's Look" at the new issue of the Journal of Teaching Disability Studies (JTDS), featuring live presentations and author commentary.

Willowbrook: A Retrospective on Systems Change

The Spring 2022 Disability Studies lecture series will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Exposé of Willowbrook State School and its influence in the systems change for the field. This two-part lecture series will examine systems change from two different vantage points.

Ordinary People Changing Systems

The Disability Studies Program is pleased to feature our very own Dr. Mariette Bates to kick off the special two-part lectures this spring. Since beginning her career as an advocate for residents of psychiatric centers and other institutions in New York, Dr. Bates has been steadfastly driving systems change, advocating for the unserved and underserved, and sharing her expertise through teaching. She witnessed the creation of community services from her days working at One to One, a foundation started by Geraldo Rivera in the wake of his exposé of Willowbrook State School.  Dr. Bates will bring to life for us how the Willowbrook exposé and people mobilizing in its wake led to a revolution in thinking and care for people with intellectual disability.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM (EDT)
Systems Change Through Court-Ordered Reform

The Disability Studies Program is honored to feature Clarence J. Sundram, JD, for the second part of our special two-part lectures this spring. Mr. Sundram is a nationally recognized expert on conditions in institutions and community programs for persons with mental disabilities, and he currently serves as the Independent Monitor for the O’Toole v. Cuomo case involving adult homes in New York City.  Mr. Sundram is uniquely qualified to shed insights on systems change through court ordered reform. In this lecture, he will discuss the life cycle of class action lawsuits like Willowbrook, the role of a Special Master or Court Monitor, and the barriers to swift implementation that arise during the course of changing large-scale governmental systems of care.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM (EDT)

Journal of Teaching Disability Studies - An Insider's Look at the New Issue

Go behind the scenes for an in-depth conversation with some of the authors from the new issue of the Journal of Teaching Disability Studies. Guiding the conversation and audience Q&A will be Dr. Mariette Bates, Academic Director of the Disability Studies Programs at the CUNY School of Professional Studies, and Professor Matthew Conlin, Managing Editor of the Journal of Teaching Disability Studies. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM (EDT)