Tue., Sep. 24, 2013, Noon to 1 p.m.
Oklahoma's Triumph for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities: Influencing the Whole World
Oklahoma History Center, Chesapeake Room
800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr., Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Dr. James Conroy, President
Center for Outcome Analysis
In the 1990s, Oklahoma began to change its support systems for citizens with developmental disabilities. The change began with shame, and it took a Federal court to help. But the 1,000 young people who had been placed at the state institution called Hissom Memorial Center did finally get a chance at real lives in regular neighborhoods just like everyone else. Like the nearly 300 other institutions in the United States, Hissom began with good intentions – but by their very nature, segregated large settings do not produce good outcomes or good lives. As the people moved to new, small, family-like community homes, a project to track their well-being was put in place. The findings from that Quality Assurance Project were dramatic – more positive than in any other state. This presentation will explain what happened to the people. It will also explain why this Oklahoma triumph is a story being told the world over, as other nations become aware of the need for small, integrated, common sense opportunities for living and working and playing for citizens with developmental disabilities.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Conroy has been a consultant to 18 federal agencies and to more than 150 state and local agencies since 1970, and has been Principal Investigator for more than 100 funded grants and contracts.
He is the author of more than 300 formal reports in the fields of disabilities, aging, child welfare and other human service fields, including 30 articles in professional journals, 12 book chapters and over 280 formal deliverable research reports to government agencies. Dr. Conroy's work has been publicized on 60 Minutes; the Peter Jennings ABC Evening News; Nightline; Public Television; the Philadelphia Inquirer; the New York Times; the Chicago Tribune; multiple radio interviews; and other media.
He considers his work on the outcomes of deinstitutionalization in America to be his definitive contribution toward better lives for people with disabilities. However, his current work on the outcomes of self-determination initiatives for people with developmental disabilities has the potential to eclipse those earlier research efforts. In recent years, he has concentrated on applying what was learned in the U.S. to assist emerging democracies to include all citizens, with or without disabilities, in the mainstream of public life.
Dr. Conroy earned a B.A. in Physiological Psychology from Yale, and both his M.A. in Sociology/Program Evaluation and a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology from Temple University.
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