People with disability led the way through the Plenary Session discussions on June 17, 2019. Each panelist is a strong advocate for themselves and others. They shared their personal experiences with inclusion efforts and systems of support and examined the work that has been done around the world through the lens of the CRPD.
A reception followed the Plenary Session. Audience members and panelists had the opportunity to get to know each other and continue the important conversation about inclusion.
This global conversation about inclusion during the June Summit Plenary Session in Harrisburg, PA immediately followed the UN's Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Keystone Human Services in partnership with the Council for Intellectual Disability convened a panel of advocates from the United States, Australia, Moldova, and Peru who built on the UN's discussions around the CRPD, human rights, and advocacy.
Hosted by Keystone Human Services International and presented in partnership with Keystone Human Services and the Council for Intellectual Disability and Inclusion International
Daniel Castellanos is the first person with an intellectual disability to attend and graduate from Millersville University, setting the stage for many others to follow in his footsteps through the Integrated Studies Program. He currently works full-time as a cook at the Pressroom Restaurant in Lancaster, PA.
Daniel recognizes the importance of inclusive education. In 2017, he was invited to speak to representatives in Washington, DC on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act regarding the importance of higher education for all people.
He was also interviewed by WITF and is featured in their 2018 documentary Going Home.
Alanna Julian is an Inclusion Projects Officer at Council for Intellectual Disability (CID). She is the first permanent CID employee with an intellectual disability. She joined CID after graduating from the project My Choice Matters Become a Leader program.
Alanna co-facilitates inclusive practice training workshops where she teaches others how to include people with intellectual disability.
She proudly represents CID at many different conferences and events, including the upcoming United Nations Conference of States Parties to the CRPD in New York. Currently, she sits on the CRPD Shadow Report Working Group, helping to review how Australia is implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In her recent work, Alanna spoke at the VALiD Having a Say Conference in Geelong, Australia about the human rights and facilitated a public speaking workshop for people of all abilities.
Jaime Cruz Juscamaita
Jaime Cruz Juscamaita is a member of Autogestores SPSD, a self-advocacy group supported by the Sociedad Peruana de Síndrome Down. The group advocates for inclusion in Peru using the CRPD and local laws, and has successfully campaigned on the right to vote and the right to access health and insurance.
Members of Autogestores SPSD work with the Sociedad Peruana de Síndrome Down to lead training sessions on disability awareness, the rights of people with intellectual disabilities, and inclusive education. The group also acts as spokespeople within the community.
In addition to his work with Autogestores SPSD, Jaime is an Inclusion International Empower Us fellow. In this role, he connects with other advocates in the region to establish a Latin American self-advocacy network.
Jaime feels being an Empower Us fellow is an opportunity for him to be a role model and teach people with intellectual disability about their rights, including inclusion in education, employment, and living independently.
Debra Robinson is the Executive Director of Speaking for Ourselves (SFO), a nationally recognized advocacy organization that teaches the public about the needs, wishes, and potential of people with disabilities. Before joining SFO, Debbie was active in the disability movement in New York. She attended the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. In 1995, she was appointed to the National Council of Disabilities by President Clinton and has served on the American Association of People with Disabilities and Self Advocates Become Empowered (SABE). Debbie works tirelessly to advocate for others and to help others advocate for themselves.
Diana believes people with disabilities should live in the community, not in institutions. She now works in a village kindergarten in Moldova, and she loves her job working with the children and other staff.
From 2002 to 2015, Diana lived in an institution, where she was denied most of her rights, had no friends, and was highly discriminated against.
Within two years of leaving the institution with support from Keystone Moldova, Diana joined a self-advocacy group, where she learned everything she could about the rights of people with disabilities.
Diana has participated in several events where she shared her story and advocated for the social inclusion of all people.
Bill Krebs, Co-Master of Ceremony
Advocacy Coordinator for Keystone Human Services
Bill Krebs is Keystone Human Services' Advocacy Coordinator. After being diagnosed late in school with a developmental disability, Bill fought to be awarded a high school diploma like his peers. He's now an active advocate for people with disabilities across Pennsylvania and beyond. He is on the Independent Monitoring for Quality Statewide Management Committee for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
He is the proud recipient of a Roland Johnson Award from Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered for his work in the self-advocacy movement, an Advocacy Award from St. John's Community Services, and a Grants for Autism Advocacy and Support Award from the Philadelphia Autism Project. He contributes to "Riot!," a self-advocacy newsletter. Bill also appeared in the 2016 I Go Home documentary, about how institutionalization affected the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in the United States in the 1960s.
Genevieve Fitzgibbon, Co-Master of Ceremony
Deputy Director, Keystone Human Services International
Genevieve Fitzgibbon is the Deputy Director for Keystone Human Services International. Her whole career has focused on full community inclusion for children and adults with disability, deinstitutionalization, and equal rights for all people. She has worked for over 20 years in the US and other countries to develop innovative supports for children and adults with disabilities. In India, she has helped to establish Keystone Institute India, which provides education on disability, community, and inclusion. She also provides leadership for Keystone's work in Moldova. Genevieve has provided guidance for Keystone's work as a consultant on inclusion in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Romania, and Russia.