September 26, 2005

Contact: Bridgid Isworth (505) 925-4071, (505) 463-6044 Cell

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

With over 54 million Americans identifying themselves as having a disability and 24 percent (over 300,000) of New Mexicans also reporting a disability, this year's Southwest Conference on Disability is expected to draw up to 500 attendees at the Albuquerque Convention Center , Sep 28-30.

Features of the three-day annual event include: 2005 National Distinguished Disability Research Award winner Glen White, Ph.D. who will be presenting the opening plenary address; Keynote Speaker and Hurricane Katrina Survivor Deputy Susie Cambre, a deaf police woman and television personality; a team from the Christopher Reeve Foundation who will be producing a video presentation about quality of life from the perspectives of people with disabilities; and Lt. Governor Diane Denish as honorary speaker at the Arc of New Mexico's 50thAnniversary Gala Celebration.

This year's conference focuses on Quality of Life for people with disabilities what it is, and how to improve it.

Within the disability community, organizations and researchers too often focus on what sets their disability apart from others. At the annual conference, presenters and attendees will explore what people with disabilities have in common, and discover how the disability community can create a mutual agenda that goes beyond a particular perspective, group or disability.

Other features of the three-day event include:

  • Presentations from three keynote speakers
  • Over 40 Breakout sessions presented by speakers from around the country and world
  • Disability Culture in America : An Exhibition
  • Special Emphasis Panels on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Topics
  • Presentation of Conference Awards, and More!

The 2005 Southwest Conference on Disability is an annual event hosted by the University of New Mexico School of Medicine's Center for Development and Disability (UNM CDD), the New Mexico Governor's Commission on Disability and the New Mexico Department of Health. National Conference partners include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Christopher Reeve Foundation and the American Association on Health and Disability.