For Immediate Release

Shari Ireton
University of Washington School of Law


Dick Thornburgh to address UW disability rights symposium

Former Pennsylvania Governor, U.S. Attorney General and United Nations Under-Secretary-General Dick Thornburgh will speak at the UW School of Law on Thursday, April 24, 2008. His keynote address, "Globalizing a Response to Disability Discrimination," is part of a two day symposium held at the law school focusing on disability rights in Asia.

As Attorney General, Thornburgh played a leading role in the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He also took action against racial, religious and ethnic hate crimes, and his office mounted an effort to enforce anti-trust and environmental laws. In 2002, he received the Wiley E. Branton Award of The Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs in recognition of his commitment to the civil rights of people with disabilities. He was elected Governor of Pennsylvania in 1978 and re-elected in 1982, the first Republican to serve two successive terms in that office. Thornburgh is Of Counsel with K&L Gates.

Other featured speakers as the symposium, "Framing Legal and Human Rights Strategies for Change: A Case Study of Disability Rights in Asia," include Yanghee Lee, Sungkyunkwan Kwan University law professor and Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and Purificacion C. Valera Quisumbing, Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines.

The goal of the symposium is to explore the issue of disability rights in both a legal and human rights context within Asia and is the first academic symposium to explore the field of disability human rights law. The symposium is presented by the UW School of Law in partnership with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, UW Disability Studies Program, and Asian Law Center at the UW School of Law. Event sponsors include the Disability Funders Network and the following UW entities: UW Bothell; Center for Global Studies; School of Social Work; College of Education; Evans School of Public Policy; Law, Societies and Justice; Comparative History of Ideas Program; and the Department of Global Health. Event registration is required.

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