Coleman Institute to host State of the States, State of the Nation: 2011

Conference registration nearing capacity
By Staff

A lineup of national and international speakers will highlight the 11th annual Coleman Institute conference “State of the States, State of the Nation: 2011” on cognitive disability and technology.

This year's theme will address economic perspectives on disability as they relate to federal funding, state budgets, effects on people with cognitive disabilities, and the role technology plays. Keynote speakers at the free conference Oct. 13 at the Westin Westminster Hotel include:

  • William Pound, executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures, who will speak on “What’s Happening in the State Legislatures?”
  • Diane Coyle, Ph.D., economist and internationally acclaimed author of “The Economics of Enough:  How to Run the Economy as if the Future Matters,” published by Princeton University Press; and
  • Peter Blanck, Ph.D., J.D., disability rights attorney, professor and chairman, Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University, who will discuss “A Right to Technology Access for People with Cognitive Disabilities.”

“Attendees will be challenged to think beyond common metrics of economic health—not simply considering GNP as the only measure of our nation’s self-worth,” said conference host, David Braddock, associate vice president, University of Colorado and executive director of the Coleman Institute.

“Federal and state budget cuts are a having tremendous impact on many people, including people with disabilities, their families, and caregivers. Providing decent services and supports to them is a measure of who we are as a nation. This conference will open a national dialogue on disability, development economics and the challenges we must squarely face.”

Cognitive disability includes intellectual and developmental disabilities, acquired brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, and severe and persistent mental illness. These conditions affect more than 20 million Americans and the numbers are growing rapidly as people live longer and as medical and rehabilitative science extend the lives of people with disabilities.

While there is no charge for the conference, registration is capped at 400. More than 350 people from 30 states already have registered. To sign up, visit to register.

Other speakers and panelists include Henry Claypool, director, Office on Disability, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Sharon Lewis, commissioner, Administration on Developmental Disabilities, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Sue Swenson, deputy assistant secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitation Services; Nancy Thaler, executive director, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities; and Ann Caldwell, Ph.D., chief research and innovations officer, The Arc of the United States.

The annual conference includes morning and afternoon poster sessions and an expanded lunch session with more than 20 topical roundtables. A full agenda can be found at

Faculty, postdoctoral students and graduate students are invited to present/demonstrate research in any field related to cognitive disability and related topics.  For information about presenting a poster, contact