Registration open for Coleman Institute National Conference

Free event explores cognitive disability and technology
By Staff
About the Coleman Institute

Our mission is to catalyze and integrate advances in science, engineering and technology to improve the quality of life and independence for people with cognitive disabilities.The Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities leverages ideas, opportunities and funding through faculty on the four campuses of the University of Colorado and through participants in its annual conferences. It is a catalyst to drive innovation and creativity through fostering partnerships with researchers, practitioners, policy makers, local, state and federal agencies, commercial enterprises, and foundations.

The Institute’s principal activities include:

  1. The Coleman Institute conferences, workshops and roundtables on cognitive disability and technology and co-sponsorships of related conferences;
  2. Research and development grants to faculty and their partners and the promotion of commercialization of derivative intellectual property;
  3. The Coleman Institute Fellowship Program for faculty and graduate/postdoctoral students; and
  4. Public policy advocacy and outreach about issues pertinent to the advancement of people with cognitive disabilities and their families.

The Institute’s annual conferences on cognitive disability and technology are attended by 400-plus people from more than 36 states. They have ignited dialogue and initiatives based on discussions of cloud computing and cognitive disabilities, establishing the right to technology access for people with cognitive disabilities and the impact of economic challenges on federal and state disability spending.

The largest grant recipient is the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for the Advancement of Cognitive Technologies at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The Center’s primary funding comes from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).

Registration is under way for the 12th annual Coleman Institute National Conference, set for Nov. 2 at the Westin Westminster Hotel.  Participation is limited to 400, so early registration is recommended.

This year’s focus is on “The State of the States in Cognitive Disability and Technology: 2012.” Speakers will address the intersection of the state of the economy, disability policy and the impact of technological advances on the quality of life of people with cognitive disabilities. Augmenting the cloud computing discussions at previous conferences, a special theme that will run through the conference is establishing the right to technology access as well as technology solutions across the spectrum of cognitive disability, mental health and aging.


David B. Arciniegas, M.D., President, International Brain Injury Association; Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus;

Peter Blanck, Ph.D., JD, University Professor, Chairman, Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University;

Cathy Bodine, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Advancing Cognitive Technologies (RERC-ACT II), Department of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine;

David Braddock, Ph.D., Conference Chair, Associate Vice President, University of Colorado; Professor/Executive Director, Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities;

William T. “Bill” Coleman III, Founding Donor, Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities; Partner, Alsop-Louie Partners, San Jose, Calif.

Robert Fletcher, CEO and founder, NADD-An association for persons with developmental disabilities and mental health needs;

Marty Ford, Chief Public Policy Officer, The Arc of the US;

Tamar Heller, Ph.D., Professor and Head of the Department of Disability and Human Development, Director, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Developmental Disabilities, University of Illinois Chicago;

Charles Ingoglia, MSW, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Practice Improvement, The National Council for Community and Behavioral Healthcare;

Clayton Lewis, Ph.D., Consultant, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR);

Renee Pietrangelo, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR);

William Pound, Executive Director, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Denver;

Mary Kay Rizzolo, Ph.D., Associate Director, Institute on Disability and Human Development Research Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago; Research collaborator, State of the States in Development Disabilities Project;

Marcia Scherer, Ph.D., MPH, President, Institute for Matching Person and Technology; Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Rochester;

Sue Swenson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, US Department of Health and Human Services;

Michael Wehmeyer, Ph.D., Professor of Special Education and Director, Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, University of Kansas; immediate Past President; American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD);

And special guest: Bruce Benson, President, University of Colorado

In addition to the speakers, there will be hosted roundtable sessions on special topics and poster sessions. Watch for the call for posters, a great opportunity to demonstrate faculty and student research and provide students with conference poster session exposure.

Each registered attendee will receive a complimentary copy of the of the forthcoming 2012 monograph “The State of the States in Developmental Disabilities.”

For more information about the Coleman Institute, previous annual conferences with links to speaker presentations, visit, or email