News Column

UNH Filmmaker Appointed to Obama's Disability Committee

July 16, 2014

DURHAM, N.H., July 16 -- The University of New Hampshire issued the following news release:

President Barack Obama has announced his intent to appoint Dan Habib, project director and filmmaker at the University of New Hampshire'sInstitute on Disability (IOD), to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, the White House announced.

Habib, the project director of the Inclusive Communities Project at the IOD, directed the award-winning film "Including Samuel," a documentary about his family's efforts to include his son Samuel, who has cerebral palsy, in all facets of their lives. Habib's latest film, "Who Cares About Kelsey?", documents the life of a student with emotional and behavioral challenges and the innovative educational approaches that help her succeed.

"The president's appointment of Dan to this important committee is testament to Dan's unwavering commitment to issues related to disability and the national impact of his work," said IOD director Charles Drum. "His passion and talents will undoubtedly be significant contributions to the committee."

Established by President Johnson in 1966, the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) aims to ensure the right of a "decent, dignified place in society" for people with intellectual disabilities. The PCPID promotes policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in their respective communities.

The committee's duties include advising the president and secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concerning the following for people with intellectual disabilities:

* Expansion of educational opportunities;

* Promotion of homeownership;

* Assurance of workplace integration;

* Improvement of transportation options;

* Expansion of full access to community living;

* Increasing access to assistive and universally designed technologies.

"I am confident that these outstanding men and women will serve the American people well in their new roles and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come," said President Obama of Habib and the eight other committee appointees he announced in a White House Press Release.

Habib, a former photography editor of the Concord Monitor, received the Champion of Human and Civil Rights Award from the NEA (National Education Association) New Hampshire in 2012 and the Justice for All Grassroots Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities in 2013. He lives in Concord.

The Institute on Disability was established in 1987 to provide a university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. Its mission is to promote full access, equal opportunities, and participation for all persons by strengthening communities and advancing policy and systems change, promising practices, education, and research.

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Source: Targeted News Service

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