Director of US Dept of Labor's Disability Initiative to Deliver
Twilight Lecture at Middlebury College
Rick Douglas, director of the U.S. Department of Labor's Disability
Initiative, will give a Twilight Lecture at Middlebury College
on Monday, April 28. The talk, "The Last Great Civil Rights
Issue: (Dis)Abilities," will be delivered on campus at 4:30
p.m. in the Concert Hall of the Center for the Arts.
The Disability Initiative is designed to enable the department
to include people with disabilities into its policies, training
programs, enforcement activities and its work force. Previously,
Mr. Douglas, a member of the Middlebury Class of '65, served as
executive director of the President's Committee on Employment
of People with Disabilities in Washington, D.C., under both the
Bush and Clinton administrations. Mr. Douglas was the first person
with a disability to serve as the committee's executive director
and is the first director of the DOL's Disability Initiative.
He also served as Vermont's director of vocational rehabilitation
for six years, managing programs that provided vocational counseling
and services to Vermonters with disabilities.
A highly regarded speaker, Mr. Douglas has traveled to 49 states,
meeting and addressing groups from disability rights coalitions
and organizations, universities, government, labor and business.
He created a new focus at the committee to help work with the
media to educate the public on people with disabilities and employment,
and to position the president's committee as a leading resource
for media. He has appeared on CBS News, ABC Evening News, Good
Morning America, NBC Today, CNN, and other shows. His advocacy
for access to commuter aircraft created national media coverage
and motivated United Airlines to change its policy to include
people with disabilities.
For the Twilight Lecture, Mr. Douglas will discuss a variety of
issues from both a personal and professional perspective relating
to Civil Rights and disabilities. One area of recent interest
is the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial and the controversy about
whether or not FDR should be pictured in his wheelchair.
The Twilight Lecture is free and open to the public. Anyone seeking further information may contact ADA Coordinator Elizabeth Christensen at (802) 443-5851 voice, or (802) 443-7437 TDD.