James K. Galbraith to keynote Coleman Institute conference

BOULDER – Noted American economist and former director of the joint economic committee of the U.S. Congress, James K. Galbraith, will be the distinguished keynote speaker at The Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities’ ninth annual conference on Cognitive Disability and Technology on Nov. 5 at the Westin Westminster Hotel.

Galbraith will talk about “Cognitive Disability, Inequality and Technology in an Age of Economic Uncertainty.”

Galbraith holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations and is professor of government at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. His most recent book is “The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too.” He is also the author of “Balancing Acts: Technology, Finance and the American Future.”

The conference also features Ann Turnbull, and Rud Turnbull, both distinguished university professors at the University of Kansas. The Turnbulls are leading international figures in disability law, families, technology and special education. Other distinguished speakers at the conference include Tamar Heller, professor of disability and human development, University of Illinois at Chicago. She will address “New Approaches to Aging and Cognitive Disability” and Jay Lundell, Digital Health Group, Intel Corporation. Lundell is an expert on new models of care using technology. As always, faculty participants will have the opportunity to present posters at the conference’s research and demonstration sessions, learn about and form interdisciplinary and multi-campus collaborations, visit vendor exhibits, and participate in focused roundtables.

“The Institute’s annual conference is an important opportunity to advance discussions on enhancing the quality of life and independence of people with cognitive disabilities,” said David Braddock, associate vice president, CU System, and the institute’s executive director. “The conference is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary forum designed to bring together university faculty and administrators, students, the business community, agency and association representatives, people with cognitive disabilities and their families, and service providers, to increase awareness of the issues, particularly technology-related issues, which affect people with cognitive limitations.

The conference agenda and registration can be found at: www.cu.edu/colemaninstitute. There is no fee to register.

This year’s Coleman Institute conference features a strong collaboration with ANCOR, the American Network of Community Options and Resources. ANCOR is the national association representing more than 800 private providers of community living and employment supports and services to more than 500,000 individuals with disabilities. ANCOR represents the interests of providers before Congress and federal agencies, provides technical assistance and professional development, and promotes industry leading practices. The Coleman Institute conference will be a springboard for ANCOR’s first ever Technology Leadership Summit where they will create a strategic vision for leveraging technology to create individualized, community based supports. The summit will be held Nov. 6 at the University of Colorado at Boulder Stadium Club and will be hosted by the Coleman Institute.

“Cognitive disabilities” refers to intellectual and developmental disabilities, acquired brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, and severe and persistent mental illness. These conditions affect over 20 million American citizens — seven percent of the U.S. population. Prevalence rates for cognitive disability are projected to grow rapidly as our nation ages and as advances in the medical and rehabilitative sciences extend the longevity of persons with disabilities. As societies become more technology reliant, a rapidly growing “digital divide” is developing between persons who are competent to use emerging technologies and those with cognitive limitations who are not competent to do so without adaptive personalized modifications and training.

The Coleman Institute was founded in 2001 as a result of a generous gift from William T. (Bill) and Claudia L. Coleman, who have continued to support the Institute on an annual basis. The institute is a University of Colorado system-wide enterprise reporting directly to the president of the university.

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