Disability and Higher Education

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A Round Table Forum

The Lesniak Institute and The Human Rights Institute at Kean University are happy to present:

Disability and Higher Education: A Round Table Forum

Wednesday November 30th, 2022, at 6 pm

The event will take place at the Kean University Green Lane Academic Building, 6th Floor.

Limited Seating Available. We will also be streaming the event live, and taking questions through a virtual format. 

RSVP Today.

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Nineteen percent of undergraduates report having a disability.

According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, applying for accommodations can be a cumbersome process and students who don’t receive support early face an increased risk of not graduating.


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Our Panel

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Javier Robles, J.D. 

Professor, Rutgers and Founder of NJ Disability Action Committee

Javier Robles has received numerous awards and recognitions for his involvement in the community including the Minorities with Disabilities Advocacy Award, the Seton Hall University Ramón Ramos Medal of Courage, the Comité Noviembre Award, among others. Currently Javier serves as a faculty member and professor of The Kinesiology and Health Department and co-chair of the Rutgers University Disability Studies committee. He is the Director of the Center for Disability Sports, Health and Wellness at Rutgers University. He is the Founder and Chair of the New Jersey Disabilities Covid-19 Action Committee. He is the Founder of the Facebook Group, “People with Disabilities Helping Each Other Survive the Coronavirus.” Until 2010, he served as the Deputy Director of the NJ Division of Disability Services (DDS).

Jerisa Chiumbu-Maseko

 Director of Planning for Adult Life Program, The Arc of NJ

Serving the disability community for over 15 years through the Arc, Jerisa Chiumbu-Maseko is currently the director of Planning for Adult Life Programs. The program is a statewide project funded by the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) to assist young adults between the ages of 16-21 with developmental disabilities and their families in charting a life course for adulthood including: postsecondary education/employment, housing, legal/financial planning, entitlement programs and eligibility, self-direction, health/behavioral health, building/maintaining community ties and friendships, and planning/visioning a life course.

Hillary Freeman, Esq

 Founding Partner, Freeman Law Offices Special Needs Attorneys

As a founding partner of Freeman Law Offices Special Needs Attorneys, Hillary D. Freeman has experience representing clients in Special Education and Section 504 issues, higher education issues including accommodations on high stakes testing and graduate school admissions tests, guardianship matters, estate planning and adult services. As the sister of a man with autism and a national speaker in Special Education matters, she is able to combine personal experience with her legal training to help families advocate for services and support. Hillary holds a JD from Widener University School of Law and practices in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

AnnMarie Bacino

 Lecturer, Kean School of Communication Disorders and Deafness

AnnMarie Bacino is the first full-time deaf professor at Kean University and advisor to Kean's new ASL club. Based in the College of Health Professions and Human Services and The School of Communication Disorders and Deafness, AnnMarie’s students are learning American Sign Language in an immersive “voice-off” setting, where students pick up the language naturally.

Our Moderator

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Gene Myers

Reporter, The Record/NorthJersey.com and USA Today 

Paving the way as the first and only disability beat reporter in the state, Gene Myers covers disability and mental health for Gannett newspapers and sites across the country, including The Record/NorthJersey.com and USA Today. He has been with NorthJersey.com since 2004 where he has worked as a features editor, social media editor, magazine editor, newspaper section editor and syndicated columnist. Gene was drawn to this work to highlight the singular experiences of people living with disabilities. Through his work as a reporter, Gene has been uncovering all of the untold stories and using his platform to call attention to the many different types of disabilities and challenges and successes associated with them. Gene is also a music journalist & haiku columnist for the Haiku Society of America.

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Submit a Question

Leave a question below to be read during the open discussion portion of the event.

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

   Margaret Mead

The Lesniak Institute for American Leadership is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and qualifies for maximum charitable contribution permitted by law. Our Federal Identification Number is 83-3629808.