Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Event Details

Lectures on Development and Developmental Disabilities / Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Lecture

Date: January 23, 2012

Time: 4:10PM to 5:10PM

Location: Room 241 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, One Magnolia Circle

Lectures on Development Disabilities


"Free at Last: Kennedy, King, and the Meaning of Liberty for Individuals with Intellectual and Related Developmental Disabilities"

Rud Turnbull, B.A., Ll.B., Ll.M., Distinguished Professor of Special Education and Life Span Studies, University of Kansas; Co-Founder and Co-Director, Beach Center on Disability

Mr. Turnbull will discuss the meaning of liberty for individuals and families affected by disability. He will trace its origins to the early years of this country, its meanings as stated by President Kennedy and Dr. King, and the significance of the Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education for individuals with disabilities. He will then describe the nature of rights, the import of the doctrine of the least restrictive environment, the reasons why liberty is more of an ideal than a reality for individuals and their families, and the appeal of liberty to conservatism and liberalism. Bringing theory into action, he will conclude by discussing the meaning of liberty for individuals and their families, the nature of advocacy necessary to increase liberty for them, and the type of liberty that benefitted his son, Jay, who had developmental disabilities and died in 2009.

Mr. Turnbull has won numerous service and leadership awards, including the 2004 Franklin Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from The Arc and the 2011 J. W. Wallace Wallin Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Council for Exceptional Children. He has co-authored three books on public education and quality of life for families, and numerous articles and book chapters on self-determination, public policy, access to health care for individuals with developmental disabilities, and family support.

Department of Political Science, College of Arts and Science
Department of Special Education, Peabody College
Vanderbilt School of Law

A reception will follow the lecture.

No registration is necessary.