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UH Manoa Center on Disability Studies presents PacRim 2005

International conference on disabilities features guest speaker Clay Aiken, co-founder of The Bubel/Aiken Foundation

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Stephen Potts, (808) 956-7539
Center on Disability Studies
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Feb 15, 2005

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s Center on Disability Studies presents its 21st Annual Pacific Rim Conference on Disabilities, "A Rainbow of Abilities," February 28-March 1, 2005, at the Sheraton Waikiki. The two-day event features an international spectrum of discussions, exhibits and guest speakers, including multi-platinum recording artist Clay Aiken.

Aiken, a former special education teacher and mentor, founded The Bubel/Aiken Foundation in 2003 with Diane Bubel, a parent and disability activist whose son, Mike, has autism. The mission of The Bubel/Aiken Foundation is to provide services and financial assistance to facilitate fully the integration of children with disabilities into the life environment of those without.

Other keynote speakers include Dr. Siegfried M. Pueschel, a leading expert and well-known advocate for people with Down syndrome, and Joseph M. Valenzano, Jr., president, CEO and publisher of EP Global Communications, Inc., a 33-year-old publishing and communications company that produces Exceptional Parent Magazine. The magazine provides practical advice and emotional support to parents of children and adults with disabilities and special healthcare needs, as well as the physicians, allied healthcare and educational professionals involved with their care and development.

The conference will focus on topics, or strands, of importance and current trends that reflect changing perspectives on disabilities. Conference strands include an international strand; secondary, postsecondary education and employment opportunities; self-determination and ways to put people with disabilities in charge of their own lives; health and wellness; innovative classrooms; technologies and disabilities; and early childhood, including health, education and development.

Since the first Pacific Rim (Pac Rim) Conference in 1985, the scope and size of this premier event has grown to include participants from the U.S. Mainland, Alaska, Pacific Islands Nations, Japan, Australia, the Philippines and numerous other countries. Persons with disabilities, family members, researchers, and service providers join policy-makers and nationally recognized speakers in the field of disabilities to participate in the PacRim Conference to learn from each other and to share resources for communities to fully accept and support persons with disabilities. For more information, visit

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