Annual Pac Rim conference to address issues of importance to people with disabilities

Worldwide audience will hear from nationally renowned athlete Roger Crawford and local author Lois-Ann Yamanaka

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Steve Potts, (808) 956-7539
Center on Disability Studies
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Feb 15, 2006

HONOLULU — More than 800 people with disabilities, family members of people with disabilities, researchers, educators, service providers, policymakers and nationally recognized professionals are expected to attend the 22nd Annual Pacific Rim Conference on Disabilities (Pac Rim), March 13-15, 2006, at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel. The annual conference is presented by the Center on Disability Studies, a unit of the College of Education at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Gathering from at least 18 different countries, conference participants will learn from one another and share resources and ideas to support the quality of life, community inclusion, and self-determination for people with disabilities and their families.

Keynote speakers include Roger Crawford, a physically challenged athlete and professional speaker; local author Lois-Ann Yamanaka; and Dr. Michael Mayer, executive director of The Institute on Complex Disabilities.

Crawford is "one of the most accomplished physically challenged athletes in the world," according to Sports Illustrated. He became the first and only athlete with four impaired limbs to compete in an NCAA Division I college sport and to be certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association. A professional tennis player and successful author, Crawford has been featured in the original "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series and in well known publications such as USA Today, Tennis magazine, and Men‘s Fitness magazine.

Yamanaka is the author of a book of poetry, "Saturday Night at the Pahala Theatre," and numerous novels and children‘s books. She is the recipient of several literary awards, including the Pushcart Prize XVIII and XIX, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, and the Asian American Studies National Book Award.

Mayer is the executive director of The Institute on Complex Disabilities, which supports and promotes research and education related to people who have complex service and support needs and supports an international network of professionals to achieve these goals. He is an internationally known speaker, trainer, and consultant, having worked with over 400 local, state, and national agencies and organizations and having trained over 40,000 personnel in the United States, Canada, the Middle East, the Pacific Rim, Africa, Asia and Europe.

In addition to the keynote addresses, breakout sessions will cover health services for people with disabilities, community inclusion, education, early childhood, and employment for people with disabilities. Also, special pre- and post-conference summits will be held on autism spectrum disorders and expanding workforce pathways for people with disabilities.

Individuals with disabilities, family members, teachers, service providers, employers, and others interested in learning more about opportunities and services available to people with disabilities are encouraged to attend.

For more information, including details on how to register, visit

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