The Thompson Policy Institute on Disability’s (TPI) 2022 Summit on Disability and Inclusion brings together a variety of stakeholders dedicated to developing inclusive spaces for the disability community in schools, employment, and society. 

Disability Awareness

Disability rights advocate and educator, Diana Pastora Carson, M.Ed., joined the in-person event to share an intimate keynote address titled, “The Walk with Joaquin: Journey to Inclusion.” Although Diana experiences disability herself, she credits her brother, Joaquin Carson, for her passion for inclusion, disability advocacy, and activism. Joaquin endured years of segregated schooling and subsequent institutionalization. Diana takes the most pride in knowing that after many years of fighting for his release, Joaquin now lives a life of inclusion and quality, in the community, as her next door neighbor.

Inclusion and Access

TPI’s signature event brings together current research and community partners to highlight best practices that will improve the lives of people with disabilities by supporting inclusiveness for all. Dr. Reg Chhen Stewart, Chapman University’s Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, shared a welcome address at the 2022 Summit, poignantly noting, “Diversity is more than color and disability is more than compliance.” The annual summit included a Transition Services panel with Self-Advocate and Orange County Service providers. Current research and initiatives in Teacher Education and Inclusive Education were shared during the event presentation. “We are so grateful to showcase our work at TPI that centers disability in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives,” says TPI Director Dr. Meghan Cosier and TPI Co-Director Dr. Audri M. Sandoval Gomez. “We are educators, advocates, and partners at the forefront of removing structural barriers and imagining an inclusive world.”

About Thompson Policy Institute on Disability

TPI engages in technical assistance and research to improve the lives of people with disabilities and, in doing so, improve life for all of society. TPI accomplishes this by creating new knowledge and innovative solutions through our work and by disseminating these findings through technical assistance and written reports to the field. TPI’s 2022 Summit on Disability and Inclusion was made possible by the support of community partners including, Regional Center of Orange County, Orange County Department of Education, Poway Unified School District, Goodwill of Orange County, and the Thompson Autism Center at CHOC.