The Global Initiative on Disability (GID)

The Global Initiative on Disability

Solome Rose in India, meeting with colleagues from the SATTHI
(Solidarity and Action against the HIV Infection in India)

The Global Initiative on Disability (GID) is an initiative at Hobart and William Smith Colleges that aims to promote awareness, knowledge, and efforts surrounding disability on a global level. Through research, international service trips , speaker series, etc., GID will be a resource to educate others about disability. Through research and various programs the Global Initiative on Disability will advocate for the inclusion and protection of the rights of individuals with disabilities.

The initial work of this initiative will include a focus on China. Research is underway about disability services and professional development in the field of disability in China. A student service trip to China is being planned for 2015. Films about disability in China will also be shown throughout the academic year. 

Based on the initial work that focuses on China, the Global Initiative on Disability will work to develop and disseminate a better understanding of disability issues around the world. This initiative will explore issues of disability, broadly defined, to raise awareness and the voices of groups that are the most marginalized in society.

Upcoming events

February 5, 2014: Inaugural speaker, Shantha Rau Barriga, Director, Disability Rights Program, Human Rights Watch (7 p.m., Merritt 100)

February, 2014: GID director, Helen McCabe, will host a film and discussion at the REEL Abilities Disability Film Festival, Boston, MA. Film: Son of the Stars (film in Chinese with English subtitles)

April 8, 2014: Ocean Heaven (film about autism in China), shown as part of the 5th annual Arts Experience: A Festival Celebrating Inclusion & the Arts (7 p.m.)

About GID

Director: Helen McCabe, Ph.D.

Helen McCabe is the Director of the Global Initiative on Disability (GID) at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY, where she is also an Associate Professor in Education, and affiliated faculty in Asian Studies. Her research focuses on families of, and services for, individuals with autism in China. Helen’s background includes both research and teaching in the field of disability in China. She began volunteering with children with autism in Nanjing, China in 1992, and has provided training for teachers and parents of autism in China since 2002. Helen is also co-founder and executive director of The Five Project, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to: building the capacity of organizations in China that provide services for people with autism and other disabilities; and promoting and supporting self-help and self-advocacy skills in Chinese individuals with disabilities and their families.  She has a Ph.D. in Special Education and International/Comparative Education Policy. In her role at the Global Initiative on Disability, Helen will lead efforts bringing together research and practice, examining new questions about disability globally, and working with others advocating and educating people around the world, promoting educational, vocational and social inclusion for people of all abilities.

Staff: Solome Rose, M.P.P.

In addition to her work at the Global Initiative on Disability (GID), Solome Rose is the first Global and Community Leadership Fellow at the Centennial Center for Leadership (CCL). Solome completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia, majoring in foreign affairs and African American studies, in 2008. She then completed a master's degree in public policy at George Mason University. She has worked with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Africa Action in Washington, D.C., and the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American Studies in Virginia. With extensive knowledge of human rights issues as well as a variety of policy experiences, Solome's work at CCL is focused on developing new global and community leadership programs. She brings with her to GID extensive experience working with international NGOs, including in the field of HIV/AIDS.


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