News Release

January 18, 2006

Contact: Carolyn Pennington, 860-679-4864

Designing for Those with Diverse Abilities

FARMINGTON, CONN. – A special forum to discuss accessible housing and universal design will be held on Tuesday, January 24, from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 1E at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. Universal design involves producing products and home environments that are user-friendly for all people without the need for adaptation or specialized design. It takes into account accessibility for persons with disabilities and their families; “aging in place” for all of us who will some day become seniors; and visitability for those who have aging relatives or family or friends with disabilities.

The forum is sponsored by the Developmental Disabilities Network, which includes the University of Connecticut A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service at the UConn Health Center; AARP Connecticut and Rep. Ken Green, co-chair, Select Committee on Housing.

The featured speaker for the forum will be Kathy Gips of Adaptive Environments in Boston, a non-profit organization committed to advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities. A panel discussion on universal design will also be held involving Andy Gianino of the Home Store, a Massachusetts company that builds modular homes; David McKinley of the Corporation for Independent Living; Brenda Kelly, State Director of AARP; Alan Lagocki of the American Institute of Architects Connecticut; and Laura Knapp, Family Advocate from Special Kids Support at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

The Developmental Disabilities Network is a partnership of the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, and the University of Connecticut A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service.

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