George Singer of the Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara was presented the Robert Gaylord-Ross Award and delivered a keynote lecture at the 2010 Cal-TASH Conference in Burlingame, CA March 5-6. The Robert Gaylord-Ross Memorial Award is given to an outstanding scholar in the area of services and support for individuals with severe disabilities. Singer’s keynote speech was “Humor in the Media and Individuals with Disabilities: The Case of Tropic Thunder.”
Cal-TASH supports practices that promote its resolution that all people, regardless of their label or perceived level of disability, should have the supports they need to direct the course of their own lives, and to live and participate successfully in inclusive schools and communities. It is affiliated with TASH, an international association of people with disabilities, their family members, other advocates, and professionals fighting for a society in which inclusion of all people in all aspects of society is the norm. TASH is an organization of members concerned with human dignity, civil rights, education, and independence for all individuals with disabilities. When TASH was started in 1974, it was called the American Association for the Education of the Severely / Profoundly Handicapped and went by the acronym: AAESPH. In 1980 the name was changed to The Association for the Severely Handicapped, reflecting TASH’s broader mission. The name was changed to The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps in 1983 but the acronym, TASH, continued to be used. In 1995, the Board voted to maintain the acronym because it was so widely recognized but to stop using the full name of the organization as it didn't reflect current values and directions.
Singer is a Professor in the Department of Education in the Special Education, Disability, and Risk Studies emphasis. Singer is also in charge of a teacher credentialing program for teachers of students with moderate/severe disabilities. Prior to this job he worked as a special education teacher, a vocational specialist, a behavior specialist, and a group home director. Early in his career Singer was active trying to shut down developmental centers for children and creating and evaluating community alternatives for children who had challenging behavior and severe disabilities. He worked as a research scientist for 10 years at the Oregon Research Institute, writing grant proposals and administering research and model demonstration projects focused on supporting families. From 1991-95 he directed the Hood Center for Family Support at the Dartmouth Medical School, where he and his colleagues started a statewide family support program for families of children with chronic illnesses. Currently, Singer is interested in ways to improve teacher education, instruction for students in inclusive classrooms, and evidence based practices for supporting families.
[George Singer is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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