Disability & The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Disability & The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Disability & The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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John Jay College of Criminal Justice

524 West 59th Street

New York, NY 10019

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The John Jay College Student Council, in partnership with The United Nations Association - CCNY Chapter presents

"Human Rights for All: Disability & The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal."

Join us as we celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Discussion topics:

  • Get to know the panelists. What inspires them about the work that they do? What are some significant life lessons they have learned along the way?

  • High level overview of global disability rights. What is CRPD? Why is it significant? (10 Year Anniversary.)

  • Overview of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals? Is the agenda inclusive? If so, in what way?

  • What are some of the proudest milestones achieved? What challenges remain?

  • How can those passionate about disability advocacy get involved? Resources? Etc


When: December 8, 2016

Time: 6:00pm - 8:00PM (EST)

Location: John Jay College (Moot Court)

860 11th Avenue

New York, NY 10019

Confirmed Speakers

Kristin Duquette is a 5x American Paralympic Record Holder, former US Team Captain for the 2010 Greek Open, and 3x Junior National Record Holder in swimming. In addition, Kristin completed a 1.2 mile Half Ironman open ocean swim sponsored by the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Kristin was featured in the adaptive sports documentary Endless Abilities during her training for the London 2012 Paralympic Trials. She is passionate about disability youth, sport and empowerment.

Kristin is also a former Goldman Sachs Scholar and began her activism work during her time in college. She is the founder of a disability empowerment college program called A Day in a Wheelchair, promoting disability rights as human rights. With a B.A. in Human Rights from Trinity College, Kristin's summaries of UN disability policy have been archived in the Academic Council on the United Nations System. Kristin is affiliated with the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and the Clinton Global Initiative.In addition, Kristin attended the One Young World Youth Summit in 2013 to promote A Day in a Wheelchair and meet other global change-makers. Kristin was named the 2014 Disability Mentor for the Clinton Global Initiative University and continues to promote disability rights as human rights.

Kristin is currently studying at Harvard University for Nonprofit Management and works inside the Obama Administration.

For more information, follow Kristin on Twitter at @KristinDuquette


Dr. Salvatore Pizzuro is a disability policy specialist and civil rights advocate in New Jersey. He has served as a consultant to the US Congress on each reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act since the law was passed in 1975. He has authored numerous books, professional journal articles and research studies in the areas of disability policy, education, rehabilitation, and community acquiescence. He holds a doctorate in Developmental Disabilities from Columbia University and an advanced degree in Disability Law from New York Law School.


Amanda McRae is a legal adviser at Women Enabled International. Before joining WEI, Amanda was a Finberg Fellow and researcher at Human Rights Watch, where she focused on human rights issues in the Western Balkans and disability rights worldwide. She also served as a Global Advocacy Adviser at the Center for Reproductive Rights, advocating for the rights of women and girls at the United Nations in New York and Geneva. She holds a J.D. from Duke University School of Law and a B.A. from Carleton College.


Albert J. Rizzi, Founder of My Blind Spot. Albert received his B.A. from Manhattanville College and has dual M.S. degrees from St. John’s University in education—one in early childhood and the other in administration and supervision. He was a New York City Teaching Fellow and began his career in education as a kindergarten teacher. He became the Executive Director of MARC After-School and Pre-K Program located in the South Bronx, providing direct services to 250 students and their families. In 2006, Albert unexpectedly and completely lost his sight. He became an activist and advocate for the blind and print disabled, providing education and awareness around virtual accessibility for digital platforms and building awareness of assistive technologies used by members of the disability community. In 2009, he founded a nonprofit, My Blind Spot, www.myblindspot.org, dedicated to Inspiring Accessibility for All! He speaks out for accessible technologies, employment, and financial independence for the disability community, particularly for people who are blind or print disabled.

Albert has addressed thousands of people across the U.S. and internationally. His unique blend of passion, optimism, humor, and outspokenness make him a sought-after speaker who engages and inspires audiences of all ages.


Maysoon Zayid is an actress, comedian, disability advocate, and writer. She is a graduate of and a Guest Comedian in Residence at Arizona State University. Maysoon is the co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival and The Muslim Funny Fest. She was a full-time On Air Contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann and a columnist for The Daily Beast. She has most recently appeared on Oprah Winfrey Networks In Deep Shift, 60 Minutes, and The Meredith Vieira Show. Maysoon had the number one TED Talk of 2014 and was named 1 of 100 Women of 2015 by BBC.

As a professional comedian, Maysoon has performed in top New York clubs and has toured extensively at home and abroad. She was a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Muslims Are Coming Tour. Maysoon appeared alongside Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess with the Zohan and is the founder of Maysoon’s Kids, a scholarship and wellness program for disabled refugee children. Maysoon walked in New York Fashion Week and is proud to be an ambassador for Kara Ross’s Diamonds Unleashed. She was delighted to be a 2013 honoree of United Cerebral Palsy NYC’s Women Who Care Awards and is honored to sit on their planning committee. www.Maysoon.com


Victor Calise, Commissioner, MOPD. Commissioner Calise brings a history of inclusion, diversity and access to MOPD and his goal is to make NYC the most accessible city in the world. Under the leadership of Commissioner Calise and that of Mayor Bill De Blasio, MOPD has created AccessibleNYC, the first report on the state of people with disabilities and interagency plans to improve the quality of life for New Yorkers with disabilities across the five boroughs. Accessible NYC addresses every aspect of life as a New Yorker and focuses on transportation, employment, access and education, creating a more inclusive and accessible city for all.

While riding a mountain bike in Forest Park in 1994, Victor sustained a spinal cord injury. He became involved with disability sports through the United Spinal Association and focused on sled hockey. Dedication, passion and drive led to representing the United States on the 1998 Paralympics Sled Hockey team in Nagano, Japan.

Working initially as United Spinal's Recreation Coordinator, he rose rapidly through the ranks reaching the title of Director of Sports Marketing. In October of 2006, Victor joined the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation as their ADA Coordinator overseeing accessibility projects throughout the five boroughs.

The parks system is a historic collection of properties, most of which were designed and built prior to accessibility laws. He coordinated with staff at all levels, improving compliance with the law while producing a transition plan to increase access in the city's parks, beaches, recreation centers and other facilities.

In June 2012, Victor was appointed the Commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and then reappointed by Mayor Bill De Blasio in 2014.

He advises the Mayor on issues affecting over 900,000 New Yorkers with a Disability and 6 million visitors with a disability. He is the liaison between the disabled community and City government, works to connect with the services they need and is the disability policy advisor to City agencies and the Administration.

He spearheads myriad projects, partnerships and initiatives that better the lives of people with disabilities; advocates for the passage of legislation to help the disabled community; and is the Chair of NYC Building Code Accessibility Committee.


Srabone Monir, Esq. is a Staff Attorney at Disability Rights New York (DRNY). DRNY is the Protection and Advocacy agency for New York State. Protection and Advocacy agencies are authorized by federal law to provide legal representation and other advocacy services to people with disabilities. Srabone provides legal representation to disabled individuals who face discrimination related to employment, housing, transportation, and education. Prior to working at DRNY, Srabone was a fellow at New York Legal Assistance Group where she represented indigent victims of domestic violence in Family and Supreme Court. Srabone received her JD from St. John’s University School of Law in 2013 and her BA from St. John’s University in 2009.



Edmund Asiedu was born and raised in Ghana. He contracted the Poliovirus at the age of two, resulting in his disability. Edmund relocated to the U.S. in 2010. He currently works with Berkeley College as a career counselor. His background in disability movement both in Ghana and the U.S. has made him a strong advocate for persons with disabilities around the world. Edmund was the National Public Relations Officer for the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled Youth Wing from 2005 to 2009. He played a major role in the effort that led to the passage of the Ghana National Disability Act in 2006. Edmund founded the club for students with disabilities at Lehman College in the Bronx, NY in 2011. He represented Lehman College students with disabilities at CUNY Coalition of Students with Disabilities from 2011 to 2014. In 2013, he worked as a public policy intern at the National Disability Rights Network in Washington, DC as part of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Internship Program. He graduated from Lehman College in 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Social Work and he is currently a Master of Public Administration Candidate at Baruch College in New York, NY. Edmund is a marathoner who successfully finished his 4th NYC Marathon this year. Recently, Edmund received community service award from Hamilton Madison House, Inc. a non-profit organization in Lower Manhattan. He aspires to become a strong international disability activist influencing policies that affect the lives of persons with disabilities.


Promotional Partners/Sponsors:

UNA Southern NY Division

UNA SNY Young Professionals

UNA Queens Chapter

Leitner Center for International Law and Justice

Young Professionals Health Care Network

WAM New York: Women Advancing Microfinance NY

Melendez Media Group, LLC

***If any reasonable accomodations are needed, please email harismelendez@gmail.com***

Accessible Entrance: John Jay College, New Building, between 10th & 11th avenue. See link for directions (http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/directions-0)

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524 West 59th Street

New York, NY 10019

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