Wednesday, June 24th. The International Conference on Disabilities in Lagos will conclude its significant agenda with a closing Gala celebration this evening. It will be a time for all participants to reflect on and admire the substantive work done in establishing a national agenda for people with disabilities in Nigeria and on the African continent. As an inaugural gathering, Oksana and I can think of few other occasions in our professional lives when energy and purpose have so beautifully combined to create an achievable pathway for educating and serving young people with disabilities.
The conference sessions have been standing room only events, with a healthy mix of parents, educators, and service providers, primarily from West African countries, but as far away as Ethiopia. There has been a significant showing of university professors and government officials as well, and the media coverage in Africa has been substantial as the disability movement is now acquiring a prominence on the continent that was missing heretofore. Oksana and I cannot say enough about the warmth, genuine hospitality, and interest in the cause expressed by the people of Nigeria. We have had the extraordinary opportunity to meet with college students who gather around the Beacon College booth (very popular overall). Tomorrow we will participate in a series of Master Classes that will focus on issues of education, health, and social welfare. We hope that our contributions in the area of education policy and programming for students with LD, ADHD, and other learning differences will be of value in these international discussions.
Beacon College has certainly been prominently on display to a new world audience, and we have been proud to be part of this effort. We are especially grateful to the Daniels family for their magnificent hospitality throughout our time here.
~Dr. George J. Hagerty