Disabilities awareness activist named fellow

Posted Feb. 09, 2009, at 2:44 p.m.

PORTLAND – Jamie Kaplan, executive director of the Cromwell Center for Disabilities Awareness in Portland, has been named one of 14 inaugural Advanced Leadership Fellows at Harvard University of 2009.

The fellowship is part of a new program, the Advanced Leadership Initiative, which is a collaboration among the graduate schools of business, education, government, law and public health. The purpose is for fellows to use the extensive resources of the various graduate schools on a project that has significant impact on a major social problem.

“My selection as a fellow is the direct result of the success of the Cromwell Center’s innovative disabilities awareness programs in elementary schools, public libraries, schools of education and workplaces,” Kaplan said. “With full access to all that Harvard offers, the fellowship is a fabulous opportunity to build on our work and take the center to the next level.”

Fellows will take classes of their choice and participate in leadership seminars and think tanks developed specially for the program. In addition, they will mentor graduate students, spend time with other public sector leaders, and exchange ideas with world-renowned faculty. Other fellows in the program include a former astronaut, Venezuela’s former minister of Health and Social Welfare, and a Navy surgeon general.

The Cromwell Center for Disabilities Awareness was founded on the premise that people with disabilities – developmental, emotional, learning and physical – deserve the same dignity and respect that every person merits as a birthright. The center fulfills this mission through programs that promote and foster sensitivity, understanding and acceptance of children and adults with disabilities; and provide publicly available educational and informational programs for elementary school students, educators, parents, peers and siblings of children with special needs.

The center’s Student Disabilities Awareness Program has served more than 20,000 students in more than 90 Maine elementary schools.

Another program has provided a 25-book collection of special needs books for parents, educators and children to all public libraries in Maine and Massachusetts. These programs are free of charge. A Future Educators Disabilities Awareness Program helps to prepare education students for the probability that from 10 to 20 percent of their students will have special needs.

For more information, visit the center’s Web site at www.cromwellcenter.org.

Caption/Lead: PORTLAND – Jamie Kaplan, executive director of the Cromwell Center for Disabilities Awareness in Portland, has been named one of 14 inaugural Advanced Leadership Fellows at Harvard University of 2009.

The fellowship is part of a new program, the Advanced Leadership Initiative, which is a collaboration among the graduate schools of business, education, government, law and public health. The purpose is for fellows to use the extensive resources of the various graduate schools on a project that has significant impact on a major social problem.

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