UN awards prize to promoter of education for persons with disabilities

Professor Douglas Biklen, winner of the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize to promote Quality Education for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. Photo: UNESCO/Susan Kahn

24 February 2012 – The distinguished United States professor Douglas Biklen is the winner of a United Nations award recognizing outstanding individuals that promote quality education for persons with intellectual disabilities, the UN Educational, Scientific and Environmental Organization (UNESCO) announced today.

Mr. Biklen, who is Dean of the School of Education, professor and founding faculty member of the Center on Human Policy, Law and Disability Studies at Syracuse University, will be honoured with the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize for the positive impact of his work on people with intellectual disabilities.

In a news release, UNESCO stated that “over the past 40 years, [Mr. Biklen’s] work has inspired researchers and given hope to many families of persons with disabilities from around the world.”

Mr. Biklen’s work includes several books and films such as Achieving the Complete School (1985), Schooling without Labels (1992), and My Classic Life as an Artist (2004) which have helped influence prevailing perceptions of intellectual disabilities.

Mr. Biklen will receive a monetary award of $40,000 next Wednesday in a ceremony to be hosted by the Kuwaiti Government, which funds the prize.

The laureate was selected on the recommendation of an international jury. Twenty-three candidatures were proposed by Member States for the prize, which was established in 2002 and is awarded every two years.


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